It would be hard to find a person willing to stand up and defend the current U.S. immigration system. It’s broken, almost beyond repair, and desperately needs replacing. Unfortunately the policymakers in Washington cannot agree on what a replacement should look like meaning – de facto – the status quo (and all that is wrong with it) remains in place for the foreseeable future.
There are some who have chosen to politicize the stalemate, President Barack Obama foremost among them. His insistence that Congress enact a comprehensive package of reforms obscures, even chokes off any meaningful debate about what it is America actually needs. He would prefer the debate be framed around the idea of dealing with those people who are already here, legally as well as illegally, instead of dealing with the critical questions concerning who we want to come to America, who we need to come to America, why people want to come here, and what to do about the people we’d all just as soon stay where they currently are.
Who comes to America, why, and whether or not they leave are just as much questions about national security as they are about economics and citizenship. It may or may not be benign to have people enter the country illegally for the purposes of finding work; it is clear, however, that this is not the only reason people cross both the northern and southern borders without going through proper channels. These include potential terrorists, gun runners, drug kingpins, and sex traffickers accompanied by the men and women with whom they ply their trade. Even though the United States has the capability to develop, implement, and deploy technologies that will catch them, or at least slow them down and reduce the numbers who actually get into the country, policymakers in Washington have chosen not to take the appropriate action that ensures this gets done.
It’s not only neglectful, it places American lives at and economic at risk. We presently don’t have much in place to tell us even when some who come to the United States through legal means do so for the purposes of disappearing into the vast spaces of the country undetected or to even identify bad actors who are plotting dangerous schemes.
The dangers present continue because policy-makers haven’t implemented strategies that could dramatically limit their activities. Not only may they be up to no good, they may be involved in the transit of illegal and illicit goods – illegal drugs, weapons, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, pirated DVDs & CDs, apparel knock offs, and the like they may bring with them or be part of a larger network designed to distribute there wears to unwitting purchasers in the American marketplace.