The Greenville Daily Reflector reprinted an editorial this morning  that first ran in a town with a lot of up-close-and-personal experience in the nation’s ongoing immigration crisis on the southern border. According to the editors of the Corpus Christi Times:
To hear Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi tell it, Congress is willing help solve the immigration crisis if only President Barack Obama would “get off the belief that we have to do comprehensive immigration reform.”
This resistance to comprehensive reform, rampant throughout Congress, puzzles us because all the signs point to comprehensive reform as being urgent.
Consider that 52,000 undocumented immigrant children are known to have crossed the southern border unaccompanied so far this year as of mid-June, fleeing violence and poverty in their homelands. The trend is expected to continue.
There are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country, 1.7 million of whom are what’s known as DREAMers — young people brought here as children, who would be eligible to stay under legislation known as the DREAM Act if only it were to pass. The DREAM Act would be one humanitarian step in the direction of comprehensive immigration reform. It offers legal residency to people who can’t be blamed for having come here illegally, in exchange for attaining higher education or serving in the military.
Later, immigrant smugglers spun a myth that children who make it here won’t be sent back — even bloodthirsty criminals need marketing. Obama’s critics blame the market response on his DREAMer policy — as if the lying criminal exploiters of human cargo would need Obama to perpetuate their lie, and as if the increasing violence and poverty of the immigrants’ homelands weren’t motive enough to chance the dangerous trip to our safe, prosperous country.
Well, this is not a marketing pitch: No other president has deported more immigrants. “Obama is a bad president for immigrants,” an immigrant told Mary Lee Grant, writing for the Caller-Times.
The deporter-in-chief asked Congress in a letter last week for help in moving forward with the following:
- “An aggressive deterrence strategy focused on the removal and repatriation of recent border crossers;
- “A sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement, including interdiction and prosecution of criminal networks;
- “A significant increase in immigration judges, reassigning them to adjudicate cases of recent border crossers, and establishing corresponding facilities to expedite the processing of cases involving those who crossed the border in recent weeks;
- “A stepped up effort to work with our Central American partners to repatriate and reintegrate migrants returned to their countries, address the root causes of migration, and communicate the realities of these dangerous journeys.”
Once they’ve gotten the deterrence part done, perhaps Obama can set aside his legacy-building and his critics can set aside their career-building long enough to address comprehensive reform. We keep hearing about the prevailing wisdom that an election year is not a safe time to address immigration reform. Meanwhile, failure to address it becomes increasingly unsafe.