As representatives of the South Carolina Lowcountry Immigration Coalition, we ask Sen. Lindsey Graham to help this nation by sponsoring and enacting comprehensive immigration reform. Recent state initiatives, such as those in Arizona and South Carolina, have come because Congress and the federal government have failed to act.
Recent immigrants come to this country for the same reason they always have -- the American dream, a chance to succeed. Make no mistake, the border is already very difficult to cross. In large measure, the Obama administration has heeded Graham's call to "secure the border," although we all know that such a task isn't the full answer. We will not be a truly civilized nation if we don't deal judiciously with the many millions who are already in this country, including those children born here. Most undocumented workers in our nation generally keep to themselves, work at menial jobs, pay taxes into a system from which they will not benefit, aren't involved in criminal behavior and actually learn English faster than many others who came here earlier.
Enforcement only won't solve this dilemma. The concept of "round them up and send them back" is a xenophobic pipe dream.
We respectfully ask Graham to reconsider his recent positions and work within the Senate to craft meaningful comprehensive legislation. Let millions move toward equality of citizenship.
Lowcountry Immigration Coalition