Give a hand to the Gang of 8

Jan 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Articles, immigration, Jeff Flake, John McCain, Main Article

I’m less concerned about who takes credit for implementing comprehensive immigration reform than I am about ensuring it gets done. But since yesterday’s announcement by the Gang of 8, which includes Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, I’ve heard lots of complaining and very little thanks.

Who cares if it’s Congress or the President who takes the lead on changing the policy? The fact is the President can’t do it alone. Nor can Congress. They need to work together.

I’ve been highly critical of Flake’s flip-flop and McCain’s ‘danged fence’ stance as well as President Obama’s failed first-term promise to tackle CIR, but now is not the time for gloating or ‘I told you so’s.’ The election is over. It clearly had far-reaching consequences, and Republicans and Democrats have been awakened to this reality.

This is a very good thing, but if we want to make the most of it, then we must be willing to put aside our partisan views and work together. After all, isn’t this what we’ve been demanding for the past six years?

We speak about gridlock and Washington’s inability to get things done and then, when compromise is in the works, we criticize those working toward solutions. Enough. Regardless of how we personally feel about those who are a part of the Gang of 8, we should take the time to personally thank them and offer our support.

Immigration reform is far from reality. It will be a very tough climb, and our Senators and Representatives will need as much support as possible to drown out the shrill voices of those who will scream “amnesty” and demand nothing short of deportation for all.

The plan put forward by the Gang of 8 is both compassionate and smart. It balances the political concerns of those on either side of the aisle without forgetting that we are dealing with real people, individuals who already consider themselves Americans.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the Gang of 8’s set of principles, you can do so here. Please, take the time to read it and then send a note of thanks to both Senators McCain and Flake. Only by working together and promising our support will we ensure that passage of comprehensive immigration reform finally becomes reality.

Senator John McCain

D.C: (202) 224-2235

Phoenix: (602) 952-2410

John_McCain@mccain.senate.gov

Senator Jeff Flake

D.C: (202) 224-4521

Phoenix: (602) 840-1891

Jeff_Flake@flake.senate.gov

 

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7 Comments to “Give a hand to the Gang of 8”

  1. Mike Durham says:

    Julie, Thanks for blogging about this issue.

    I previously sent a message through the online contact forms for each senator. Today I echoed those sentiments with an email to both Senators as follows:

    Senator McCain
    Senator Flake

    Sirs,

    I am concerned that immigration reform might lose out to political posturing. I would like to see the best product in a bill go forward through Congress. I would like to see the President delighted to sign the bill.

    I would like a bill number so that I may follow the process. Please forward that bill number to me.

    My detailed concerns about immigration reform have already been given to you through your respective contact forms online.

    Thank you for pursuing this much need reform effort.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Durham

  2. Mike Slater says:

    The key to any immigration reform has to start with making the border as secure as possible first.

    • Julie Erfle says:

      Securing the border means first having a workable immigration system in place to discourage illegal crossings. It also means dealing with America’s addiction to drugs, something that cannot and will not happen by simply telling people to ‘stay off drugs.’

  3. Mike Slater says:

    Securing the border will go a long way in stopping illegal drugs. Securing the border is the key to any immigration reform.

    • Julie Erfle says:

      Mike, as has been stated countless times on this blog by myself and others, a “secure” border cannot and will not happen without reforms to the immigration system and a better understanding of our failed drug war. We cannot simply build a wall or a fence and expect that will solve the issue, nor can we continue to throw billions upon billions of dollars at a problem that goes well beyond enforcement. I’d like to go into detail, but I don’t believe you have any real interest in understanding the problem. Unfortunately, many people would rather bury their head in the sand and scream out the same soundbites over and over rather than admit the problem is more complex than a cute little catchphrase.

  4. David Nachtsheim says:

    Julie, you are right, our immigration system is based on the wrong policies and needlessly limited quotas. The policies have had the test of time and have failed. We need to eliminate country and visa category quotas and create a smart, automated way for American businesses to import foreign workers quickly, instead of having to wait months and years. The system has to protect American worker’s free agency and right of first refusal for new jobs as they are created, and provide a way for entrepreneurs and innovators to continue to enliven and expand our economy. It can be done, but the Gang of 8 doesn’t have the solution. The border is not the problem. 99.99% of the aliens here illegally would qualify for a visa if we issued enough of them. If we had issued an additional 300,000 labor-based visas each year from 1965 to 1986, there would not have been any need for the 1986 amnesty. If we had raised the annual number of visas by 500,000 after 1986 we wouldn’t have 10-11 million illegal aliens here, they all could have entered and worked legally. The economy won’t wait for our failed immigration policies to supply the labor it needs – when it wants to expand, it gets labor wherever it can, including illegal entrants and visa overstays. Our visa system should be driven by the economy, but our visa system currently ignores it. A smart visa system would be able to refer qualified visa applicants to a business within a week using an internet clearinghouse (like monster.com and others).

    • Julie Erfle says:

      David, I agree that one of the main problems with the 1986 immigration bill was that it ignored our country’s labor demands, and we need to reform the visa system to put it in line with the needs of our economy. This issue is addressed by the Gang of 8, though as others have pointed out, they have continued to put an emphasis on family visas versus labor visas. Hopefully this point will be hammered out and fixed before any CIR legislation is ultimately proposed.

      And yes, border enforcement would take on a much different approach if we had a system that made legal immigration possible. This is a point the enforcement-only crowd has failed to grasp.

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