Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

May 12, 2014

STUMPTALK: What is comprehensive immigration reform?

By Jim Sykes
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — If you ask a politician in either party the purpose of the immigration reform bill and if he (or she) is being honest (it could happen) you will understand that calling the immigration legislation “comprehensive” is a method of getting voters to believe that the legislation is necessary to correct an immigration problem instead of helping him (or her) get re-elected. If you ask an illegal alien who is in this country, it means the possibility of total amnesty. To those of us who would like to have good immigration laws, the current approach means misleading people into believing that Congress is doing what is best for the country.

After reviewing the current immigration “reform” bill passed by the Senate, it appears to be a massive amnesty plan designed to restructure the very fabric of our naturalization and immigration laws. If we really need immigration reform, we should first determine if we should provide a reasonable path for amnesty to those who broke the law to enter or remain in our country. If they show they are willing to do what is in the best interests of America, the majority of Americans might be willing to accept amnesty. Many of the current aliens who entered this country illegally only want to remain here for the benefits they can receive but are not willing to accept the responsibilities. It might be possible for the majority of Americans to accept amnesty but only after the borders are closed to future illegals. The current proposed legislation in the Senate does not provide these desired elements. 

If we examine the current immigration laws we will recognize many of them are not being enforced. If they were enforced our immigration laws would actually not need revision. A very good immigration and naturalization system has been in place for many years and it is working to allow about a million new legal immigrants every year who actually want to become American citizens. Many of the current illegal aliens who enter our country do not even want citizenship and are taking the jobs that unemployed Americans need and would like to have.

The President likes to say that our immigration system is “broken” but offers no proof or evidence to show what he thinks is “broken.” The only “broken” parts that I have identified are the failure to seal the border and enforce many of the current provisions. Claiming that the current system is “broken” is the main talking point in a campaign to “reform” the law that is primarily aimed at legalizing the 11.5 million illegals already in America. Since the majority of them are from Mexico and Central America, legalizing them would eliminate the diversity visa lottery and other current programs designed to allow people from all parts of the world who want to become citizens and realize their dreams to become Americans.

Missouri has long had a system that separates the illegals from legals and shows promise for a system that will reduce illegals. Our Congress would be wise to study the Missouri system in detail before deciding to change our federal system. Congress should also recognize that states have the right to deal with illegal aliens inside their state borders. These current illegal aliens are not immigrants; they are trespassers who violated our laws. Congress should also include a provision in any immigration law being considered that would change the current interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment that allows citizenship to aliens born in this country. You might not be aware that some women come to this country for the sole purpose of having a baby to gain the citizenship benefits currently granted to all children born within the United States, regardless of the citizenship of the parents or the reason the parents are in this country, legally or otherwise in direct violation of the Law of Nations. 

Those pushing “reform” are deliberately confusing illegals with immigrants who want to migrate because they want to become American citizens. Those pushing for “reform” are damaging our economy for their own selfish agenda. Those who would like to actually improve the system seem unable to detect this ruse. If these “reform” groups really cared about America, they would first work to improve the availability of jobs for the unemployed American workers.

If the laws forbidding companies from hiring illegals were being enforced, the illegal workers would not be able to obtain employment and would voluntarily return to their home country. Companies who want to hire workers from other countries do so because they can pay lower wages to those illegal aliens.

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Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Jim Sykes at