Politicians use emotional or ‘hot button’ issues to get votes. This is immoral, but it allows them to avoid answering questions about the important issues they will be facing. Using issues such as same-sex marriage, healthcare, unemployment or the economy are concerns of the American people and often come to light; but instead of finding solutions, politicians spend all of their time speaking about them for personal advantage instead of working to solve them. Most would say that immigration reform is the number one concern for most Americans; they’re close. In a Gallup poll Americans overwhelmingly named the most serious problem facing our nation; the government itself.
For the first time in our nation’s history the American people have revealed their complete lack of faith in Washington. The facts prove that they are 100 percent correct. The records of the 112th and 113th Congress’ prove that nothing has been accomplished; destruction is where their efforts received attention. The 114th is promising to be just as futile, although Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell promised the American people that with control of both houses, Republicans would resolve our nation’s issues.
Words mean nothing, and actions define the truth.
Whether or not voters agree with President Obama’s executive order which would give nearly five million undocumented residents a path to legal status, he kept his promise. He told Congress that if it failed to find a solution for nearly 12 million illegal residents to stay in our country and contribute to its future, he would do whatever he could to alleviate the situation himself. Congress didn’t; he did.
A technicality has halted the effort to begin assimilating parents who came here illegally, but had children here who are guaranteed legal residence and citizenship, from being deported. A federal judge in Texas sidestepped the issue of Constitutionality, and avoided the question of Presidential powers, to make his decision. He used a law passed in 1946 called the Administrative Procedure Act. According to the act, notice should have been placed in the Federal Register, and the people given an opportunity to give their opinions in writing. Because he did not give this notice, five million men and women remain in limbo.
Why don’t Republicans want to face the issue of immigration? The assimilation of nearly 12 million new residents would be beneficial to the economy, and provide needed workers in areas shunned by whites. Ignorance within the GOP is abundant. Building taller and longer fences, or attempting to deport 12 million people is not possible; but many on the right seek only those solutions.
The reason is simple; they are bowing to the party’s supporters; big business, especially large agro-businesses. These corporations would be forced to pay minimum wage, contribute to social security and Medicare, and offer benefits to workers. For many of these huge businesses it could be disastrous; instead of 300 or 400 percent profit, they could see a reduction to 290 or 390 percent.
Among many others, immigration reform should not be used as a political tool. Our Congress needs to do the right thing and find a viable solution, and soon.
One thing is certain; the GOP will once again lose the Hispanic vote in 2016.
Commentary by James Turnage