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

you r the problem

May 11th, 2011
11:15 am

kayak – you r in the wrong place if you r looking for civil , meaningful debate. Look no further than CT’s headline to see how high the crap is being stacked, sorry. There is a world of other blogs that have what u r looking for, this is a playground for the ticked off and mentally challeneged

you r the problem

May 11th, 2011
11:16 am

you r the problem

May 11th, 2011
11:16 am

you r the problem

May 11th, 2011
11:17 am

you r the problem

May 11th, 2011
11:17 am

Del,

May 11th, 2011
11:18 am

Border is secure? Cynthia must be living in LA LA land.

Not Blind

May 11th, 2011
11:19 am

If Mexicans are so good for America why is Mexico such a dump ? Mexico should be utilizing their #1 asset IN MEXICO, not in America. What’s their #1 asset ? Their hard working citizens. But what Mexico choses to do is send them to the USA where they damage our country in countless ways while sending large sums of money back to Mexico. This way Mexico doesn’t have to provide social services for these citizens while at the same time benefitting from their labors. The provider of the social services is the American taxpayer.

Mexicans need to be working towards a better Mexico. If we eliminated the Mexican illegal alien problem then the numbers of illegal aliens from other countries would be so small that we could easily deal with them through deportation.

Lou

May 11th, 2011
11:25 am

If the border is secure, why are there still a bunch of illegals out in front of Home Depot?

Too Funny

May 11th, 2011
11:27 am

Seems to me that all the coments I am reading here are one of two things – complaints that people sneaking into this country illegally, having kids, and then demanding to be citizens when they have not gone through the process that countless others have – and two – people for letting them stay, whose only arguement is to belittle others and act superior for some strange reason.

/Going to get some popcorn, brb.

Joe

May 11th, 2011
11:35 am

Obama is doing a great job controlling our border. As long as he keeps pushing policies that stifle the economy no one wants to come here to work because there are no jobs. See Cindy.. I do give him credit where credit is due…..

Halftrack

May 11th, 2011
11:37 am

CT; Your article only has half-truths in it. The border is not secure. If it were why have we had to put up signs saying you are entering a dangerous territory in the U.S. side of the border and why have drug cartels seem to be taking over U.S. ranches that are on the border? Why are there not as many Americans of Color working in the Construction industry today? Why does our President diss so many of our own citizens saying that we want moats, and alligators on the border. If the President would get serious about the border, and do his Constitutional duty of securing it, and offer leadership that would protect all Americans, immigration reform could & would soon follow. Most Americans know that the President has only empty words and that he speaks with a forked tongue to enhance his selfish political ends.

o-me

May 11th, 2011
11:50 am

don’t have to wonder why you don’t have a spouse do we sport?

WOODSTOCK MIKE

May 11th, 2011
11:54 am

@Cynthia Tucker

It’s very typical of your journalism to tell only half the story. How about an article on how you feel regarding the assassination of Osama Bin Laden? What is your position on that? Are you okay with our military crossing the borders of another country to assassinate someone in cold blood? My position is that we were well within our rights to assassinate Bin Laden but I’m interested in your beliefs. Do you give Obama another pass? Funny how your last article was about Obama not being like “John Wayne”. Seems like sending a team of seals across another countries borders to kill someone is exactly “John Wayne”!!

In other words Cynthia, you are a hypocrite and your journalism is more like left wing entertainment.

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
11:56 am

How about an article on…

How about you go to blogspot.com and start your own blog if you want to address a particular issue, sport?

MoreRightthanLeft

May 11th, 2011
11:58 am

CT- always the blame game …never solutions and common sense from you or your liberal cronies

WOODSTOCK MIKE

May 11th, 2011
12:01 pm

@Kamchak

Do you have opinions or are you just here to argue? You are weak. If we ever met in real life instead of “virtual” life I would break you very easily. Have a nice day.

PS – No need to reply

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
12:03 pm

If we ever met in real life instead of “virtual” life I would break you very easily.

Did you also stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night?
Date Morgan Fairchild?
Write letters to Penthouse forum?

