Last week, President Obama announced that undocumented
immigrants brought to America as children and who meet certain
qualifications will be eligible to apply for a two-year work permit
and avoid deportation.
Whether you agree with the President's decision or not, the
order has reinvigorated the debate over immigration.
Combined with the Supreme Court's upcoming decision on the
constitutionality of Arizona S. B. 1070, momentum may be building
toward a serious dialogue on comprehensive immigration reform.
I agree we should help innocent, immigrant children who know
America as their only home. They should not be punished for
the sins of their parents.
Regrettably, however, the President's decision does not
secure our borders or discourage employers from hiring undocumented
immigrants, nor deal with VISA over-stayers or with the millions of
undocumented immigrants who entered this country as adults.
For this reason, the President's actions fall far short of
meeting our immigration challenges and instead, may complicate
matters by relieving pressure to find a comprehensive solution.
By choosing now to suspend deportations through executive order,
when he previously announced to a Hispanic audience he had no
authority to do so, the President appears to have made a political
calculation here to win Hispanic votes.
While some may argue there is never a wrong time to do the right
thing, those children deported during the last three years because
of the President's failure to use authority he now claims to
have will undoubtedly argue that the President did indeed choose
the wrong time to do the right thing.
Federal prosecutors have discretion under federal charging
policy in making charging decisions, generally on a case-by-case
basis, depending on circumstances and law enforcement priorities
I agree that precious law enforcement resources should be
allocated first to deal with serious criminal wrongdoing.
However, the President's announcement that the government
will fail to enforce the law for an entire class of individuals
subjects him to criticism that he is ignoring the will of Congress
and violating his oath of office.
Fundamentally, our immigration challenges are much too
complicated to be addressed effectively through a temporary
executive action that can be reversed by the next President or
These issues require the combined wisdom of the White House and
the Congress. I support a more comprehensive approach through
legislation that will uphold the rule of law and complement our
national security and economic policies.
How the President's announcement will influence the Hispanic
vote in this fall's election will depend on Gov.Romney's
response. Many Hispanics who are law-and-order believers and
who favor a more secure border are sympathetic to the plight of
these innocent children.
Many will applaud the President's actions to help these
children because of Congress's failure to act.
I understand the Governor's hesitation to decline to say
whether, if elected President, he would overturn President
Obama's order since it may appear he, too, is responding to
If, however, in saying the presidential order will be overtaken
by events, the Governor means that he supports and will fight for
comprehensive immigration reform if elected, then he should say so
There is division in the Republican Party over these issues and
this is an opportunity for the governor to exercise leadership,
guiding the Party to an understanding of the need for comprehensive
As a conservative and a Hispanic, and like President Ronald Reagan,
I have come to terms with the realization that we must all
Not everyone will get everything they want if we are to achieve
an immigration policy that is effective and consistent with our
values. President George W. Bush tried to find a solution.
The time is right to try again to find common ground.
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On March 8, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, bearing an edition date of March 8, 2013, for immediate use by employers.
A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators has introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, an 844-page bill that aims to bolster border security and seeks to provide some of the nation's 11 million undocumented people with a path to citizenship.