Both the Republican and Democratic members of Congress are disconnected from the day-to-day reality of what it means to illegally immigrate to the United States, and they are not interested in finding an answer.
Illegal immigration is more than overcrowded schools, hospitals and job markets, and it is more than inequality, injustice and heart-wrenching stories about families torn apart. But these are the issues that keep people glued to TVs and newspapers, so these are the things that media and politicians always talk about.
Both parties would rather focus on the extremes than admit a solution can only be found with a rational approach that evaluates the problem on an individual basis rather than relying on group stereotypes. Democrats love that the Republicans take such a harsh “deport them all” perspective and Republicans love that the Democrats are so lenient that they will sacrifice even the American Flag in the name of equality.
Why? Because it’s just so darn fun to argue about it.
In fact, the last thing the Democrats would ever want the Republicans to do is to propose a solution that preserves the integrity and possibility of the American Dream while minimizing potential abuse of our social systems.
Time Magazine is spotlighting illegal immigration this week and publishing the stories of many illegal immigrants across the country. It is highly political in nature and reads as a leftist effort to speak out against the Arizona Immigration Law and anti-immigration politicians (i.e. Republicans).
But here’s the challenge: ignore the partisan jargon, and read it anyway.
It is important that we are reminded that we are dealing, for the most part, with people who come to this country because they see a better life for themselves. Not thugs and criminals or people who seek to destroy our American traditions. Remember your own great-grandparents, grandparents or maybe even parents who made it possible for you to live in American by immigrating here (albeit legally) once upon a time.
Forget for a moment about the immigrants who refuse to speak English or participate in American culture and focus instead on those who struggle for years to obtain visas and work towards citizenship the right way. Focus on those who spend their nights pouring over English books and those who try to make conversation in the grocery store even though people might turn away at the sound of a strange accent.
There is a way to solve the burden of illegal immigration in a way that respects the integrity of human life. There is a way to provide legal opportunities for immigrants who truly want to come to America because they believe in what America has to offer, and to do so in a manner that reduces free handouts – like Senator Marco Rubio’s Dream Act – while still providing young people who are here illegally a pathway to citizenship.
This is exactly what Democrats do not want Republicans to realize, because a rational approach towards legal immigration and merit based visas are tough to argue against. More importantly, if Republicans begin to loosen Democrats’ stranglehold on the Hispanic vote by focusing on comprehensive immigration reform, Democrats know they’ll know longer have a reliable voting bloc in Hispanic Americans.
The reality of the situation is that our country was founded on the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and it is want make the American Dream so tantalizing. Both political parties need to understand that philosophies that once made America great are slipping away, and, as Sen. Rubio (R-Flor.) correctly predicts, if our nation doesn’t change course soon, the America we know will be gone, and “we are entering a new era where our nation will be less special and less unique.”