The entire subject of people illegally crossing the borders of the United States has been so confused by political demagoguery that it is difficult to find the root problem.
Illegal entry into our country is being confused with immigration. Therefore, a few general comments are in order.
First, one of the basic necessities for any country is to have well established borders. What follows immediately is that these borders, once established, need to be protected. Governments therefore establish laws designed to control the flow of commerce and people across those borders. A wide variety of approaches are used but all countries have and enforce such laws. Legal immigration has always been an important and prominent part of the settling of the United States. In our nation's history, there were only a few haphazard attempts at control until the early 1920's when laws establishing quotas were passed by Congress. Interestingly, in this initial legislation no quotas were established for people from Mexico because of our humanitarian concern for those fleeing the Mexican Revolution.
In the decade between 1944 and 1954 there was a flood of illegal entry into the U.S. from Mexico. During this time, the numbers of those crossing illegally is thought to have surged by 6000 percent. In 1954, this massive influx of illegals prompted a major effort to deport them back to Mexico. Since that time, people have continued to enter our country illegally from all over the globe. This has resulted in an estimated 12 to 20 million illegals in the U.S. today. The entire subject has become a political football with constant charges and countercharges between politicians, and worse, the haphazard enforcement of our immigration laws. This has progressed to the point that in some cities local politicians have passed "sanctuary city" laws that blatantly disregard federal law and protect lawbreakers. The federal government has a constitutional duty to curb this activity and protect our borders.
Today our politicians are totally incapable of addressing this obvious problem in an effective manner. The basic decisions that must be made are:
1. A priority of our federal government is to protect our borders. What should Americans do when this priority is openly ignored?
2. Is it wise for to allow citizens to pick and choose which laws they wish to obey and which they will openly break? Should immigration policy be developed to fit the needs of our all our citizens, or should we consider only the needs of those who come here to escape the policies of their home countries?
3. Is it fair to demand that all legal immigrants closely follow our laws while those who break our laws are allowed to do so without penalty?
4. Mexico openly admits that it depends upon the return of money from illegal immigrants in the U.S. as a major part of its economy. At the same time, Mexico has exceedingly strict immigration laws and aggressively deports illegals. Is this fair and equitable?
5. The services and benefits used by illegals are impossible to accurately quantify, but can we justify providing these to illegal immigrants at the expense of legal citizens?
6. History has proven that rewarding those who have broken our immigration laws by giving them amnesty only encourages such illegal activity by others. Why is amnesty even being considered?
Immigration reform is sorely needed, but first our borders must be secured and laws must be enforced to protect our citizens from social and economic ruin.