Congresswomen who chastise our border control people for the horrendously crowded and inadequate housing of would-be immigrants need to be called out. Congress is responsible for this mess! For months, Congress turned a deaf ear to cries from the border for help in dealing with the overwhelming numbers. Funds to include it in earlier appropriations for disaster relief were later removed. Democrats don’t want any money to go to a wall; Republicans want control of the border. Finally, the urgency of the humanitarian crisis caused them to approve some aid.
For many years, we have needed comprehensive reform of our immigration system, including asylum laws. Despite bipartisan work, Congress can never reach agreement. Nancy Pelosi refuses to let current proposals (including one by Texas Congressman Will Hurd) come to the floor. Why? This is a problem President Trump pledged to solve, so she has an incentive to not allow him a victory. It is better for her to keep immigration a mess — as a political weapon — than help solve it. This attitude of valuing success in elections above all else — including the well-being of the country — threatens the survival of our country.
A variety of motives underlies our approach to immigration. My Christian Democratic friends are moved by compassion for hurting people fleeing violence and poverty in their own countries. Some even say, “Let them all come in.” Republicans are compassionate, too, but more likely to ask, “How are we going to manage this? How are we going to afford this?”
But other, less-Christian motives are behind this controversy: politicians greedy for power and perks, people greedy for all they can get.Immigrants are more likely to vote Democratic because they know which party hands out the goodies. Look at what Democratic candidates are now proposing: Medicare for all, free college educations, forgiveness of student debt.Some even favor providing basic income to those not working. I don’t hear much mention of the astronomical additions to our national debt needed to provide such things.
The voting issue is involved in the current fight over whether our census should ask if one is a citizen. Democrats say everyone should be included. Chuck Schumer condemns discrimination against Hispanics. Which Hispanics? Those who are citizens shouldn’t mind participating. A problem may exist with those given green cards and driver’s licenses as workers or visitors who are here legally but are not citizens. Would they feel comfortable participating in the census? The many illegals present most certainly would not. It would be an incomplete count of population without them, and the districts would qualify for fewer representatives in the House.
But are we saying non-citizens deserve representation in Congress? Furthermore, when everyone is recorded in the census with no indication of who is a citizen, the suspicion is that many non-citizens do vote. This is prevented only if states are firm in requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration, something Democrats also oppose. A study by the Department of Political Science of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, estimated that “6.4 percent of all non-citizens voted in the 2008 presidential election,” and results of those votes were significant. Google the study for details.The point is, it is more than compassion that motivates leading Democrats regarding their stand on immigration.
It amazes me that our Supreme Court considered“discrimination against Hispanics” and “protecting minority voting rights” to be key issues. Nothing prevents citizen Hispanics from voting. What about protecting the votes of citizens from being cancelled by votes of non-citizens?
Republicans are not innocent of trying to control elections. I was sorry the Supreme Court did not end the practice of gerrymandering when it had the chance. Both parties draw oddly-shaped districts to win elections by pleasing only one constituency. The practice caters to taking extreme positions rather than a more balanced approach for a wide variety of voters and results in greater polarization of the country. It is fundamentally dishonest.
We see that political warfare distorts the will of the American people. We want to be compassionate to needy people; yet without practical control to process them, the result is a horrendous opposite of what we want. Many not meriting asylum get in the way of families who do. Sheer numbers have bogged down a system unequipped to handle them. Congressmen refuse to do the legislative work needed for a good solution. How can we make clear, “Stop fighting — do your job!”
Verna Benham, who lives in Kerrville, worked for the U.S. Foreign Service, which took her across the globe, including to Argentina, Taiwan and Chile.