A COLUMN DIVIDED: How should the US deal with illegal immigration?
From the Right
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 13:02
Illegal immigration is one of our country’s largest ongoing problems. It’s a problem that grows more and more politically complex as the years roll along — I think because it’s an issue that deals with people’s lives so it becomes incredibly difficult to find a solution. It’s an issue that is commonly looked at in two ways. On one hand, people that come here illegally blatantly break the law of the United States of America and should be punished accordingly. On the other hand, a more compassionate view exists. Most of these immigrants come here to find a better, more prosperous life. They often have relatives who already live here and many have children while so they can’t just be shipped back to where they came from. I tend to have a view that sits somewhere between the two main viewpoints.
President Obama has recently proposed a plan that would eventually give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. Some prominent Republicans like Florida Senator Marco Rubio have proposed similar plans but with more emphasis on securing the border. The largest difference between the two plans is that Rubio’s would require the southern border of the United States to be secured before moving forward with a plan to deal with the illegal immigrants already in the country — a requirement I wholeheartedly agree with.
I heard a fantastic analogy the other day that helped put the situation into perspective for me. If you have a leaky roof on your house are you going to replace your carpet before you fix the leaky roof? No. You would never consider replacing your carpet before you fixed your leaky roof. The same principle applies to our illegal immigration problem. Until the border is secured, there is no point to implement new immigration reform laws. Border security should be the number one priority for our federal government with regards to our illegal immigration problem.
Once the border is more secure and the incentive for people to come here illegally has been taken away, the time will be right to deal with the illegal immigrants already in the country. I think Senator Rubio’s proposal might be a starting point for immigration reform. I like his ideas of making the illegals in the country pay back taxes for as long as they have been here and have them do community service in order to be allowed to even stay is very reasonable: a way to let people stay with their families but still pay a price for breaking the law. There is a lot of room for debate about what process people must go through to gain citizenship. My own view is that once they pay their back taxes and do their community service, they can get in the back of the line behind everyone else who is trying to come here legally and go through the citizenship process.
– Casey Saxton, a junior majoring in business administration, is the president of the USU College Republicans. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.