01/30/13 — Right answer: It's what people have been saying all along -- just said better

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Right answer: It's what people have been saying all along -- just said better

There are certain realities that go along with any discussion of illegal immigration in America and what to do about it.

First, there are already 11 million people here illegally -- and we cannot send them back.

But even with that harsh reality, that does not mean that we cannot force them to pursue legal avenues to citizenship with the requirements and costs that requires.

This is a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of laws. There are people who have pursued citizenship in this nation the right way -- and they should not be bumped by those who slipped across the border just because they represent a voting bloc one party wants to keep.

Second, before we offer anyone the chance to jump the line, we should make sure that the safeguards are in place to keep the same problem from developing all over again.

Strict border controls and the assurance that "yes, if you come across this border illegally, and we catch you, you will be sent home" are a must.

And lastly, this is an issue that has been hampered by politics.

It is easy to make speeches about welcoming immigrants with open arms and decrying those who are pushing for rules to go along with that welcome.

Making policy that takes care of the rights of those who want to be citizens and who have done the work to become legal, as well as those who have to pay the bills that go along with the consequences of illegal immigration, is much, much tougher.

Don't be fooled by the hype. This issue has lots of nuances that make it not subject to one easy answer, but very vulnerable to politician double-speak.

The new immigration proposal is not a one-dimensional plan -- and the funny thing about it is, it is not all that new.

Truth is, it is the same message, packaged differently.

Those who are against amnesty are so for a reason -- specifically because it rewards bad behavior and does not solve the core issue.

A legal path to citizenship, temporary worker registration as well as strict controls at the borders are all anyone really wanted -- and what we should demand.

So don't fall for the spin.

This is not about prejudice. It is not about greed. It is about doing what is right and making sure that U.S. citizenship means something.

And while the president and his crew might wish to suggest otherwise, that is what those who have called for immigration reform have asked for all along.

Published in Editorials on January 30, 2013 10:46 AM