Reforming our nation’s immigration policy is among the top-tier issues that needs congressional attention when the next Congress convenes next month.
Having laid down that predicate, I want to declare that I do not have a magic formula to offer on this blog. There, I just made that declaration.
But I want our political leaders — namely the MAGA types and those who want to build walls around the country — to stop demagoguing the issue and demonizing those who seek entry into The Land of Opportunity.
A multi-faceted approach is in order.
We need to streamline the asylum-seeking process. We need to remove the threats to eliminating the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals — aka DACA — program for those who entered the country illegally. We ought to allow DACA recipients who have resided in this country and who want to attend college to pay in-state tuition to our public colleges and universities, something we have tried in Texas.
Donald Trump took office in January 2017 and declared war on illegal immigration and illegal immigrants. I get that our immigration problems have spiraled into crisis. The then-POTUS, though, imposed a ban on any Muslim who wanted to enter the country; he vowed to build a wall along our southern border and make “Mexico pay for it”; we haven’t developed a coherent immigration policy, let alone any meaningful reforms for decades.
President George W. Bush sought immigration reform during his two terms in office. President Barack H. Obama followed him and he, too, pushed for reforming our immigration policy … to no avail. Trump failed as well.
Now it falls on President Joe Biden. He and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas are hearing reckless rhetoric about “impeachment” over the immigration matter.
How about settling down and getting to work on a bipartisan measure that seeks to streamline the process for those seeking asylum while giving the Dreamers reason to hope that the only country they ever have known will welcome them as future citizens?