Immigration Reform

IMMIGRATION REFORM: While immigration reform is a hot topic in the Presidential campaigns, there is not much action taking place in Congress. There are multiple bills addressing small piecemeal parts of what should be a comprehensive package and most of those deal with issues such as cutting Federal funding for “Sanctuary Cities” and nothing that will actually help the immigrants or the employers needing labor.

Border Security is the “go to” response from Congressional leaders when it comes to reasons to not address immigration reform. The stock statement is “we cannot address immigration reform until the border is secure.”

We have heard Congressional leaders and members of our own Congressional delegation use that statement.

So what has been done to address border security? Quite a bit actually. These are from a Department of Homeland Security report on border security over the last 14 years:

Number of Border Agents: 8,619 18,127
Primary Fence 57.9 miles 352.7 miles
Secondary Fence 10.3 miles 36.3 miles
Vehicle Fence 10 miles 299 miles
Total Fence 77 miles 700 miles
Border lighting systems 29 70
Underground Sensors none 11,863
Aircraft 56 107
Drones 0 8 systems
Mobile video 1 unit 40 units
Remote video 140 units 273 units

There is not much left to do to protect the southern border. One area of border security that has not been addressed as of yet and that would do the most good is a working guest worker program. One that provides a quantity of workers that meets the demand.

This would provide answers on two fronts: providing a much needed labor force and removing an incentive to enter the country illegally.

It’s time for Congress to set aside the partisan politics on this issue and fix it.

by: Brent Olmstead

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