GOP Presidential Candidates have pushed Immigration Reform to the back burner in Congress. This has, in fact, been the case since the Senate passed S744 in July 2013. GOP rhetoric related to immigration and immigrants has become exceptionally heated. And (this should come as no surprise) much of the language used by GOP Presidential hopefuls is primarily ground on the politics of fear rather than empirical evidence and facts.
Since the tragic murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco this month, criticism from the right and from Republican candidates has been brutal. The criticism demonizes state and local policies that limit local involvement in immigration enforcement. Congress has already held a couple of hearings to explore the withholding of funding to so-called "sanctuary" cities. Our policies should not be shaped by fear, ignorance, and anecdote. Rather, we should have thoughtful discussions based on empirical evidence in order to develop practical policies. The empirical data shows clearly that immigration results in lower crime rate, not higher. And, immigrants are less likely than native-born to commit serious crimes.
We do not need the patchwork of immigration measures we currently have. We need practical measures in the form of comprehensive immigration reform. Such reform would make our country safer, bring every person "into the fold" with documents such as driver's licenses and social security cards. Comprehensive immigration reform would help us to make smart national security and law enforcement decisions. Instead of debating local enforcement of federal immigration laws, Congress should do its job of passing practical immigration reform to fix our broken system and bring the United States into 21st century immigration policies that make our country safer and more prosperous.
At Miley & Brown, P.C., we applaud any efforts by the House Republicans to engage in bi-partisan efforts to move immigration reform forward. You can help make this happen by visit us at http://www.mileybrown.com where you can contact Congress to tell them you want immigration reform now.