Immigration problems are not going away soon!

The illegal (that’s the proper word) immigration problem is not going to go away easily, and it’s just one more reason why American voters are angry at the professional politicians who populate the buildings, streets, and alleyways of Washington, DC. It is also why so many are delighted with Donald Trump’s “deport them all” stance.

If you think about it, in my view, it is not the individual immigrant that folks are angry about, it’s the obvious way in which the Congress and our President are ignoring Americans who feel they are losing their country.

I spent more than two decades in California, one of our states where there is a large and vibrant population of Hispanics. Indeed, I have many fond memories of friends of Mexican descent sharing community action alongside me in Jaycees, Lions, Rotary, etc. Unfortunately, these real citizens get swept up in the “politically correct” efforts of politicians. As a result, the average American sees only those who threaten the character of the nation as a whole.

Polls show the economy is the number one concern of Americans, with immigration holding sway somewhere down at number five or six. Still, it’s a hot button issue. So, what’s the problem?

Overreaction!

It’s the judge who rules the high school band cannot play a musical number that is well-known also as a religious hymn. At the next football game, Mississippi fans stood and sang it anyway. We’re actually losing our religious freedom trying to protect it.

It’s the school board that objects to shirts with the United States flag emblazoned on the front, but those of other nationalities are permitted to wear foreign colors. It’s community leaders providing more recognition of foreign national holidays than America’s Fourth of July, as an example, for fear they may insult or make someone “uncomfortable”.

The President’s clear efforts to invite a southern border flood of illigal immigrants into the United States, was, in large part, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Recently, hundreds of immigrants have actually been brought here and relocated across America at a cost hidden from public view. American taxpayers paid the bill. It is this kind of wholesale ignoring of law and fairness that infuriates the average voter–work your butt off to make ends meet, and someone from another country gets a free ride is the way many see the situation.

Frankly, (this may get me into difficulty) folks are usually suspicious of someone who looks differently and speaks another primary language. In today’s crush of humanity, coupled with acts of terrorism in the news, if you cannot understand what someone is whispering to another, there is bound to be misunderstanding. Then there are those, particularly in the Muslim community, who would attempt to force their way of life on America, and object to resistance. If that is the case, perhaps they should not have come to America in the first place.

Donald Trump’s plan for a wholesale deportation, while exciting, cannot work, if only for the reason there aren’t enough officers to corral all the illegals. I remember in World War Two, Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced into camps. I have friends who suffered that indignity at the hands of this nation for no real reason other than fear–and we were all afraid back then. Fear leads to mistrust and rash actions. In that case, though, the majority were citizens.

Immigrants need to work at being Americans, too. It is not a one-way street. Learn English, fly Old Glory, celebrate our national American heritage alongside everyone else; assimilate into society as good neighbors and friends. That is something one cannot do if here illegally. I do agree: “Come here correctly, or not at all”. The Italians did it. The Irish did it. So very many more, too. The Fourteenth Amendment was written to benefit the children of slaves following the Civil War, not to undertake a wholesale disposal of the American landscape. The Supreme Court may have to decide.

It seems to me the current immigration problem has to be handled in steps. First, close the border, check passports, make it more difficult to drive over the bridge into the US for a time; use technology to find tunnels and drug runs. Second, build the damned fence!. Third, rather than an automatic path to citizenship for illegals, begin a carefully planned, reinforced, issuing of “Green Cards”. Every other legal immigrant goes to class and passes a test to become a citizen. It seems to me that is the minimum to be expected. If we do this, perhaps we’ll actually learn some of those who are here illegally, also finding those who are bad actors in the bargain. Fourth, revamp immigration laws based on common sense. Just remember, this country cannot absorb everyone who wants to come here.

Now, I’m just an old Hoosier, so what do I know? Immigration is so screwed up, there is no perfect answer. — D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee.

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