Posted Thursday, August 4, 2022 4:26 pm
Guest Commentary by Hector Rolon, Poder Latino
Many people in Arizona felt the Biden Administration was adjusting the facts recently when an acting Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security told a Senate panel that lifting Title 42 would cause the number of illegal immigrants crossing at the southern borders to decrease.
Even with a federal judge’s ruling that the U.S. can continue to turn away people at the border, an already a tenuous situation is threatening to explode. DHS — far from anticipating a decrease if Title 42 is lifted — is now asking for more money and resources because it fears it can’t control a new surge of migrants.
Against this backdrop, the far left is advocating for open borders. With calls to “Abolish ICE” — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — some House Democrats are calling for the government to end all monitoring of illegal immigrants, regardless of their criminal background.
Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly has been a vocal critic of the Administration’s immigration policy, referring to the border as a “crisis upon a crisis.” But Kelly also needs the far left-wing of the party to support his re-election bid. That might be why he didn’t mind being photographed speaking in front of a crowd holding signs that said “Abolish ICE” and “Imagine the Earth without Borders.”
The problem with signs like those goes beyond optics. A wave of migrants in our communities will put a strain on government and service organizations that want to help people get settled and establish citizenship. We believe people should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S., but we need to have rules and enforcement. We promote leadership in the Hispanic community to advance free-enterprise principals.
We fought to protect Dreamers with a permanent solution for DACA, but we know that declaring open borders and eliminating enforcement officials will create chaos that could ultimately prove dangerous to those seeking to live here legally.
We don’t know if Sen. Kelly or others affiliated with left-wing, open borders advocates truly understand the dangers that will come if their policies are enacted. Most Americans do understand the situation. A Pew Research study from last year found most Americans (69%) believe there should be a way for undocumented immigrants who are now living in the U.S. to stay in the country legally if certain requirements are met.
That can’t happen with open borders. Nor can it happen if the government doesn’t monitor people awaiting immigration hearings who are allowed to live free from detention if they agree to electronic monitoring.
Two years ago, Democrats like Sen. Kelly, campaigned on the belief that detention should be a last resort. That’s when new technology became available to let people check in and have their whereabouts validated — not tracked — by ankle bracelets or by a device that looks like an iPhone (but has none of the apps).
Today, instead of supporting alternatives to detention, the Democrats have moved further left, calling for an end to any monitoring at all.
Such beliefs are wrong for Arizona. Our large immigrant population, which features many first-generation citizens, proves that the system can work when it is empowered to control the influx of those seeking a new life in the U.S. More than 50 million Americans of Hispanic descent have established themselves as legal immigrants.
The fabric of the country needs their values of hard work, faith, community and family to help us all live better. While we consider what that means, our elected officials should all consider how they can work to improve the system — not tear it down.
About the author
Hector Rolon is Arizona director of Poder Latino.