Border is secure, but Congress won’t pass immigration reform

WASHINGTON —As commencement season gets underway in earnest, as young adults take their places in formal ceremonies marking their achievements, a small number of them hide a delicate secret that shadows their accomplishments and limits their options: They are illegal immigrants. They live in fear of deportation. They cannot travel freely, seek the best jobs or sign up for military service.

Even if they have just completed college, even if they have excellent grades, even if they have mastered chemistry or mathematics or computer science, they will encounter immediate and daunting barriers. It doesn’t matter that some offer skills for which companies are desperate; they still aren’t likely to find themselves in demand.

And that’s just crazy. The nation’s immigration policy is irrational — warped by nativism, finger-pointing and political cowardice. As President Barack Obama noted in a speech yesterday, the economy would be helped — not hurt — by  immigration reform.

But Obama also knows perfectly well that Congress won’t pass a comprehensive immigration reform proposal anytime soon. Republicans refused to support George W. Bush’s proposal to modernize immigration law, and the GOP base has only grown more xenophobic since then.

Just take a look at GOP-controlled state legislatures around the country, which are rushing to adopt proposals modeled after the Arizona law that recalls apartheid. Even Georgia’s recently-passed Arizona-“lite” is certain to increase the harassment of motorists and workers with tan complexions and Spanish surnames.

Nativist sentiments have deepened despite Obama’s clear record of amping up border security. If conservatives were waiting for a less-porous border before they embraced immigration reform, they’d be lining up to support a bill: the border is more secure than ever before.

Apparently believing that conservatives would support a comprehensive bill if they were reassured about border protections, Obama has sent National Guard troops and drone surveillance aircraft to the Southern boundary. He hired more border agents. He has pursued an aggressive policy of deportations — rounding up more illegal immigrants than his predecessor.

But the hostility toward illegal immigrants isn’t based on any rational fear of cross-border narco-violence or jihadist-inspired terrorism. It’s based on deep-seated prejudices stoked by a faltering economy and an increasingly diverse population. Many native-born Americans wrongly believe that illegal workers have sapped our strength, reversed our economic fortunes and set us on a course toward decline. But let’s not kid ourselves: We aren’t prepared to grant legal status even to those who are ambitious, resourceful and hardworking — who would give to the country a great deal more than they would take from it.

Last December, a GOP Senate filibuster blocked the DREAM Act, which would have granted a path to legalization to about one million young adults who were brought here illegally when they were kids. To qualify, they would have had to complete two years of college or two years of service in the Armed Forces.

The DREAM Act might have passed if Democrats had pursued it earlier in Obama’s presidency, when they were more secure in their control of Congress. But at the time, immigration advocates opposed any remedy short of legalization for the entire population of 11 million or so. Their resistance to smaller steps was a mistake.

The president is now under intense pressure from Latino activists to use his executive authority to shelter those illegal workers who have not committed crimes since their entry. Some pro-immigrant groups have zeroed in on young adults who would be eligible for the DREAM Act as candidates for a policy of benign neglect by customs officials.

The president has resisted, but he ought to take the request more seriously. While Congress panders to the xenophobic impulses of frightened voters, the country is squandering some of its best and brightest. Obama could salvage some of that talent with a policy of selective deportation.

275 comments Add your comment

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
8:50 am

Oh, you mean like…………”Hope and Change”

Or like, “The smoking gun is the mushroom cloud.”

Aquagirl

May 11th, 2011
8:50 am

Joe, somehow “bless your heart” from a ranting plumber doesn’t have the ring of irony you seem to imagine it does.

