Time to bring some order to immigration policy

They came in waves — the English, the Irish, the Germans, the Hungarians, the Spanish, the Vietnamese, the Russians, the Portuguese. A few came looking for the Orient, many came looking for religious freedom. Some were forced as slaves to work the fields in the South. Most came out of desperation. They came, and still come, looking for a better life. And, they will continue to come.

This is what made America. And that is still what is making America the most diverse nation in the history of the earth. Some countries have higher levels of educated citizens.

Some nations have lower rates of crimes. Some nations claim they are the model for the future. Yet, when the chips are down, when desperation hits their citizens, they flood to America. Why? Because in America everyone has a chance to succeed.

Today million dollar machines run through corn fields at harvest time replacing the field workers who once went down the rows handpicking corn. Yet, to this day, and into the future, immigrants fill the jobs of picking fruits and vegetables, a job that virtually no Americans are willing to accept.

Retired? Receiving Social Security? Social Security needs new young faces joining the work force contributing to the Social Security trust fund. Just 10 years ago there were 3.3 workers contributing to Social Security for every one retiree. By 2030 that ratio will be down to 2.1 workers for every 1 person in retirement.

As recently as 1980 there was a 5 to 1 ratio. Social Security will go broke without larger numbers entering the workforce. Unfortunately, American families are having fewer children — in no small part due to the high cost of education. Immigrants are helping make up the difference.

Some think all immigrants come to this country seeking free handouts. This is not the case. The list of foreign born immigrants successful in America is endless. Just look at a few: Albert Einstein (Germany), Yo Yo Ma (France), Madeline Albright (Czechoslovakia), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Austria), Liz Claiborne (Belgium), David Ho (Taiwan), Joseph Pulitzer (Hungary) and Igor Stravinsky (Russia).

It would be great if we could just say X number of foreigners can enter the country each year and cut off anyone trying to enter the country in excess of that number.

We do have these laws. Unfortunately, parents in Central America pushing their children over the Mexican/American boarder don’t know or care about such laws. We have passion for these kids as we did when Pedro Pan helped thousands of children escape the tyranny of Castro’s Cuba in the 1960s. But, accepting them into our country places financial burdens upon our country. There is a fine line between moral and financial responsibilities.

Complicating the current surge of children flowing across our border from Central America is the United Nations attempt to designate these young children as “refugees displaced by armed conflict.” This declaration, originally acknowledged by UN member nations over 30 years ago, implies that they, the children, should not be automatically sent back to their home countries, but receive international protection. Expanding this concept to all the nations in conflict around the world would destroy any attempt to bring order to our immigration dilemma.

Ask any South American who has been waiting six years on an immigration list for permission to enter America “legally” how they feel about someone sneaking across the Rio Grande in the dark of night seeking instant access to America?

National surveys show that the majority of Americans are willing to accept a continued flow of immigrants entering our country but with updated laws that secure our borders keeping the number of immigrants entering the country under control.

One thing is abundantly clear: Americans are demanding and deserve our immigration laws be updated to address securing our boarders against “illegal” entry and a resolution for those 11 million-plus in our country illegally. Congress, cut the partisan infighting and take action. The situation is chaotic.

We appreciate your opinions on this column whether in agreement or disagreement. Please send your comments to (fax number) 305-662-6980 or email to letters@communitynewspapers.com. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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