Other Views from Those in the Know
Robert R. McMillan
Our Broken Immigration System
Florida is now making it tougher to vote by checking, more closely, whether someone is in the United States legally. States across the country are passing legislation to do what the federal government is not doing – enforcing existing federal immigration laws.
On April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments dealing with the Arizona immigration law, including the provision that permits police to question the immigration status of anyone arrested or even stopped for a traffic violation.
Some 20 other states have passed similar laws, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi supports Arizona’s approach. She feels that “each state should have the right to enact its own laws.”
There should be a decision sometime in June or early July of this year. That means that two major Supreme Court decisions will come right in the middle of the 2012 Presidential election. The decisions will heighten the political debate about both issues. As a result,there is no doubt that the enforcement of immigration laws in the United States will get much attention over the next several months – and beyond.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants come here every year. There has been no real enforcement of immigration laws by any president since Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, which is totally unfair to those legally awaiting their turn.
Consider the number of people who would like to make the United States their permanent home. A recent Gallup poll found more than 165 million adults would like to move to the U.S., the world’s most desired destination. Those statistics do not count the children of the adults who want to relocate here.
When you add in Canada, the figure gets higher. Some 45 million people around the globe want to relocate to Canada.
We have a broken immigration system, and if it is not fixed, the United States could well expect chaos. At the same time, just think what would happen if our gates were totally opened to anyone who wants to come here – legal massive immigration? The result would be a shift in the culture of this nation never before seen. Would the immigrants from around the world “assimilate” themselves to our culture, as President Teddy Roosevelt called for in the early 1900s, or could we expect dramatic shifts in our culture and even in the accepted English language? If people in the United States do not speak up, we will be headed down the wrong path.
Robert R. McMillan has written pieces for The New York Times, Newsday and Anton Newspapers. An attorney, he was Counsel to Senator Kenneth B. Keating (R, NY) during the Cuban Missile Crisis and served as Chairman of the Panama Canal Commission.
Published Sunday, May 20, 2012