There is without a doubt a serious problem with illegal immigration from Mexico. Mexican civilians who come to the U.S. along with any children they may have here are causing problems, especially in terms of welfare funds.
Yet the real problem lies with criminals. Gang members and human smugglers slide with ease between the cracks of the permeable U.S.-Mexico border. Coyotes,—individuals who track illegals across the border — force illegal immigrants to go to extremes, including selling drugs and committing theft.
With much of northern Mexico run by drug lords, there are many obstacles to preventing illegal immigration.
The first dilemma is that it is against the interests of criminals and workers alike.
Immigration reform will inevitably cause smugglers to become more creative and drug lords more brutal. And as the condition worsens in Mexico, workers will become more desperate and try any way possible to leave the country.
In response to the failure of federal policy, Arizona enacted an immigration bill that would have provided new methods to law enforcement, allowing them to deter some illegal immigration. Rhode Island also followed suit, and Idaho, Utah, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota and Colorado are all considering adding stricter immigration statutes to their state laws.
While I applaud their efforts, it is not their place to create laws concerning immigration.
It is because of this that the Obama administration has sued Arizona and is seeking an injunction in order to stop State Bill 1070 — the controversial immigration law — from going into effect.
The Justice Department feels that “the law impedes the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of federal law and foreign policy.” It argued that, “In our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters. This authority derives from the U.S. Constitution and numerous acts of Congress.”
The departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and State also play a role in immigration matters.
Because the Arizona bill does not fall into accordance with Federal Immigration Policy, it technically violates the Supremacy Clause, which makes it invalid.
Localities are also prohibited from making immigration laws, which Hazleton, Pa. learned recently after a federal appellate court informed them of the rule after overturning the town’s new immigration law.
Sadly, the mayor of Hazleton was correct when he said, “the problem is that the federal government refuses to regulate the immigration problems that we’re having in Hazleton and yet tells us that we can’t defend ourselves.”
It is for the reasons above that I propose a federal immigration policy overhaul. The Obama administration’s immigration policy is about as great as their handling of the economy, social security and health care, so immigration reform is definitely necessary at the federal level — but to be fair to the Democrats, it is hard to crack down on illegal immigration while leading a vigorous crusade against unborn fetuses.
One idea for “reform” was the recently proposed DeMint-Vitter Amendment, which would create a loophole around federal supremacy by “prohibiting President Obama’s administration, including the Department of Justice and other agencies from participating in lawsuits seeking to invalidate the recently enacted Arizona immigration law.”
The proposed amendment is a good idea, with good intentions as Senator DeMint underscored when he stated, “states like Arizona shouldn’t be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so.”
I believe that if we want true federal immigration reform, summer ROTC internships in border towns and a stronger National Guard (the name says it all) presence is the way to go.
Ondo is a member of the class of 2012.