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What should be done about immigration?
June 13, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
House majority leader Eric Cantor likely lost the primary election in Virginia this week to Dave Brat over the issue of immigration reform. Voters in his conservative district don't like the idea of "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Still, polls suggest that a majority of people in the United States favor allowing people who came into this country illegally a chance to stay here and eventually become citizens. Of course, the polls also said that Cantor was going to win, so I'm not sure how accurate those polls actually are.
I have always had mixed feelings on this issue. I sympathize with people who come here for a better life, particularly with the children referred to in the proposed Dream Act who were brought here by their parents and grew up here. Deporting those young adults would seem to be unfair. On the other hand, Obama's recent overtures to those kids has apparently resulted in a mini crisis in Arizona, where kids are coming here on their own and in droves, assuming they will not be sent back. The nation's resources are limited, too, especially in the midst of a still troubled economy.
I have interviewed immigrants who had to wait 20 years or more to enter this country legally. One man said his father put his name on the immigration list when he was a small child and he only arrived in the United States in his late teens or early 20s. It doesn't seem fair to those legal residents to allow people who are here illegally to stay and gain for free the right to residency that legal immigrants have waited so long to obtain. There is also a lot of legitimate concern that people here illegally will drive down wages for American citizens and legal residents.
Cantor's defeat may put any attempt to reform the immigration on hold. The Associated Press is reporting that President Obama is holding back on taking unilateral action on immigration reform and will let House Republicans decide the issue. The Republicans in Congress will probably be running scared after Cantor's defeat and it's unlikely that they will act.
What are your thoughts on what we should do about illegal immigration?
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