Op-Ed: Great start, Mr. President. Bring on more mass pardons.
President Obama recently suggested pardoning most of the illegal immigrants in the country, and suggested that doing so would be a “one-time thing.” His words were made possible by the fact that most of the illegal immigrants in the country have “never even committed a crime”. This is why they are in such an awful situation.
President Obama is right that it’s time to bring our illegal immigrants into the community to live with us. But Obama is wrong about why this is the right thing to do: We can’t just bring more illegals into our community and expect them to behave. We have to bring the illegals into our community to live with us. That’s where the real challenge comes in.
Most illegal immigrants in the United States, including those who are deportable, have been in our country for many years. Their parents or grandparents came here illegally, or came to America for business opportunities after being here for decades. They have had a long time to prove themselves to us and to our community before we consider letting them stay here. If President Obama is right that they should be able to just be swept in and allowed to stay, they will likely return to their countries of origin. They will stay in their countries of origin for many reasons: they want to be sure of finding work in their countries that will provide them with a better lifestyle than what they can find in the U.S.; they feel they have no other chance of living in the U.S.; or they simply prefer to remain in their countries of origin.
But those reasons do not justify bringing them to the U.S. illegally. First, they will be here long enough to earn the money they need to support their families. The second reason is a direct contradiction of our immigration laws. Those laws establish that people are permitted in the U.S. only if they are