Immigration Reform Part II

The Hispanic Voice
Al Vasquez-Opinion Journalist-www.thehispanicvoice.com

   Immigration reform will soon become a hot issue and will result in a roadblock with two mind sets. One determined to win the Latino vote, the other in solving the undocumented immigration problem without being slaughtered at the polls. Neither party is thinking outside the box and dealing with the excruciatingly painful humanitarian problem we have created.

   Statistics for 2014, reveal 414,481 undocumented immigrants were deported and 162,814 voluntarily left the country after being arrested. That adds up to a total of 577,295 who were given the boot to leave our nation over half million in one year of the Obama administration. There was a decrease of 14% Mexicans from the previous year and a increase of 68% Central Americans from the previous year. The majority still came from Mexico. It is noted 85% had a criminal record. The previous year, only 67% had a criminal record.

   As a opinion journalist, it is incumbent of me to understand hidden aspects of numbers not seen at a glance. I visited the front lines where the deported are released in Mexico and offer some revealing thoughts. My first confrontation with reality came when I found many of the deported were young women, alone, vulnerable and without resources. My second confrontation was in finding most all of them spoke as good English as I did and thirdly at least half of them had never lived in Mexico on their own having arrived in the United States with parents before the age of five. Suddenly, this became an issue for me seeing vultures already circling the prey knowing they could not support themselves in a foreign environment . In speaking to them, I found 75% had children who were born in the United States, still in the United States without their mother. There was absolute panic of mothers not knowing where their children ended up, many had been picked up by Border Patrol on their way to work, the store or just at random. How do you help a stranger find her children in the United States over the telephone a nation away? An impossible task with no funds. The recently deported had this glazed look in their eyes as if in a bad dream. In fact many had antecedents such as having been caught before, given a summons to appear and they did not for fear of deportation making them felonious criminals with warrants for their arrest. They settled along the fence line at the border in card board boxes, a red flag for scammers who would quickly spot the prettier ones and offer them assistance. We in America and our political party bickering are the biggest suppliers of fresh meat to the sex slave trade. I took interest in this situation and at the first opportunity I spoke to the Chief of Police of Mexicali and expressed my deep concern. On my subsequent trip to my surprise, the row of card board boxes were gone. Was the problem solved. No, just moved to a secluded desert area away from the border where no one could see the feeding of the wolves.

   I have attempted to research statistics of children left sometimes alone for days not knowing what happened to their mothers, fathers or guardians . The best I could find was an estimate of 15,000 to 20,000 American citizen children being held in "governmental foster homes". This is indeed an unspoken humanitarian crisis. Add this to the 60,000 or more children who arrived unaccompanied late last year and somewhere in this great nation we have close to 100,000 children who have lost their parents through border separation.

   We kind hearted Americans are not against "legal"  immigration.  Do it legally! A good credo to follow but our corrupted political vision of immigration reform is now dealing with a backlog of legal application exceeding 19 years. Today, applications submitted before August 22, 1993 are being processed. Bear in mind background checks and fingerprinting have an expiration date which will stall you further when called because your documentation will have to be resubmitted. There are 4 million applications for legal entry into the United States PLUS those already here add up to 5.5 million. Many lines make up the waiting lists, just in sibling requests for green cards there were 2.4 million.   

   According to PEW Research Center, 64% of Republicans support a Path to Citizenship, 81% of Democrats do. The majority of these sentiments stem from the fact Democrats are the most likely to benefit in votes. Across the board, 73% of Americans accept having the undocumented stay in the United States and 50% accept a route to citizenship. Hispanics perhaps a little closer to the problem for the most part agree with a path towards citizenship.  

   In 1986, Republican president Ronald Reagan dealt with this very same issue signed an amnesty law with the understanding there would be border security. Two significant things happened, 1) Latinos forgot Reagan was a Republican and 2) Democrats down play border security making immigration reform a significant issue against Republicans.