Swickard: Take the political fundraising out of immigration issues

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   “If you want to understand any problem in America, you need to look at who profits from that problem, not at who suffers from that problem.” Dr. Amos Wilson
             The immigration problems of the last thirty years are caused by politicians who profit from them. Both sides use immigration problems for fundraising with no intention of ever solving the problems.
            No one knows what the immigration laws are any longer so people with legal status in our country and those without legal status have no idea what government agencies are going to do.
            I am sure it is not true that we have the cure for cancer but the medical field and pharmaceutical companies are making so much money they don’t want to cure cancer. Again, probably not true but I hear that said.
            It is true that when it comes to immigration reform, neither party wants to fix this broken system since they are getting political contributions from frustrated citizens on every side of the dispute. More on that shortly.
            But what is the controversy? The immigration laws of our country, specifically, the Immigration Reform and Control Act known as Simpson-Mazzoli Act enacted in November of 1986 is not being enforced. Some people think we need immigration reform while others think we should enforce the existing immigration laws.
            What is the most unfair is that both political parties have spent thirty years fundraising and not dealing with the immigration issues. Namely, there are millions of people in our country without legal status. This is the strategy of both parties to have millions of people who are uncertain of what our government is going to do.
            Recently President Trump started an effort to deport people without legal status who have committed felonies. Both political sides are showboating the issue while millions of people, heck, the entire population of our country, both those with legal status and those without legal status have no idea what will happen.
            In a nation of laws, it is unconscionable to have laws but not obey them. I don’t blame the people in our country without legal status because both political parties have barked about the issue but only looked at it to get political contributions. We should either follow the laws, make more specific laws or amend the laws. We should never ignore our laws.
            The political climate harms our nation in many ways. First, people without legal status often do not get the legal protection of our laws because they don’t want to be involved in a legal system that will note that they are without legal status. Criminals often take advantage of these people because they rarely report crimes.
            It is unfair to immigrants who followed the laws to gain legal status to have millions of people who are jumping the immigration lines. It is especially unfair to have immigration processes that often take more than ten years. We can send people to the moon and back safely, but we cannot operate an immigration system.
            Yes, I know that it doesn’t operate so that politicians can use the fear, uncertainty and doubt to drive their fundraising efforts. I see a whole lot of dysfunction that is intentional.
            So, what to do? Obviously, stop using immigration issues for fundraising. We will never get viable solutions when “There’s gold in them ills.” I see three possible actions which will be opposed by the political animals because they will reduce fundraising.
            First, before enacting immigration reform go back and see what was wrong with the 1986 Immigration Reform Act. Is it a problem of enforcement or wrong solutions? Second, endeavor to not have a shadow society since that isn’t good for anyone except politicians. Finally, find ways to have win win solutions instead of the normal political one side wins while the other side loses.
            I often say to never use a political solution for a non-political problem, be it education, the military, the economy or immigration. Finally, the political trolls on both sides who only want to call people names and make our society unpleasant, they cannot be part of any solution. We must make our society better despite the actions of our fundraising politicians.