David Granger

May 11th, 2011
12:08 pm

Cynthia, you’re right that we need some type of immigration reform. But if you think the border is even close to being “secure”, you’re about as smart as biscuit dough.
I realize that some form of amnesty needs to happen…but we’ve tried that once, and all it did was encourage many more people to sneak here illegally. And before I support trying it again, the government is going to HAVE to prove that it is serious about controlling the border. Stop immigration completely (or as completely as possible) for two years, and then I’ll support an amnesty program for the thirteen million people here illegally. (And a “virtual fence” is a damn joke.) And we also need to make it a FELONY to knowingly hire an illegal. Show a few employers being given a “perp walk” in chains, and it’ll go a long way toward stopping illegal immigration. (But for some reason, both the Democrats and Republicans bitterly oppose that…)

Tundra Dude

May 11th, 2011
12:16 pm

Border is Secure…??

Well, not 100%. Down in South Texas there’s at least two (planned ) gaps in the Great Fence..
If you know any coyotes, here’s 2 gaps:
The River Bend Resort and the Sharyland Plantation, a 6000-acre spread owned by the Hunt bros, (Bushs’ Oil buddies)
happy smuggling

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
12:17 pm

Al

May 11th, 2011
12:20 pm

Well, MS. Tucker is always pro tan and dark. I find it interesting she seems to think because illegals have “mastered chemistry etc they still won’t find themselves in demand.” She then goes on to say “that is just crazy.” NO it is not crazy, she is missing the whole point, they are ILLEGAL. Tell me how can the economy be helped by these illegals when they inundate the ER rooms at taxpayer expense, yes I too believe they have set us on a course of decline and will continue to do so, they shouldn’t even be able to get an education here in the US when they are illegal. What happened to following protocols, those days seem to be gone, now it is anything goes, not for those of us that pay our way I assure you, let me be late with my bills but then there are those who get and those who expect.

Gator Joe

May 11th, 2011
12:22 pm

Cynthia,
If these bigots and hypcorites (some fall into both categories) were living outside the US in abject poverty, they and their families would enter this country by any means possible.
Their anscestors, white Eurpoeans, were the original undocumented aliens.

Really last word

May 11th, 2011
12:34 pm

Obama has NEVER stopped campaigning . . he came to the presidency campaigning and has never stopped! And because he has been in continuous campaign mode, he has been and continues to be divisive. He has done nothing but run the Republicans/conservatives down EVERY opportunity he gets (as though he is campaigning); some one needs to tell the man he WON the presidency so he can start being the President of the UNITED States and it isn’t necessary to continue campaigning! The border is not secure and people like Cynthia Tucker and President Obama can spin it anyway they want and the unintelligent people who are gaga over them will believe anything they say . . . I guess all the drugs and guns that pass over the border as well as the continuing flow of illegals is just our imagination!

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
12:34 pm

“If we ever met in real life instead of “virtual” life I would break you very easily”

Ah testosterone….

Pretty funny stuff

andygrdzki

May 11th, 2011
12:39 pm

We should increase Georgia income tax by 4% to cover the cost of the illegal immigrants.

Let’s show the rest of the country that Georgia support’s illegal immigrants.. Who will sign the petition?

Let’s make the 4% increase happen…….

Lil' Barry Bailout

May 11th, 2011
12:40 pm

Border is secure, but Congress won’t pass immigration reform
6:53 am May 11, 2011, by ctucker
———

If the border is secure, why do we need immigration reform?

I think CT is inadvertently admitting that her Idiot Messiah hasn’t done his job.

Independent

May 11th, 2011
12:40 pm

WHAT PART OF HIRING ILLEGAL ALIENS IS ILLEGAL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?

Hey, I like that!

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
12:41 pm

Ah testosterone….

Pretty funny stuff

I’d guess that estrogen has it’s drawbacks also, but what would we be without those two hormones?

BeeJay

May 11th, 2011
12:41 pm

The border is secure? Where the heck have you been?

You’re right, I am prejudiced. I am prejudiced against lawbreakers who get away with it. Not only get away with breaking the law, but manage to reap a handful of “government” handouts while they’re at it and “force” us all to kowtow to their agenda, their unwillingness to learn the language of their adopted (so to speak) country, their unwillingness to assimilate AT ALL except to get on the government dole, which for some reason they EXPECT (?????????). I remind you, Ms Tucker, again and again and as often as necessary, that the government handouts come from MY pocket. The government is not some nebulous fairy godmother sitting in an ivory tower cranking out money and tossing it around willy nilly. Well, maybe they are. But I am the one paying for it. I thought you were, too. But perhaps not.

You and all other ILLEGAL immigrant, lawbreaking aliens sympathizers make me sick. At what point do we hold lawbreakers accountable and at what point do we let them go? Idiots like you just cannot get through your thick skull the concept of breaking the law. That one FACT alone is bad enough. But then to PAY them for it?????? You are loony, lady.

Really last word

May 11th, 2011
12:42 pm

Gator Joe May 11th, 2011 12:22 pm — the “white” Europeans came in a totally different era. They came and contributed to building a “new” country. I don’t know for a fact, but I feel confident that they didn’t go the emergency rooms taking advantage of taxpayers, and mooching off of every government handout like the illegals do today! The didn’t walk across a border . . . most sailed across the ocean with little or nothing. They didn’t bring drugs and guns, etc. If you don’t want the country to be like it was back then . . . stop referring to the early immigrants who settled a country when there was little here to begin with. Surely you learned early on that you cannot compare an apple with an orange just because they are both a fruit! Two different situations . . two different eras!

mucho macho mexican mafia

May 11th, 2011
12:43 pm

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

retiredds

May 11th, 2011
12:45 pm

The Republicans won’t pass meaningful immigration legislation simply because it is such a polarizing issue, and they want to keep it that way until the 2012 elections.

immigration czar

May 11th, 2011
12:46 pm

Simple solution:

Make Mexico the 58th state.

willydoit?

May 11th, 2011
12:47 pm

Why don’t we just make Mexico a state? Just think of all the jobs that will be created rebuilding (or actually building) an infrastructure.
1000’s of police jobs just to clean up the drug lords and gangs.
All that beach front property located on the Gulf and the Pacific would be prime real estate.
And to top it off…a smaller border to guard at the bottom of Mexico.

granny godzilla

May 11th, 2011
12:47 pm

Kamchack

Drawbacks? Sure.

Who cares about an occasional chin hair, when you could beat your chest, scratch your package and behave like an ape.

Moderate Line

May 11th, 2011
12:50 pm

The nation’s immigration policy is irrational — warped by nativism, finger-pointing and political cowardice.

It’s based on deep-seated prejudices stoked by a faltering economy and an increasingly diverse population.

While Congress panders to the xenophobic impulses of frightened voters, the country is squandering some of its best and brightest.
++++++
I often find when people call me names I change my mind.

It is interesting to hear all these arguments about how immigrants help our economy. The unemployment rate for Hispanics Americans is 2.8%(11.8% total) higher than the unemployment rate for the US (9%). Why would encourage a group of people citizens which are more likely to be uneployed than the average citizen. The educational argument is interesting because in general Hispanics do not go to college at the same rates as non-Hispanics. The average is 29.5% while Hispanics are at 13.2%. These is even worse when you considered the Puerto Rican and Cuban educational rate of 16.5% and 27.9.

What is interesting is Mexico’s Total fertility rate is 2.29 which means that if we are relying on immigrants from Mexico we could be in trouble. Mexico’s population growth ranks 105th.

Also, Mexico’s economy has moved from 25% GDP per Capita of the United States to 29% in just 10 years. Eventually, the attraction of Mexican immigrants to the United States will be limited.

Cynthia's Song

May 11th, 2011
12:53 pm

“…this is a blog for the ticked off and mentally challenged.”

So which one R U?

moron

Union

May 11th, 2011
12:54 pm

Kamchak
May 11th, 2011
12:17 pm

“Funny that you would use that particular phrase, “perp walk” as our hostess did in this 2007 op-ed piece: ”

even funnier you would remember that? sport..

willydoit?

May 11th, 2011
12:57 pm

Why didn’t we just give Mexico to the Jews after World War II? Its seems apparent to me that the Mexicans don’t want it!

Moderate Line

May 11th, 2011
1:05 pm

The United States ranks 23rd in the world in net migrants rate. It seems ironic to hear words like prejudice and xenophobic when looking at such statistics. Also, many of the countries ahead of us are small countries like Liechtenstein, Singapore, Aruba, Sint Maarten, Cayman Islands. Among relative populated countries only Italy, Canada and Australia rank ahead of us. If you multiply our migration rate times the number of people we have it even seems more impressive.

