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‘Well-managed’ immigration policy?

Much has been written this year about the massive influx of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally, but, this past week, when I saw a video of a single 5-year-old left alone near an overpass and who was crying out for help, saying, “Don’t leave me, don’t leave me!,” I, as any parent or grandparent would be, was heartbroken.

Imagine being 5 years old, an age when our earliest memories take shape, and being abandoned all alone.

Who would or could do that to a fellow human being, let alone a 5 year-old?

I am sure I have never known such a person, but they do exist, in the shadows of society, obviously willing to do anything for money.

How can we allow that to happen, not once, but thousands of times this year alone?

In March and April of this year, it has happened over 36,000 times, so we know it is happening, and we know why it is happening, but do we really know who is responsible for this happening?

Many of you will say President Joe Biden, and you wouldn’t be all wrong.

But immigration laws fall under the responsibility of Congress. The National Archives clearly states what a president can and cannot do. A president can veto or sign bills and can enforce laws Congress has passed, but what a president cannot do is make or interpret law.

So where is Congress in this latest crisis? The last major immigration reform was passed and signed into law in 1986, under the Ronald Reagan administration. That’s 35 years ago, and, although there have been some tweaks along the way, that is the last time major reform occurred.

Folks, I don’t have to tell you how badly we need immigration reform designed for the 21st century. But, as we also know, immigration reform is one of those hot-button, career-making or -breaking issues that Congress avoids, choosing, instead, to not fully address anything that may cost them partisan control or personal defeat at the next election.

So, what, exactly, is our current immigration law, and is the federal government following those laws that were passed and signed into law by a president?

I looked into that.

This is from the U.S. Department of State: “The illegal movement of people across international borders threatens national security and public safety, suppresses wages and strains public resources, and leaves immigrants themselves vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. It also undermines the rule of law by reducing citizens’ faith in the ability of government to enforce the law. But well-managed, legal immigration can support national economic competitiveness and promote financial success and assimilation for newcomers.”

If our own Department of State is telling not only all of us, but Congress and the president, as well, that illegal immigration “threatens national security and public safety,” again, I ask, where is Congress, our lawmakers, and where is the president, our law enforcer, on this current crisis?

I will tell you where they are. They are hiding in a quagmire of partisan power and fear, and that is no way to run a country. It’s worth mentioning again, from the Department of State, that “well-managed, legal immigration can support national economic competitiveness and promote financial success and assimilation for newcomers.”

The key phrase, there, is “well-managed”.

Now, I don’t care what party you subscribe to, but there is no way you can call the current crisis on the border “well-managed”.

I looked to what the BBC is reporting. They were there when Biden finally allowed reporters on the scene on March 30. The BBC reported one facility, the Donna, Texas facility, was designed to hold 250 people, but held over 4,000 at its peak occupancy. Children were huddled together and sleeping in foil blankets.

Well-managed? I think not.

I could write on about the large numbers of gang members, criminals and illegal drugs pouring in across our border, but the question would still be there: What is Congress doing about all this chaos?

And, finally, this, from CNN, who summed up the current political climate pretty well: “Tension is building among Democrats over whether to pursue bite-size proposals or seek a long-sought comprehensive bill, with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin conceding that such a massive measure lacks the requisite support to pass the chamber, and Republicans who have been open to more liberal immigration policies are shutting the door to that approach now as the party rails on President Joe Biden for not doing more to contain the crisis, meaning finding the necessary 60 votes in the evenly divided chamber to advance any immigration bill remains a daunting task.”

We have a hundred senators, and, if 60 of them can’t agree to face this “daunting task” head-on, then maybe we should ask for their resignations, immediately.

What, exactly, did we hire them to do? Play the dirty game of partisan politics or step up to the responsibilities required of their positions?

I’m upset, as you can tell. Are you? Let me know at gregawtry.com.

Greg Awtry is the former publisher of the Scottsbluff (Neb.) Star-Herald and Nebraska’s York News-Times. He is now retired and living in Hubbard Lake. Greg can be contacted at gregawtry@awtry.com.

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