By Tamara Scott
Posted: 07/02 00:00:00/2007
THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE
Defining What Is Broken and What Is Not
Only moments after the U.S. Senate voted down the immigration bill referred to as 'Scamnesty' many were at their podiums tossing around the word 'broken'. The President, unfortunately out of touch with the American people on this issue, challenged the Hill and said, "Americans need to see them come together on the tough issues." While I couldn't agree more with the statement, I think the Senate finally did come together and voted the only legal way possible in protecting America's Constitution as written. This was a tough issue, and the Senate did the right thing with a bonus of pleasing the majority of Americans.
Senator Chuck Shumer says everybody can see our immigration laws are obviously broken. Therein lies the problem with Chuck. He is confused. To imply that the law is broken would be to say that the law no longer works or is applicable. Our laws are unkept, but not necessarily broken. They are intact and might even be sufficient if we actually applied them. What is broken is our government's will and our political courage to enforce the law. Each day illegal aliens violate our laws and invade our country. The laws are in place. It is our enforcement policy that has broken down. One wonders why our government eagerly enforces the law when broken by US citizens, but seems determined to turn a blind eye when non-citizens illegally cross our borders. No, Chuck, the law itself isn't broken; your promise to uphold the law is what has been broken.
Only moments after the vote, Tim Russert was giving his heated analysis stating that the system is broken, blaming the Hill for not being able to work out a compromise on this bill. The more he blabbered, the more it was evident the only compromise he was interested in was, once again, the compromising of our Constitution and consequently our national sovereignty. Tim said the system was broken when Congress couldn't manage to pass this bill. Tim is confused as well. See, the system worked exactly like it is supposed to, it just didn't work the way Tim wanted it to work.
Several Senators spoke of the 'broken system' and how illegal immigration was only going to get worse because we didn't 'fix' it with this rotten bill. It is obvious we have epidemic problems concerning illegal immigration. However, this bill would have only created greater problems. Seldom, if ever, has anyone fixed something that was broken by allowing more of what caused the damage in the first place.
In fact, if passed, these immigration bills would have caused further damage to educational and medical institutions, higher costs to the taxpayers, the eventual collapse of many governmental programs, and safety issues for all involved, legal and otherwise.
The senators may cry 'the system is broken'. Truly, I've wondered the same thing myself over the last several years. However, how we define 'broken' must be different. Some were even suggesting that we've elected these leaders and we should simply trust those we have sent to Washington as if we shouldn't have called or made our views known. They are correct in the thought that we elected them to be leaders. However, we elected them to represent us - not ignore us once there. This is a Representative Republic after all. No, today I am encouraged. Today, the system worked. Why did it work?
Finally, somehow, Americans shed their apathy long enough to pick up the phone and dial. So many Americans did so, that the Capitol Hill switchboard actually did break. It was reported the switchboard either crashed or had to be taken down for a while due to the overload of calls coming from the voters. Way to go, America. The equipment broke, but you forced the system to work.
Finally, somehow, Senators had to listen to the Americans, legal voting citizens. That is, until illegal aliens are granted the right to vote as 'visiting citizens' or 'undocumented' workers, and don't doubt DC's willingness to do so. It will be labeled as compassion by Democrats saying 'we would have given you an avenue to full citizenship, but those mean Republicans said no, so we'll at least give you a 'say' while you're living here because we're inclusive.'
It is a crying shame Congress has wasted this much time, trouble, and money on a bad bill that the people never wanted. That might be the breakdown in the system we experience far too often. But it appears for now, at least, the American people have spoken and Congress was forced to listen. Senators and Mr. Russert, I agree the system may need an overhaul and many new parts (like politicians & pundits), but the system isn't broken after all. Today it worked like a top!
What is broken is the promise to uphold the Constitution by every elected official who supported this bill. Broken is our national security as we continue to fail to protect our citizens with secure borders. Broken is our integrity as a nation because we have failed to enforce our own existing laws. Broken are several Biblical mandates that have placed us in the situation we are currently facing as a nation.
We may not need new immigration laws if we enforce the laws already in place. If we do, then we firm up our policies, but we certainly don't abandon them. The US has the capacity to turn away every illegal alien legally, and it need not be expensive. Iowa experienced one raid, in one community, just one time, and low and behold, phone calls were made by private individuals (you can decide if they were legal citizens or not) and 'undocumented' workers in several other Iowa communities started fleeing the state at their own expense. Taxpayers didn't have to pay for transportation to the border. Taxpayers didn't even have to pay for the phone calls.
Our immigration policy isn't necessarily broken – it's just abandoned.
Our government's ability to uphold our laws isn't broken – it's just not enforced.
Our system of a Representative Republic isn't broken - just unused far too often.
The switchboard was broken temporarily, but only because it actually was used.
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