Are We Paying Congress to Bicker or to Deal With the Nation’s Challenges?
Right after the Mueller Report, the more sanely-inclined among the U.S. population hoped that Congress would go back to work. Unfortunately, that has not happened. Taxpayers are paying Congress to bicker. Congress is not working with the Administrative Branch in developing an effective foreign policy. It is not addressing the nation’s unsustainable level of debt. It is not producing a realistic immigration policy. The latter is the most egregious inattention of the current members of our Federal Legislature.
Theatrics Won’t Help
Tears, fake or real, are not going to solve the problem of what to do with thousands of undocumented people who presented themselves voluntarily at the U.S. border. Mainstream media profiting from the dialog of “caged children” will not address why parents would subject their children to such conditions. Demonstrations and sign waiving will not speed up the process by which the case of each detained individual can be reviewed and decided upon. Constant harangue on the subject of impeachment will not ease the crowding, the unhealthy conditions, the diseases, the tragic deaths. It will not give relief to exhausted border agents.
Such theatrics are useless in remedying the border crisis because none of it offers effective or lawful solutions or contribute to productive dialog.
Disorderly Patchwork is Not Sustainable
Because Congress has failed to develop effective and lawful solutions acceptable to the nation as a whole, the Administrative branch has felt compelled to resort to what has proven to be disorderly patchwork.
Perhaps making undocumented people as uncomfortable as possible and scaring them as relentlessly as possible might discourage more from attempting to enter the country. However, one would need to ask whether such efforts bring desired results, are sustainable, or present the nation in a positive image before the world.
ICE raids on individuals who have lived peaceably in the U.S. for decades might instill enough fear that some of them might leave or advise relatives not to come. But the tactic also results in advocates rallying their forces to protect immigrants, sometimes including the ones who have not lived in peace.
Endless busloads of detainees dropped by Border Patrol agents into various communities certainly serve to show what border agents are going through, but is equally unsustainable:
“They’re catching 3,000 to 4,000 people across the whole southwest border a day,” DeSio [Ralph DeSio, spokesperson for the San Diego office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection] said. “You could fill a stadium with these people in a few days. The enormity of this is flying over many people’s heads.” Orange County Register, as quoted in GOPUSA, May 27, 2019.
In the progressive mind, and in the mind of many libertarians who believe in freedom of movement, the border crisis could be easily solved by simply not making much of an effort to apprehend those crossing the border without U.S. authorization. Maybe that is what Native Americans did back in the 16th Century when the Pilgrims started to arrive – for a while.
“Now, in Coachella, the places that can offer shelter are at capacity. Meanwhile, the Greyhound station in Indio, where many migrants hoped to catch a bus to get to their families didn’t have enough capacity to transport so many people. After that,” Amaya [Emilio Amaya, executive director of the San Bernardino Community Services Center] said, “agents started taking people further north, to San Bernardino … It’s a capacity issue more than a political issue …” Orange County Register, as quoted in GOPUSA, May 27, 2019.
Yes, it is a capacity issue.
Time for Voters to Take Action
It is time for the people in each precinct, county, township or parish to hold their legislative representatives’ feet to the fire. Demand Town Halls and demand representation. Once representatives have orders from their constituents and understand their job is on the line if they do not perform, they will start working on solutions based on realistic and amicable negotiation.
Of course, the folks back home need to also remain flexible, and they need to eschew bickering themselves. This nation has ultra progressive areas that stand by their immigrant populations and ultra conservative areas that emphasize the need for law and order. Thus, any effective immigration reform would need to be the result of compromises. But a solution that is not perfect to each taste is better than the unhappy turmoil we have now.