03/27/06 — Time to talk: The immigration issue isn’t going away

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Time to talk: The immigration issue isn’t going away

It’s not like the idea that there is an illegal immigration problem in this country is new.

It’s not like communities across the nation — and a few notable ones in North Carolina — have not been dealing with the fallout from the good and bad aspects of introducing an illegal Hispanic population into their communities.

And there is also nothing new to the discussion that this is a complicated issue.

This is a country that has traditionally welcomed anyone from anywhere who really wanted to start a new life here. It is part of our nation’s history. So, addressing an immigration concern is touchy and tough, especially in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.

So the fact that federal lawmakers are actually sitting down to really talk about the problem of illegal immigration is a long overdue acknowledgment at the national level of an issue that many communities have already been dealing with for years.

There is no simple answer here — and no cheap one, either. Patrolling our borders more aggressively will cost money. And how exactly do we decide what to do with the millions of people who are already here — and the many more who will come? Be prepared for this to become a political battle with all the strong feelings and political grandstanding that normally accompany such a discussion.

But all that aside, the bottom line is this: Limit the talking. Limit the drama. It is time to do something, to make a decision and to stick to it.

There isn’t any more time to pretend this is not a real issue affecting real people and the communities they live in. It is time to look for a solution, not worry about votes.

Published in Editorials on March 27, 2006 11:01 AM