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
8:51 am

Good Grief

May 11th, 2011
8:49 am
Granny -
These kids are not criminals in the fact that they probably aren’t out robbing stores or killing people, but the fact remains that they are illegal. If you are driving on I-85 and your speed reaches 71 mph, you are technically a criminal, because you are in violation of the law.

nope, the parents are criminals the children are victims, first of their parents actions and now by yours

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
8:51 am

Granny doesn’t think they should have to get in line and wait like everyone else…

She’s one of those who cuts in front of other old debilitated fogeys in wheelchairs to collect her social security check…….truly sad indeed

dmac

May 11th, 2011
8:52 am

I wonder if, in the latter stages of the Roman Empire, there were people like you urging amnesty for the Goths and the Vandals?

USMC dawg

May 11th, 2011
8:52 am

Our Borders are secure?

Cynthia is Intellectually BANKRUPT and DISHONEST!

Peadawg

May 11th, 2011
8:53 am

“We are not putting 11 million in the front of the line. Please read up on the DREAM Act.” – Actually, we are putting 11 million at the front of the line. Think about it. You have the illegals who can all of a sudden be citizens in 2 years through college or military service. Yet you have people that have been in the system waiting for 5 years to do it the right way. If that’s not letting them cut in line, what would you call it?

” And you tell the other people the truth” – That even though they’ve been waiting to become a citizen for years, the 11 million already here get a short cut. That probably won’t go over well…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

May 11th, 2011
8:55 am

I demand revenge on all mexicans for 40 years of theft….

Yeah! Why I am all for revenge. We aint never stole nuthing from them Mexicans. I was at da Alamo the other day and I said “Remember when we won here, why that was a proud day for all Amerikans.”

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
8:56 am

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
8:51 am
Granny doesn’t think they should have to get in line and wait like everyone else…

She’s one of those who cuts in front of other old debilitated fogeys in wheelchairs to collect her social security check…….truly sad indeed

nope mr. name du jour, that’s claptrap – and you’re one of those folks who are so jealous of a smarter, kinder, better looking,
highly moral, clean as a whistle American of mixed heritage that you’ll give up all your honor and integrity to bash him because you think it might make you look much bigger that your little heart and brain would ever allow

that whole name changing thing is really quite creepy

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
8:56 am

dmac….to the pop culture liberals here on this blog, “Goths and Vandals” are Michelle Obama’s favorite hip-hop groups that spew vile hatred against New Jersey police and Pres. Bush

G'Vegas Dawg

May 11th, 2011
8:57 am

Drug dealers help the economy too. Let’s just make heroin, cocain, and anything else legal since it “helps” the economy…

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
8:58 am

Granny, don’t get your blood pressure up now….didn’t you know that Medicare is going bankrupt and your doctor may not see you in time

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
8:58 am

Peadawg

Please specify at the start of each post whether you are talking about the Dream Act or comprehensive immigration reform.

You are all over the place again this morning and my time for
playing with you is limited….

DW

May 11th, 2011
8:58 am

@Joe

Quit acting like a d0uche. Thank you

Peadawg

May 11th, 2011
8:59 am

“nope, the parents are criminals the children are victims”

Oh yes, the poor victim. The poor Kennesaw State student who lied to get in-state tuition. Poor poor girl…. :roll:

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
9:00 am

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
8:58 am
Granny, don’t get your blood pressure up now….didn’t you know that Medicare is going bankrupt and your doctor may not see you in time

no worries, just had it checked

If you didn’t have talking points as a script and the occasional old gal joke – you’d have nothing.

Gm

May 11th, 2011
9:00 am

Aaron

Lets ship you back to your trailer””’

Non of you hypocrites were complaining when these people were building up the foundation of America, now that your last idiot President Bush destroyed the enconomy and you lost your jobs you want to focus on illegal immigrants, this is so typical hypocrites conservatives white Americans, they did the same things to the indians, blacks.
When are you people going to trace your history 80% of your family history came to this country illegal, bunch of hypocrites.

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
9:00 am

Granny, “better looking”?….yeah, if you like Dumbo ears with the “skeletor” facade

Peadawg

May 11th, 2011
9:01 am

“Please specify at the start of each post whether you are talking about the Dream Act or comprehensive immigration reform.”

