U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor is correct in his assertion that the DREAM Act only addresses part of the problem and broader, sensible reforms are needed if we really want to do something about immigration.
The problem with the GOP platform is that it endorses states’ efforts to make laws that conflict with the federal responsibility. The U.S.
Supreme Court just said that such laws are not allowed. The GOP platform calls for mandatory national use of unreliable E-Verify and S.A.V.E. systems. It also buys into many false premises; such as all undocumented immigrants being eligible for federal and state benefits — they’re not. Finally, it calls for national adoption of the 287 g immigration enforcement program when the Secure Communities program has proven the better law enforcement tool as demonstrated by the highest arrest and deportation rates in history.
The problem with the Democratic platform is that it calls for all undocumented people to be given a path to “citizenship,” which is a total non-starter in the real world. If it would have used the phrase “legal status,” it might have had something. It also buys into the false premise that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes, learn English or want to get right with the law — they do.
Compared to where we were four years ago, we’ve made great progress.
Both platforms call for guest worker programs. Both call for visa reforms. Both recognize that businesses need legal avenues for hiring foreign workers and both recognize that Congress is the choke point, with the Democrats rightly calling out the Republicans for being the roadblock, because they are.
Change is in the wind. Russell Pearce lost twice. States around the country have rejected laws like SB1070 because they don’t work, won’t work, haven’t worked and because they cause more damage than good. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected three quarters of SB1070 and that last quarter will be shown the door eventually either by the courts or federal reform.
Yes, we realize some politicians can’t accept those realities, but maybe the new Congress and Legislature will be more willing to listen to the facts over the hype and do something right for a change. Let’s hope they do.
— Todd Landfried is executive director of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform