Thanks to the bipartisan failure of our Washington politicians, America's immigration policy continues to be a disaster.
Now, add the border surge of 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central America (projected to be 90,000 by year's end) with the 375,000 cases already pending, including 42,000 children (The Wall Street Journal, July 12).
Why are these undocumented people coming to America? Simple. They seek economic opportunity -- jobs, just like our citizens. Yes, we have immigration policy to address this situation, but Washington is reluctant to enforce policy for selfish reasons.
First, E- Verify requires employers to verify that each job applicant has documentation that shows they are in the country legally. Secondly, guest worker visa programs allow workers needed in specific areas such as agriculture and science to be issued temporary visas. These programs have not been administered effectively. To work, E-Verify must be enforced with employer sanctions, heavy fines and prosecution. The guest worker visa programs should fill underutilized employment gaps in industry while not directly competing with eligible American workers.
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In addition, an improved, expedited system is needed to quickly process legitimate immigrants' applications. It currently takes six years or more.
Our gridlocked, partisan Congress and administration spend too much time talking about reform and amnesty, and not enough time seeking collaborative, bipartisan, common sense approaches to achieving a comprehensive, enforceable immigration policy. This must be an immediate priority.
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