The to the Editor / The immigration dilemma

By Roger C. Kostmayer

Key West

Eighty percent of the American people and Democratic and Republican leaders, all want a comprehensive overhaul of our tragically broken immigration system. Last year 68 Senators, from both parties, voted for just that. The issue is now in the House where a bipartisan majority would, if given the opportunity, vote for the Senate Bill and send it to the President for his signature.


The problem is that Leader Boehner refuses to allow a straight up vote because his party is so deeply divided. This means a legislative solution is hung up, perhaps fatally, because Republicans can’t agree among themselves about what “border security” means, or whether the law they pass will be enforced.


The internal party rift is between rabid anti-Obama Tea Partyers and the facts. The truth is the current administration has done more, has put more border patrol boots on the ground, and (to the dismay of many) and has deported more immigrants than any Republican President in history.


The questions now are: Will the House Republicans pass something they could claim is immigration reform because it would help them politically?; and, if so, should the Democrats hold their noses and support a Republican Bill on the theory that no matter how inadequate, it would be better than nothing? For example, a House Bill might help young “dreamers” stay in the US, but also create a permanent non-citizen class, like apartheid.


The answer to the first question is maybe. The answer to the second should be based on principle. If a House Bill doesn’t provide equality or a path to citizenship, it should not be acceptable to most Americans, Hispanics, Democrats and moderates, or to the President. If that turns out to be the case, the flawed Bill should be rejected and the fight for immigration justice must continue – especially at the polls.



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