One of the great challenges for our country is what to do about immigration. From my perspective the entire debate is missing the mark.
There is immigration law defining who can come into our country, who is allowed to work, and who is allowed to seek citizenship. We spent remarkably little energy discussing these laws, and we are gutting our ability to enforce these laws, even though they are at the heart of the issue.
Instead we spend a lot of time discussing peripheral issues. For example, here in Arizona there has been a major discussion about who is allowed to enforce the law. Many would like to convince us that immigration law can only be enforced by immigration officers.
I wonder what it would be like if we used this kind of rule for other categories of crime. Only the DEA could enforce drug laws. Only the ATF could enforce gun laws. Only the Commerce Department is allowed to ‘notice’ if a person is smuggling.
That idea is ludicrous. If a local law enforcement officer finds a meth house, a grenade launcher, or a secret pocket full of diamonds we would all expect them to respond, make arrests, report and pass the criminals on to the correct department. So why do we claim immigration laws have to be handled differently?
Another example is we spend a lot of time discussing the plight of long term illegal families. Returning family members to country of origination splits up families, ruins careers, and derails education.
But again, what would it look like if we used similar logic on other forms of law breaking. The meth house would argue it cannot be shut down because there are too many dealers on the street who would be put out of work. The illegal arms dealer would point to his children who would be harmed if he went to jail. The diamond smuggler would claim law enforcement was racially profiling him.
We would be better off if our primary focus was on the immigration laws. Making excuses for those who break the laws is counterproductive, and harassing those who enforce the laws is silly.
As a Christian I would like to see more people able to come to America and make a new life for themselves. But also as a Christian, I would like to see them do it the right and legal way.