I guess for some it is never enough. I

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
1:09 pm

even funnier you would remember that? sport..

Not that funny at all.

It was the first piece that I had read that spelled out exactly what I wanted to say on this particular subject.

I have been in the construction industry for thirty years, and I saw first hand what St. Ronnie-of-the-RayGun’s 1986 amnesty wrought.

For 23 years you silly cons stood mute on this particular issue.

But for some reason, in the last couple of years, you silly cons had your “come to Jesus” moment.

And now what I hear is “let’s round ‘em up and ship ‘em back.”

What I don’t hear is–how much, on a per head basis—are you silly cons willing to spend on this issue that you have ignored for 23 years.

Get Real

May 11th, 2011
1:09 pm

The border is not secure Tucker….quit reading your own talking points

Go live on the border for a while and you might get a better perspective. I choose to listen to the folks actually on the ground, not liberal nimrods in DC and elsewhere…

Union

May 11th, 2011
1:26 pm

Kamchak
May 11th, 2011
1:09 pm

“It was the first piece that I had read that spelled out exactly what I wanted to say on this particular subject.”

we know that ct speaks for you.. that whole “nanny” mentality that libs have.. hard to stand on your own..

“What I don’t hear is–how much, on a per head basis—are you silly cons willing to spend on this issue that you have ignored for 23 years.”

you know what that say about assuming? as far as expenditure and costs.. ask your friends on the west coast.. used to be the cool thing for the cool kids to say.. “let them stay” now that the costs of illegals in ca are being realized in the billions of dollars.. per year.. and they dont have the money, its not so cool anymore.. sport

Kamchak

May 11th, 2011
1:30 pm

you know what that say about assuming?

I never assumed that you would answer my query about how much you are willing to spend—on a per head basis—to round ‘em up and ship ‘em back.

Thanks for proving my point.

Union

May 11th, 2011
1:34 pm

as much as it takes.. sport.. as much as it takes..

Tommy Maddox

May 11th, 2011
1:39 pm

The border is secure? Really?

Maybe all those decapitated folks just on the other side are scaring away the illegals.

Jack

May 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

The illegal children may not be criminals, but after paying my fair share of taxes, there’s not enough money left to educate them and provide health care for them. I think that should be taken care of by those that want the children legitimized.

Billybob, aka 'tucker translator'

May 11th, 2011
2:12 pm

“All you illegal people hear me now!
We neeeeeeeeeeed illegal citizen people to fill all of the millions of jobs that obama is destroying, not creating, right now and how MEAN are the republicans to think illegal aliens(like yourselves) shouldn’t fill them? The Republicans are racists! Believe me when I say that hussein will help you now, even though hussein showed political cowardice by not doing anything to help you people even though his party had enough votes to do ASBOLUTELY EVERYTHING they wanted. He will help you now, even that he knows nothing can be done! Also, since he got away with what amounts to bribery during the passage of gov’t run healthcare, he is willing to do that again with the dream act if you vote for him. Please yell and scream in front of some cameras in the future so we can continue the lib false narrative that all republicans are racists!!! Adios!
Thank you, Tucker

Billybob out……

you r the problem

May 11th, 2011
2:15 pm

Kam – you continue to amaze us with your skillful use of links, typo fixing, smiley face imodicons, italics, but how do you come up with CT quotes from years past. You must have a huge file of your goddess’s preachings which you spew your love for her all over, do you do anything besides troll this blog, picking a fight with anyone who’ll listen?

Your politics are as bunk and pathetic as your existance, now kam-check my typos little biotch

kayaker 71

May 11th, 2011
2:26 pm

CT,

Didn’t think you would let it be posted. There’s just something about honesty that always seems to escape you, especially when the truth really hurts. Posting rapper “songs” that thugs write and then get invited to the WH to perform, speeches made by Black Panther thugs about killing white people which you would like to forget…… fair and balanced? Not on your life. Look up some of this idiot’s song lyrics, CT then tell me that inviting him to perform at the WH was a good decision.