I’m talking about the Dream Act, which would grant them citizenship after 2 years of college(which doesn’t mean sh*t these days) or 2 years of military service. i.e. a shortcut for illegals who are already here.

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
9:01 am

Granny, you had it checked? Did you forecheck the poor cancer patient in front of you and cut in front of her too???? Have you no morals old lady???

Moving target

May 11th, 2011
9:02 am

Again, I get the calls from many of you to “deport them all” however that is a copout unles you take it a step further and evaluate the costs of doing so. As you all know, money is tight. The cost of this proposal (mass deportation) should be presented as would the costs of any other proposal.

I hear the calls to do something, yet not the plan on how to get it done. To me that seems like a giant waste of time.

Joe The Plumber Too

May 11th, 2011
9:03 am

dw, you know you can’t call me names, it reeks of racism, even if I am conservative. aquagirl, bless your heart.

Red

May 11th, 2011
9:04 am

Border is secure? My computer was almost doused by coffee. Are you kidding me? Seriously? CT do you honestly believe this? I guess you don’t read a newspaper to see all of the violence spilling over across the border into Texas. And that is just what we see. I cannot believe you actually believe the nonsense you write.

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
9:05 am

Granny, “you’d have nothing”…..btw, as the famous lyrical poet Mr. T once said…..”I got plenty of mo”…..just tempt me!!

joe

May 11th, 2011
9:06 am

Our border with Mexico is 2000 miles long and 50% of it has some sort of fence…yep, secure.

A dad

May 11th, 2011
9:06 am

Looks like Cbaby has totally lost touch with reality. Cutting to the quick of this, economy, crime, etc. aside, I think this issue would be rrelatively moot if there were a way to have illegals pay their share of the cost for the services they consume now for free, i.e., educating their children, healthcare, etc.
Keep in mind though, grant citizenship to a bunch of illegals who have never paid a dime into SS, then retire and claim SS beniefits and the death of SS is all that much closer.

We can't afford it

May 11th, 2011
9:06 am

Yes, we did grant amnesty to 11 million illegals in the 80’s. But that was when our entitlement budget wasn’t in the trillions. We now have another 15 million illegals who the democrats are trying to make legal so they can get their votes since that is the only way they will win in 2012. America cannot afford 15 million more on the entitlement dole. Our budget is shot, the middle class has become the lower class and we are paying more and more for people who want everything free.

Soon, we will run out of food and fuel and EVERYONE will suffer because we tried to be so “politically conscious”. How about giving life long Americans a chance to live their lives, do their jobs and enjoy their families? We are sick of paying for these people who get more of our income than we do?

carlosgvv

May 11th, 2011
9:07 am

The hostility towards illegal immigrants is based on the fact they are breaking the law and our Government has to be pushed to do anything about it. As citizens of this country, we are expected to be law abiding so we get a little angry when 12 million people come here ILLEGALLY and our Government does little or nothing. And, calling us prejudiced and xenophobic for wanting our laws enforced doesn’t help either.

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
9:07 am

Granny, “my time for playing with you is limited”….Why, Oprah coming on soon? What else would you possible have to do with your government loving time????

Steve Padre

May 11th, 2011
9:07 am

Oh how I wish we were all one color. Maybe then some would see it clearly.

Irwin M. Fletcher

May 11th, 2011
9:09 am

Oy, it’s actually VERY simple. If you want to get rid of an animal with the least amount of effort and expense, simply remove the food source and they will go away on their own. Same theory applies to the immigration problem. Remove the food source i.e. jobs and income, and they will move on to greener pastures. The only question is which states want to be the pasture?

joe

May 11th, 2011
9:11 am

Those, like gm think that because Americans want the border secure, the illegal immigration laws enforced and illegals deported, they are racists. Not the case…any who come here legally, follow our laws and our customs and provide for themselves and their families are welcome all day long. Those who commit crimes, come here illegally, pop out 10 kids and sign up for all the entitlements they can get there hands on are not welcome. Become part of the US and you’ll do fine. Try to milk the system, you don’t deserve to be here and thus, shouldn’t.

