Dear Mr. President: Hope and change aren’t achieved through symbolic gestures

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

Yesterday, President Obama met with Senate Republicans to lay out a legislative agenda for immigration reform.   While this was a positive step, it’s ridiculous that he caved into fear-based Republican thinking by announcing that he will send 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and request an extra $500 million to secure the Mexican border.

This effort is a symbolic gesture that will neither make the American people safer nor fix the broken immigration system.  Instead, it rewards the obstructionists who are playing on America’s misplaced fears.

The fact is that spending on border security and immigration enforcement are already at their highest levels . Demands for even more immigration enforcement as a pretext for passing comprehensive immigration reform does not make sense.  Violence and crime on the US-Mexico border has been “on the decline” in recent years. And as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said, the border is as “secure now as it has ever been.”

Why waste time, money and resources on securing a border that is already secure?

The best way to secure the border is comprehensive immigration reform.

Comprehensive immigration reform, which would include provisions for border security, would provide a realistic mechanism for future legal immigration and would generate at least $1.5 trillion in cumulative GDP over ten years.  And by creating a more flexible visa system, immigration reform would  likely allow border patrol to focus their resources on actual threats to public safety and national security instead of pursuing those who simply come to the U.S. to work and feed their families.

The President is caving to obstructionist political posturing.  The National Guard won’t make us safer.  Republicans would like us to think so but we know they are only capitalizing on the public’s misguided fear.   Only comprehensive reform will address the immigration issue.

5 responses to “Dear Mr. President: Hope and change aren’t achieved through symbolic gestures

  1. “just come here to work and feed their families”. I’ve got news for you. That’s not all they do.
    They are increasingly found with carloads of drugs. Even the Chinese illegals have been found in California doing illegal activity – not to mention that the Chinese are responsible for a constant barrage of fake goods at the border.

  2. Can you read? Black tar heroin is being sold to Americans for $10 a bag – and it kills them instantly. It’s coming from Mexico.
    Can you read?
    Our border is not safe.

  3. Dennis Chin

    @Lei: Thanks for responding! I’d kindly ask for your comments to be respectful. I am moderating the comments and am finding it harder and harder to approve some of yours because of the tone and the indirect personal attacks. Appreciate your thoughts though! And yes, I can read🙂

    I believe that increased border security will not solve the immigration issue. It’s a solution that isn’t well thought out and is based on non-factual, anecdotal evidence of a border gone wild, which is simply not true . Instead, we need a comprehensive solution that expands economic opportunity, protects all workers, respects human and civil rights, and puts an end to human and drug trafficking through smart, targeted enforcement measures, among many other things.

    Adding more troops and money to the border is a short-sighted, divisive solution that really gets us nowhere. It’s a symbolic gesture and we need more than symbolic gestures. We need real reform!

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