Category: Archive

Irish Echo Editorial: Time is right for immigration debate

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

2005 would appear to be such a year, so much so that one Bush administration official has described the immigration-reform debate as being more urgent than the no less contentious argument over revamping social security.
The immigration debate cycle was knocked sideways by 9/11. Before the attack on America, President Bush was clearly indicating his desire to reach a compromise on immigration, one that would exert greater control over the arrival of new immigrants, particularly from Mexico, while at the same time harnessing a new, young and eager labor pool that the U.S. economy badly needed.
The delay in reaching an agreed reform position during the president’s first term might have been simple enough to deal with if the issue had remained focused purely on immigration law, how to regulate it, and how to make it more equitable.
But the shock waves from September 2001 pulled immigration into the overriding orbit of national security.
Proponents of tighter controls at America’s borders, and stricter enforcement within those borders aimed at drastically trimming the illegal and undocumented population — variously estimated at anywhere between 10 and 15 million people — have argued that lax immigration controls make it easier for terrorists and other law breakers to enter the country.
It’s a powerful argument, but it is far from conclusive. The vast majority of illegal immigrants are here to work. They want to secure legal status, obey the law and pay taxes.
Clearly, with an emotive issue such as immigration, not everyone will be pleased with the outcome of congressional deliberations. But that does not take away from the fact that Congress needs to tackle immigration with real intent, sooner rather than later. And sooner in this case would appear to be right now.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese