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Let's take a quick look at what each political party has to say about immigration:

Republicans: "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" but ONLY if they look European or have some skill that we can exploit.

Democrats: Thank you for coming to America. Your immigration is very important to us. Please take a number and stand in line, and you will be processed in the order in which you arrived.

My View: ALL people who come to the United States, regardless of their method of arrival, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.


Republicans on Immigration

Republicans have a generally negative view of immigrants, especially those who have entered the country illegally. In general, Republicans support stronger border security (including physical barriers on certain international borders), oppose paths to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and favor deportations of those who are in the country illegally. Republicans believe that immigration laws and their reforms should primarily address the needs of national security, with all other factors taking a secondary role in discussions on the issue. Republicans also espouse a "no amnesty" policy toward illegal immigrants believing that amnesty towards those who have broken immigration laws only encourages future immigrants to enter the country illegally rather than legally. However, they also believe that the government should emphasize the skills that our economy needs most when determining amnesty eligibility.

"We all figure that our homes are set above other people than the ones we know and love."


Democrats on Immigration

Democrats generally believe that today's immigration laws do not reflect American values or serve our national security. They believe that immigration is a defining aspect of the American character and is part of our shared history. Proposed Democratic reforms to immigration policy have included prioritizing enforcement so that individual criminals are targeted instead of families, and prioritizing the processing of immigrants who already have family in the United States so as to reunite families more quickly. Regarding immigrants who were brought here has children (called "Dreamers"), Democrats believe that, since these children grew up as Americans, they are well situated to benefit the country and should be provided a prioritized route to citizenship.

"In every place with a name, we play the same territorial game, hiding behind the lines ..."

In my opinion, the vast ideological divide between the Old Parties will continue to hinder any bi-partisan legislation proposed to "fix" our immigration system. It appears to me that neither of the Old Parties really want to "fix" immigration because they generate more mileage out of using it as a campaign issue.


My Views on Immigration

Like most Libertarians, I believe that all people who come to the United States, regardless of their method of arrival, should be treated with dignity and respect, and that immigration reforms should focus on the humanity of the immigrants, documented or undocumented. I believe that most American families came to the United States from somewhere else, whether a long time ago or relatively recently, and as long as they have no history of violence, credible plans for violence, or perform acts of violence within our country, they should be welcome to immigrate to the United States. Of course, if someone has a record of violence, credible plans for violence, or performs acts of violence, then I would support blocking their entry, deporting, and/or prosecuting and imprisoning them, depending on the offense.

Regardless of their area of origin, whether they have advanced academic credentials or very little education, I believe that all immigrants have one thing in common: they bravely left their familiar surroundings in search of a better life. Many are fleeing violence or extreme poverty and are searching for a free and safe place to try to build their lives. I respect and admire their courage and am proud that they see the United States as a place of freedom, stability, and prosperity.

"A whole wide world, an endless universe, yet we keep looking through the eyeglass in reverse."

One possible method of addressing this issue (among the many that I have heard about or read) is to divide the current Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into two separate entities; one to focus on service, and one to focus on enforcement. It is thought that by performing this simple split, both agencies would function more smoothly and efficiently, and each agency would be able to receive the attention and support that they each would require as national issues.

The Point

If Americans want immigrants to enter the United States through legal channels, then the immigration laws and their reforms should address making those legal channels fair, reasonable, and more accessible to immigrants. All politicians, regardless of party affiliation, talk about warmly welcoming those who enter the country through legal means (usually with chocolates, flowers, and soft romantic music). At the same time (and often in the same breath), they promise to devote extra resources to repel those who attempt to enter the country using illegal means.

Like Republicans, most Libertarians believe that our international borders should be protected from any entity that intends to harm us, but like Democrats, Libertarians do not support the classifying of undocumented immigrants as criminals. Libertarians also believe that (like Republicans) immigration laws and their reforms should address the needs of national security, but (unlike Republicans) that any economic factors related to immigration are removed from the discussion as largely irrelevant.


Disclaimer: It is important to note that the views of Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians on immigration reform are not monolithic, and that there are sizeable ideological differences on immigration goals within each partisan coalition.


Some of my opinions regarding immigration issues:

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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