In a short Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday, President Trump made his case for the need for a permanent solution to the serious problems on our southern border. He was and is willing to allow a partial government shutdown to occur in order to avoid kicking the can down the road for, judging from past experience, forever.
Trump stayed in Washington over the holidays, except for a brief trip to visit our troops in Iraq, to work out a compromise with Democrats, while their leaders vacationed elsewhere. The Dems sudden concern for all those government workers who are furloughed and many who will not be paid on time rings hollow.
Real leaders work out solutions to problems. Political hacks opine. And let’s face it, there are plenty of political hacks on both sides of the aisle.
Both sides claim they believe in border security, so it’s time to put up or shut up.
Trump and border agents say they need a barrier. Democrats say they want more technology. The only reasonable solution is to use both. Sure it will be expensive. Make no mistake, Congress could pay for these things many times over if it would stop funding every unnecessary expense, but politicians like to spend money, and that’s not going to happen.
Nevertheless, using all available methods to stop the flow of people and drugs on our southern border will be a lot cheaper than what we have now. The cost of illegal immigration is $116 billion annually. To put that another way, this is over $8,000 per taxpayer, and that doesn’t include the effects of depressed wages on American workers or the tragic personal costs associated with drugs and other crime.
Of course most of the direct costs to the government are simply added to the nation’s credit card, so what’s the big deal about spending the money to pay the costs of securing the border now? Put all reasonable solutions: walls, barriers, technology, personnel (border patrol, judges, etc.), holding facilities and supplies on the table and fully fund them now!
As part of the package, reform the law that requires illegal aliens with children and unaccompanied minors to be released after 21 days. This encourages those intent on breaking into the country to put their children or those they have kidnapped in harm’s way. We must put a stop to this cruel form of child abuse! Catch and release is a problem not a solution.
What should not be on this table: other immigration related issues!
Last year, President Trump offered what most considered a reasonable compromise that would have gone a long way toward solving much of our immigration problem: a fully funded wall, an end to the visa lottery and chain migration in exchange for legalization of all of the so-called “dreamers,” those who were brought here as children – even those who did not bother to register under the DACA program. Congress would not accept it.
While I and many Americans would like to see all of the aforementioned things addressed, many take issue with one or more, so leave these other issues out of this solution. Simply solve the problems on our southern border now, and then reopen the government. It’s not rocket science. Any representative, Democrat or Republican, who refuses to do that should be throw out of office at the earliest opportunity, no ifs, ands or buts.
The siren song of “reopen the government and then we’ll negotiate” is reminiscent of the “Peanuts” cartoon of Lucy taunting Charlie Brown with the football.
Anyone who does not see a crisis at our southern border is either ignorant or simply not serious.
Our whole immigration system needs an overhaul, but the issues, including the three Trump previously tried to address, are complex and deserve careful consideration. Personally, I would put birthright citizenship and the H-1B visa at the top of my list. However, to be fair, these important issues should be addressed one by one, not traded like stocks or real estate. I’ll give you Boardwalk if you give me Pacific Avenue and all the railroads.
Refusing to negotiate and simply playing the game of who blinks first is not fair to the American people. So is the game of kicking the can down the road for another century.
While it is easier to blame one person, in this case the president, than all the others who are standing in the way of a real solution, Trump is doing his best to end this problem and defend this country. Like him or not, he deserves our full support on this issue now.