By: Rep. Linda Dean Campbell – June, 2017
As a State Representative who represents a district vibrant with the contributions and citizenship of immigrants, I want to share thoughts I have about how we might advocate for policies at the federal level which are so necessary right now to achieve positive results given the scourge of drug trafficking in our area. We do need comprehensive immigration reform, but such a goal is a very steep climb given the current discord and partisan dysfunction in Washington D.C. There are, however, incremental policies to move forward that would likely be acceptable to most of us.
One very alarming aspect of President Trump’s Executive Orders regarding immigration is that they shall not accomplish what they purportedly set out to do.
Some of the cases of home wrecking (families separated through deportation for dubious and paltry reasons) now sprouting up in the news are an embarrassment to the United States of America.
Many appear to have been deported, causing their separation from their American citizen family members, for reasons unknown or minor crimes that cause no concern for the public’s safety.
Please don’t think me soft or naïve – formerly an Army intelligence officer supporting the U.S. Rapid Deployment Force, I understand there are very serious threats out there and that effective countermeasures are necessary to protect our country. Here are some incremental steps that could make us much safer.
First – Implement VISA CONTROLS.
We cannot secure our borders and adequately protect the Nation’s security without VISA controls that provide visibility of the foreigners that are in the United States. According to our own federal government, 400,000 foreigners overstayed or jumped their visas in 2015. Most of the 911 attackers were Saudi Arabians that had one thing in common — all of them entered the United States legally, but most of them illegally overstayed or “jumped” their VISAs.
So, let us build a system that will keep terrorists, drug dealers and career criminals from entering the States on temporary visas, only to jump them, stay on illegally for many weeks or years, before launching attacks or selling illegal drugs that kill Americans and destroy neighborhoods. In regards to a wall on the Mexican Border, it is the most not liberal General George Patton that said, “Fixed fortifications are great monuments to man’s stupidity” because a robust and active defense is what we need.
Second – Make foreign governments take their criminal citizens back when we deport them. Since at least 2001, many countries that we have diplomatic relations with have routinely refused to take their own felons back, individuals that have committed high crimes such as commercial drug trafficking; murder; rape; robbery and mayhem; etcetera.
While our Government, especially the State Department, has long had coercive measures it could use to encourage the offending countries to do the right thing, they appear to have done little or nothing to solve this problem, a true threat to National Security. Perhaps the Congress should also pass legislation that would require these offending countries to pay compensation to those who are subsequently victimized by those that they have refused to take back or else suffer sure and significant negative consequences in their relations with the United States.
Third, require employers to utilize E-Verify to confirm the identities and status of everyone that is working for them. Such verification is essential to the just collection of income and social security taxes and for the protection of our citizens’ identities. This will take the profit out of illegal immigration, both on the part of the migrants and the employers that deliberately hire them to cut costs. Based upon analysis of social security numbers and payroll records, it appears that a significant percentage of those employed at completing the “Big Dig” may have been undocumented individuals. Of course, to prevent dire related consequences, the universal use of E-Verify before almost all cases of employment needs to be a part of a comprehensive immigration reform.
Comprehensive immigration reform is clearly one of the most important challenges we face as it will reflect who we are as a nation. It needs to be vigorously debated in every home and business and in all our halls of government. It likely needs to include measures that encourage those who wish to be Americans to stay, work, pay taxes, document themselves and certify that they are not criminals, so they can continue to contribute in our communities, and have a reasonable path to become citizens of the United States of America. We cannot afford to fail in eventually enacting comprehensive immigration reforms because it defines who we really are as “Americans” and the world is too dangerous a place otherwise.
Meanwhile, however, we must not wait to take the steps that most all of us can agree upon – to rid ourselves of those foreigners who are engaged in commercial drug trafficking and other serious crime that ravages our local communities — we all have an obligation to demand better of our Government.