REFLECTIONS

Posted on December 11, 2011

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PRESIDENT ORDERS IMMIGRATION REFORM

The Department of Homeland Security is moving forward with plans to prioritize deportations so the most dangerous illegal immigrants are first in line to be booted out of the country, and more have been deported during the past three years than in prior times.

We hope it succeeds and becomes law around the country so immigration court caseloads are reduced, and a more practical deportation philosophy comes o be the new normal in this country. There are over 300,000 cases in our nation’s immigration courts.

Our dysfunctional Congress does need to address comprehensive immigration reform. But because of a void created by no action by Congress in this federal matter, states have took it upon themselves to regulate illegal immigrants.

What has resulted is  extreme and unjust laws such as Alabama’s HB 56 and Arizona’s SB 1070. We are witnessing an unprecedented criminalization of immigrants while real solutions that address the underlying economic factors that leave people with little choice for survival but to immigrate are largely ignored.

In Alabama the president of Honda and the president of Mercedes Benz companies were arrested while visiting their plants in this country. This is wrong, and may cost jobs in Alabama. The federal government has stepped in to legally exercise its authority to govern immigration in this country.

Immigration reform must include full respect of human rights, prioritize family reunification, develop a clear path to permanent residence, and create humane economic policies.

Those whom the federal government has least interest in include the law-abiding elderly, children who have been in the U.S. for more than five years, young people pursuing a college degree who came here before they were 16, and those who are victims of domestic violence.

The idea is to move  faster on deporting convicted criminals and those who pose national security risks.

Weeding out low-priority immigration cases is a necessary step on the road to sensible immigration reform.

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