Thursday, June 21, 2012

800,000

Since Pres. Obama announced his executive action to stop deporting children (approx. 800,000) of illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, and allow them work permits, there has been plenty of media discussion.

At first hearing I thought two things: yes, this is a political move to shore up support with Latinos and 2) it sounded OK on its face (albeit somewhat complex.)

How can you be against children (many who are now adults) that ended up here (illegally) through no fault or action of their own and likely have no “home” to go back to in another country?

My 3rd (really my first but I started counting at the wrong place) was: Really? We have plans to deport 800,000 people? I can’t imagine INS having the staff to be able to do that. But then I read that 1.2 million people were deported last year.

So someone has the staff and means to “remove” (Janet Napolitano’s word when discussing this last week) that many people. That’s a lot a taxpayer funded tickets back home too.

I’m not quite ready to take sides on this issue.

But I did read an interview that indicated that allowing these 800,000 to get work permits will only hurt many already un- (or under-) employed lower income folks with whom these “to-be” legal workers will be competing for jobs within an economy of already high (at least 7% or more almost anywhere) rate of unemployment.

All Obama is doing is nibbling around the edges because it is an election year. But this is NOT one of those elephants that you can (or should) eat one bite at a time. If you wonder about this just look at our tax code.

Our elected officials on both sides of the aisle need to step up and develop a comprehensive policy on immigration that takes into account the realities of the 21st century, our world-wide economy and why even with our high unemployment and anything else you might find wrong with our country, for some reason, many people still want to live here – so badly that they will spend thousands of dollars and risk their lives to get here.

I’m also asking myself the clichéd WWJD but that’s going to take a little more time.

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