According to this morning’s Washington Post, newly elected Democrats are hesitant to take up the issue of immigration reform. Fearing the issue is still too volatile, they sit poised to make the same mistakes that their Republican rivals made just months ago.
I think it is a good idea to take the time to debate the issue, and Congress should certainly hold hearings and talk to experts who have dedicated their lives to examining immigration, particularly the mistakes of the past. At the same time, stalling on making a decision about immigration simply because they’re afraid of losing their majority (as the article suggests) is NOT what the nation needs right now. What we need is responsible leadership, and failing that, they are no better situated to win any more than their GOP brethren.
The news around the nation suggests that, although there will always be a loud minority that opposes immigration reform, the majority are ready to sensibly address it. This article from the Florida Times-Union looks at the perspective of employers in Florida who want to see major changes in national immigration policy. Similarly, many better informed citizens are becoming skeptical of what I refer to as the “fence fantasy,” the dream that we can build a simple barrier with armed guards to keep people out. As long as their are jobs and employers wiling to hire them, undocumented immigrants will continue to come, regardless of the barrier.
To the newly elected Democrats I have only one message: proceeding with caution is fine, but you have to proceed.