04/10/06 — Debate with purpose: Immigration decision should not be motivated by protests

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Debate with purpose: Immigration decision should not be motivated by protests

The hundreds of thousands of Hispanic Americans and immigrants of all backgrounds who are speaking out for the “rights” of those who want to come into our country are not a statistic to be ignored.

There is no question that there are a lot of people who will be affected by an immigration bill that does not include amnesty, or by one that creates a tougher penalty for those who are caught here illegally.

But just because there are loud protests and hundreds of thousands of people speaking out in support of immigrants’ rights does not mean there should be a quick end to the debate or limits on questions.

This is not the time to rush into unrealistic or unenforceable legislation that will cost taxpayers a lot of money with little success in stemming the tide of immigrants crossing the border.

The United States needs a clear policy on immigration that addresses the positives, the negatives and the consequences for dealing with the ever-increasing illegal immigration problems on our nation’s borders.

That requires thoughtful debate without agenda — and a determination that this time there will be resulting legislation that really addresses the problem.

And as we consider the future of the illegal immigrants who are already here, let’s not forget the line of people who are waiting to become citizens legally. Should they be bypassed because they followed the rules?

Now is the time to get it right and to develop a lasting policy — and that can’t be done with grandstanding and political agendas. It requires real debate with a purpose.

Published in Editorials on April 10, 2006 11:16 AM