Bruce Bialosky

Many people are very optimistic regarding the possibility of a comprehensive immigration bill passing through Congress and being signed by the President. The prospects are good, but there are many stumbling blocks ahead. If we heed a couple of simple principles, we will be able to revamp a broken system that does not serve the American people.

There are many challenges that have developed in the 27 years since we last passed a comprehensive law to deal with immigration. We have an almost nonexistent ability to track people who come here on restricted visas and do not comply with the terms of those visas. Too many people of all ethnicities overstay their welcome. How we choose who gets legal immigration needs to be revamped. Too many people coming here become wards of the state. People bellow that these immigrants do not receive government benefits, but they do. When the federal government is awarding states bonuses for handing out food stamps (SNAP -- or as it is gently called in California – Cal Fresh), strict enforcement is not in the cards.

The entire matter hinges on two issues and this has not changed for a decade of more: what are we doing about border enforcement and what are we going to do about the millions of people already here illegally? If we cannot come to a reasonable agreement on these two issues, then there will be no immigration reform.

Let us start by debunking a consistent mantra among the left-wing press. They often say conservatives don’t want immigration reform. Where they come up with this garbage is beyond me, but we suspect that what they mean is conservatives do not want immigration reform as written by the left-wing of the Democratic Party; thus they don’t really want immigration reform. That could not be further from the truth. Just about everyone realizes we have a system that needs significant revamping.

We will have no new law without effective new border security. It is clear that nothing has changed on this major point. The main problem comes from the southern border. We need to do a lot more than we are doing now no matter what rhetoric comes from the Obama Administration and its allies. The decision cannot and will not be in the hands of Homeland Security. Whether it is Janet Napolitano or her successor, they should not have final say. This is a Congressional law and should have Congressional oversight and approval.

Bruce Bialosky

Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. Follow him on Twitter @brucebialosky or contact him at