Joe The Plumber Too

May 11th, 2011
9:12 am

steve, I am all one color ( although there are rumours about grandma seeing a white fellow for a little while) and I see things very clearly. Build a moat like barry the boy blunder suggested, the best idea he’s had since he …………………… well….ever.

Witness

May 11th, 2011
9:14 am

“I see that Mr. Reid and Mrs. Pelosi will be re-introducing the DREAM Act…Har Har…They should call it the Vote for Me Act, by Mr. Harry Reid the racist.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

May 11th, 2011
9:15 am

Tax monies sent back to Mexico at 75%, bill Mexico for the services their illegals steal from the US ( education, health, welfare, ect ) and secure the border. Then and only then look at some kind of “path to citizenship”.

Irwin M. Fletcher

May 11th, 2011
9:15 am

Joe – “Those who commit crimes, come here illegally, pop out 10 kids and sign up for all the entitlements they can get there hands on are not welcome.”

That’s actually a very valid ppint. As part of our book of business, we have a number of cleaning services. Everytime we do an employee enrollment it’s the same story. More than 50% of the employees don’t speak english, so it takes twice as long to complete the paperwork. However, when they get to the W-4 and the G-4, they have no problem completing the form particularly the section that asks how many dependents you are claiming. Average number is usually between 5 and 6.

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
9:16 am

“I’m talking about the Dream Act, which would grant them citizenship after 2 years of college(which doesn’t mean sh*t these days) or 2 years of military service. i.e. a shortcut for illegals who are already here.”

Except for the fact that children born here are not here illegally.

Best put the cart before the horse and fight the correct battle.

Aquagirl

May 11th, 2011
9:16 am

“I wonder if, in the latter stages of the Roman Empire, there were people like you urging amnesty for the Goths and the Vandals?”

Yes. They were ignored, and more than a few Romans probably regretted it.

The Visigoths were uppity day laborers who figured out the Romans were exploiting them for cheap labor. So they sacked Rome. You’d think there was a lesson in that somewhere….

Glass House Rocker

May 11th, 2011
9:17 am

I am concerned about the environment and suppose most would call me a tree-hugger. I never believed WMDs were in Iraq and thought the war there was a mistake even as it began. I also believe Congress abdicated its responsibility in giving Bush carte blanc to go to war. I have friends who are staunch Republicans and others who would be called liberals.
I believe Georgia currently is home to an estimated 450,000 to 700,000 illegal immigrants. I do not personally know anyone–of whatever political persuasion–who does not realize this ever expanding population causes severe problems and financial hardship on health care, educational systems and other services.

Greg

May 11th, 2011
9:18 am

First of all I am a black American born and raised here.

My in laws came from a foreign country and did it the right way. They did all of the paperwork and came to this country legally. It was a long process but they did it. I am against the law breakers who have slipped into this country overnight and just because they’ve skirted the rules by laying low have simply blended in and now want rights.

Once you have entered our country illegally you have broken OUR laws and you should not be rewarded for doing so.

During their time here, many of these people have drained our resources by using hospitals for free healthcare. Free for them means higher premiums for the rest of us. Also, they have not paid taxes (yes..payroll tax for working..stop with the we buy cigarettes and booze and therefore we pay taxes) but take from the till.

Look we are a country of laws. If you allow illegals (in this case we are talking about Hispanics: Mexicans, Cubans, South Americans) to simply be granted the right to buck the system then what message are we sending to all of those who have emigrated legally? What message do we send to the world that we will bend our laws for criminals? Will we now allow Haitians the right for legal status if they can get here by boat or will we continue to grab them and send them back?

The central government has failed, but I commend states that have passed laws to remove these people from our society. Come here legally and I do no have a problem at all.

