The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 6, 2013

Time to move forward on immigration reform

NORMAN — The chance of serious immigration reform passing in these closing weeks of Congress depends on how optimistic you are.

The gloomier prediction is that reform is impossible as many House Republicans are opposed to any bill that provides what they call “amnesty” for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. The president and Democrats are pushing bills that provide a legal path to citizenship for those who go through the steps and don’t have serious criminal records.

The more optimistic view, growing in recent days, is that more House Republicans — still stung by the rejection of Hispanic voters in the last election — are signing onto the Democrat’s bill.

Let us all be optimistic.

Major immigration reform is not a partisan issue for most Americans. Conservative activists — Evangelical leaders, business executives, law enforcement officials — recently lobbied Congress to pass a major reform bill and to reject the call from some GOP members who want to break apart immigration issues into separate bills.

The best immigration bill would allow law-abiding undocumented immigrants to pursue citizenship. It would continue to provide resources for border security. It would allow law-abiding children of unauthorized immigrants to attend college and serve in the military. And it would create a robust temporary guest-worker program that would allow for enough foreign workers needed in many American industries.

Besides the path to citizenship, another major sticking point in negotiations has been over the level of resources aimed at border security, with many GOP members calling for heightened security. But that view collides with the facts.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, America already spends $18 billion a year on border enforcement, more than all other federal criminal-law-enforcement agencies combined.

And while border security is important, the fact is that half of unauthorized immigrants in the country did not sneak across the border, but overstayed their visas.

Major immigration reform is long overdue and necessary for the economic, social, moral and security benefits of the country.

— The Mankato (Minn.) Free Press

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • A dip in optimism

    Midwestern and Plains states remained in the positive column in a recent economic survey index, but Oklahoma pessimism is beginning to bog them down. The Sooner State’s index dropped from 66.6 to 54.9 from June to July, still in positive ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Invest in more clean energy

    Editor, The Transcript: Ken Miller’s July 19 article, “Okla. Wheat Crop Worst in Nearly half a century,” states the economic hardship that the current drought is having on Oklahoma wheat farmers, who have been forced to feed their wheat to ...

    August 2, 2014

  • Sign petition to put shelters in schools

    Every successful grassroots initiative requires a plethora of volunteers who are willing to do whatever it takes, and the movement to build storm shelters in every Oklahoma public school is no different....

    August 2, 2014

  • Polls that really matter

    The pre-season college football polls make for good reading in the summer months. Coaches and football beat writers weigh in regularly on who they think are the nation’s top teams....

    August 2, 2014

  • Tax free starts today

    A few years ago, Oklahoma shoppers were getting used to driving south to take advantage of Texas’ tax-free weekend. The outlet mall on Interstate 35 near Gainesville was packed with as many Oklahoma tagged cars as those from Texas....

    August 1, 2014

  • Just wondering about things

    Editor, The Transcript: Why are our companies still investing so much in China, now that they own over a trillion dollars of our debt? Why is China pouring billions into their military and threatening many of their neighbors? Why don’t we ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Top conservatives, liberals

    Three local lawmakers made the lists of top 10 conservatives and top 10 liberals in the Oklahoma Constitution’s 2014 Conservative Index. Editor Steve Byas reported that it’s the 36th year for the publication’s index....

    August 1, 2014

  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014