Only Comprehensive Immigration Reform Will Truly Secure the Border
Washington, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate approved $600 million in funding for additional security measures along the border with Mexico, including new technology and new personnel. The agreement represents election year politics at their worst, as Senate Democrats and Republicans both know that the only route to true border security is comprehensive immigration reform. In poll after poll, American voters choose comprehensive reform over deportation-only proposals because they want reform that will work.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Congress has now delivered on the latest request for extra funds and personnel that the ‘border security first’ crowd, such as Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), have been advocating for. Will these former champions of comprehensive immigration reform keep moving the security goalposts and sticking with their ‘border first’ talking points? Or will they recognize that Republican primaries will soon be over and the time is right to deliver an actual, lasting solution to fix the broken immigration system?”
The recent back and forth has never been about facts – border spending and security has dramatically increased in recent years and crime rates in border cities and states such as Arizona have actually declined, despite the incendiary rhetoric. Instead, the border debate has been a proxy for larger political battles, including John McCain’s primary challenge from anti-immigrant zealot J.D. Hayworth and some congressional Democrats’ misplaced political sensibilities that talking tough regarding immigration was the only way to remain politically viable this year.
Washington Republicans have been saying “border security first” while blocking action on comprehensive immigration reform – the best way to secure the border and the only way to actually get to the bottom of the range of problems of our broken immigration system. While many Democrats have been calling for a comprehensive approach, Senate Democrats bowed yesterday to misplaced political fears that enforcement-only approaches are more embraced than comprehensive solutions. Both parties should admit that “border security first” is an election year slogan, not a real route to reform. They should now work together to pass what the people want – broader, pragmatic reforms that move toward a comprehensive solution.
Said Sharry, “Congress needs to step up now and move towards a comprehensive solution as soon as possible. Until then, we will be stuck with the ineffective status quo on immigration – enforcement only – and the fundamental and entrenched problems of the entire immigration system will continue to fester and get worse. This is bad for taxpayers, against the wishes of the American public, and reflective of a ‘kick the can’ mentality among elected officials that promises to make things worse before they get better. It’s time leaders of both parties delivered on lasting reform.”
America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.