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Will ICE raids effect comprehensive immigration reform?

Written By | Aug 10, 2019
Border guards, comprehensive immigration reform

Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald D. Vitiello visits the Border Wall Construction Site near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry as eight different prototypes of the Border Wall were unveiled at the U.S. border with Mexico. October 26 2017. Photos Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Taken by Yesica Uvina

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD.: President Trump responded to questions about the raids of undocumented immigrants in Mississippi, by saying that they would be a deterrent to future attempts of illegal entry.  This is not a comprehensive immigration reform policy.

Instead, the raids caused fear among undocumented immigrants and more so, their children.  Many of those directly affected were left, at least temporarily, without the needed support of their parents. Reports of children crying for their parents during the raid and the disconcert of others when they arrived home after school and did not find them were hard to take.

Immigration and assimilation: The endless debate over the wall goes on

The raids did accomplish at least two things, they terrified children, many of them American citizens and satisfied those that believe  Trump’s views on immigration. Whether the raids accomplished anything in preventing illegal immigration is another thing.

Election Impact of Trump Immigration Policies

People that are on the fence regarding the next election are going to see the raids as nothing more than a political move on the part of the President to show his base that he is doing what he promised. Those that he intended to deter will most likely not hear news of the raids or will take the chance on the odds. Most likely many of them don’t own a TV or a smartphone.

Immigration and assimilation: The endless debate over the wall goes on

These are desperate people. Near anarchy exists in their countries and the authorities cannot protect them. Even those that are not in immediate danger do not have jobs or are living in a survival economy. Seeing themselves and their children languishing without hope is motivation enough to take a chance and come to the US border.

Another possible consequence of the raids and their coverage is that they may bring decision-makers to the table to try to find a solution. The painful scenes of children affected may bring out the compassion that is needed for action.

The issues involving immigration, both legal, illegal and asylum-seeking are not new.

Attempts to find a solution have fizzled out when opponents bring up emotionally laden objections. Talk of “open borders”, criminality, drug trafficking, and human trafficking are brought up by opponents.

Whenever a legislator from either side tries to find common ground, they are not supported or are accused of not protecting the homeland. Eric Cantor, a confirmed enemy of Obama, may have been defeated in the primaries partly for trying to find common ground with the President about immigration.

All bipartisan initiatives to find a solution have gone nowhere.

What is different with President Trump is that he decided to bring this problem to a crisis.

He, mirroring the philosophy of his base, has implemented policies, ended others and have publicly demonized undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers. His hard-line approach has caused the separation of families and the warehousing of immigrants in deplorable out-of-date facilities. Reports of the absence of even basic necessities have put a dark mark on some of our government agencies and their contractors.

When a large number of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers showed up at the border during President Obama’s administration, he increased the foreign aid to the countries they originated. He believed that trying to make life better for people in the Central American triangle would diminish their number coming to our Southern border.

Republicans: Put Obama on notice on illegal immigration

President Trump took away this aid in April of this year. (Trump’s Cuts to Central American Aid Won’t Slow Migration)

His more middle of the road supporters have claimed that maybe this approach will finally harbor some results. His opponents have claimed that this is evidence of his While Supremacist, xenophobic policies.

Most are not optimistic that a bipartisan solution will be agreed upon before the elections. If by miracle this would happen, President Trump will claim that it was his policies that brought this agreement.

Regardless of what happens, the fact remains that comprehensive immigration reform is desperately needed. This will include both the US government and the countries in Central America that are failing to keep their people because of corruption and poor governance.

Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, has worked in several countries in Latin America and know the horrible effects of corruption and bad governance. He is in Twitter (@chibcharus), LinkedIn and Facebook (Mario Salazar).

Mario Salazar

Mario Salazar is a combat infantry Vietnam Vet, world traveler, renaissance reconnaissance man, pacifist, metal smith, glass artisan, computer programmer and he has a Master of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering. Now retired from the Environmental Protection Agency and living in Montgomery County, Mario will share with you his life, his thoughts, his musing on living in yet another century of change. He will also try to convey his joy of being old.