Stop with the nonsense and bleeding heart BS. You break the law you must face the music. That is how it is for you, me and god forbid even the illegals!

Don't Tread

May 11th, 2011
9:19 am

“Obama’s clear record of amping up border security”

If you mean telling the Border Patrol to not detain illegals, but instead telling them to “turn back south”, constitutes “amping up security”, well then, we just found the solution to all our security problems!

We can just tell North Korea and Iran to “be nice”, tell the Islamofascists to “quit bombing innocent people”, and tell the Somali pirates to “stop taking hostages” and the world will be a happy place. Unicorns and rainbows everywhere. :roll:

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
9:20 am

” I do not personally know anyone–of whatever political persuasion–who does not realize this ever expanding population causes severe problems and financial hardship on health care, educational systems and other services.”

and sadly I know loads of folks who don’t realize the amount of money they put into the system is very nearly equal to that which they take out, and that the economy would expand by bringing these folks to the table….legally by comprehensive immigration reform.

Moving target

May 11th, 2011
9:23 am

Don’t Tread @ 9:19 – you’d prefer the border agents bring the illegals back to the US and incarcerate them? That costs money, as would the hearing to proceed with deportation.

I’m not disagreeing with you, just pointing out again a huge part of the discussion that no one seems to want to address.

Manchurian-Kenyan Candidate

May 11th, 2011
9:25 am

Granny: “and sadly I know loads of folks who don’t realize the amount of money they put into the system is very nearly equal to that which they take out”

….in Granny’s case, the money she put in is WAAAAAAYYYYYY less than what she takes out…..no wonder she’s all for illegals being here….GUILT is a horrible thing

Greg

May 11th, 2011
9:26 am

The only reason a business would want to keep an illegal workforce is to pay them less and keep more money.

That is slave labor, which is illegal too.

But I guess as long as it serves the pockets of the business owner in Georgia then by god we should just throw the rules out.

Give me a break.

Peadawg

May 11th, 2011
9:27 am

“Except for the fact that children born here are not here illegally.” – Thanks Mr. Obvious. I’m talking about those who have crossed the border and ARE here illegally. Who said anything about children?Now YOU’RE the one not making sense.

Anchor babies are another argument for another day.

Irwin M. Fletcher

May 11th, 2011
9:27 am

Cynthia and Granny do have a point, The kids are here legally. So my suggestion is to let the kids stay and send the parents back. Afterall, the parents did have 18 + years to becaome legal citizens while the kids were in school and chose not too. If the argument is that it wouldn’t be right to seperate the family, then the kids are welcome to join their folks on their journey back to the homeland. If they choose to stay, then they follow the rules like everyone else.

Cobb Woman of Color

May 11th, 2011
9:28 am

@Greg, 9:18 am post

Great post! Thank you!

Tommy

May 11th, 2011
9:28 am

Why is it always a color of your skin problem? I worked in a factory where over half of the people were illegal immigrants and I assumed they were depriving black and white people from jobs. Had the liberal party people like yourself rather your own race sit at home and draw welfare?

What race is filling up the schools right now to a point that teachers are being laid off? The Hispanics and how many are illegal immigrants? This directly affects the education of your on race which I assume you care nothing about. Since you had rather see the over crowding of the schools by non taxpaying illegal immigrants.

Thirdly, why would a government that is 14 trillion dollars in debt and is lead by a president that has a proven track record of the most liberal, socialist thinking, free spending of all time. Not want to clamp down on the rate the illegal immigrants are taxing our way of life. What is wrong about asking people to do something the right way? Does it not bother you as a person when someone steals from your house? If you are for illegal immigration why do you lock your doors at night? What are you afraid off? Might someone sneak in and disturb your way of life, Cynthia? What is the difference in your house and America?

Tired of BS

May 11th, 2011
9:30 am

I call BS on this issue CT.