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Protesters in California block bus carrying immigrants here illegally
July 2, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
I don't know what the country ought to do about the flood of illegal immigrants coming across our borders, but I'm not sure that protesters in Murrieta, Calif., have helped matters any.
According to various news reports, a few hundred protesters in the town of about 100,000 blocked a bus carrying 140 detainees from Central America. They came across the border in Texas and were flown to San Diego by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They were supposed to be processed at a Border Patrol station in Murrieta but their buses were turned back by the protesters, according to the L.A. Times. The protesters were shouting things like "Stop Illegal Immigration" and "Return to sender." Presumably, the people on the bus will just be transported to another Border Patrol processing station and will still be released to their families across the country to await deportation hearings. I would not be optimistic about many of those people actually showing up for their deportation hearings, but perhaps I am just being cynical. As for the protesters, they get to feel for a day or two like they've accomplished something when they actually have not.
The larger problem continues to be U.S. immigration policy. It takes up to 20 years for people to come to this country legally and blue collar workers without education or valuable skills are likely at the back of the line if they don't already have family here. Meanwhile, businesses are all too eager for the cheap labor that people here illegally have to offer. Those things provide an incentive for people to cross the border illegally. Unfortunately, the government seems to pay little heed to the heavy cost factor for citizens and legal residents. Illegal immigrants drive down wages and benefits for American citizens and legal residents. Services for illegal immigrants, such as K-12 schooling and health care and welfare benefits for their kids who are born here and are U.S. citizens, cost the government a great deal of money.
The flood of people coming across the border now – up to 52,000 of them kids caught since the start of this year – have the impression that the Obama administration will let kids stay and become legal residents. That is mistaken. However, from a practical standpoint their parents have every reason to believe that there will be yet another amnesty offer in a decade or so that will apply to all of the illegal immigrants living in the country at that time. Why would they think any differently given the track record of the Obama administration and of past administrations regarding illegal immigration?
Protests like the ones in Murrieta are understandable but they probably cannot turn back the tide. Only official action by Congress can do that and they seem decidedly unwilling to do anything.
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