I am a conservative Republican by nature but I disagree with the many of my republican colleagues as it concerns immigration reform. I am one who recognizes that many of us, who call ourselves “American” are descendents of immigrant parents or grandparent. In fact this great country and some of the greatest companies were built in large part o the immigrant population. For example, Henry Ford, a son of an Irish-born father, created the eighth-largest company on the Fortune 500 list. Roughly four of every ten Fortune 500 companies were founded by new immigrants to the United States or their children. (Partnership for a New Economy)
I recognize the need to try to secure our borders but we also need to be realistic, it does not matter how much we spend to seal our borders, they will never be 100% impermeable to those who would wish to enter illegally. Increase border security, I am all for it. But, the problem still exists as to what to do with those who are here. However, for decades, both democrats and republicans have turned a blind eye to illegal immigration, why? Because this country has benefited from the immigrant workforce to deliver, primarily our agricultural needs, at a reasonable price. Immigrants do not take work away from American. They perform work that most of us do not want to do or will not do. This has been evidenced from farmers and ranchers across the nation who have tried to hire local help.
Congress and the Senate need to work together towards immigration reform. It needs to be comprehensive to fix an antiquated immigration system. Congress needs to provide funding for technology and personnel to strengthen border security. It needs to expedite the immigration application process. There is no reason why a family based petition should take 18 years to process. Congress needs to create a program for those who are here illegally to come out of the shadows and register and be given permission to remain and work in this country under certain conditions. The concept that we simply need to deport everyone is moronic and impossible. The government could not even evacuate the city of New Orleans during hurricane Katrina, how can we possibly expect it to find and round up everyone? We can’t and it is not going to happen.
Republicans are often viewed as obstructionist to immigration reform. Republicans would benefit from passage of the Immigration Innovation Act. This act has been in the U.S. Senate for two years. It would expand both high tech visa and green card access. The house should draft its own version of the act and have it pass. Then it would be sent to the Senate, which is currently controlled by the democrats for passage and then sent to the President for signing into law. If they didn’t then it would show which party is really playing politics with immigration. This way, republicans could start changing the debate about immigration and start coming out ahead rather than always on the short end of the stick.
Ken Braun’s article “Republicans Should send to the President a “high skill” immigration reform bill” has been the basis of this article.