No other country in the world has welcomed more immigrants than the United States. Immigrants created the great "melting pot" that is America. However, the notion of "melting" or assimilating into American society is no longer taught, adding to the problems of an overburdened and broken immigration system. Presidential candidates on both sides claim to have the answer. But to actually find a solution, we have to understand how we got here and what's been tried in the past. This four-part series covers the remarkable history of immigration in America and why the modern system desperately needs of reform.
Immigration in America Part IV: The Immigration Fight Today
There used to be bipartisan agreement on the need to stop people from entering the United States without authorization, and the need to remove illegal aliens from the country. Democrats like Bill Clinton, Harry Reid and others spoke out passionately on the need to secure the border, clamp down on employers and stop any and all benefits to illegal aliens.
However, over the past decade or so, that has drastically changed.
The Democratic Party now supports illegal aliens in the hope of gaining tens of millions of Hispanic voters in the country. Today, Democrats address the issue with fear mongering, referencing young kids with tears rolling down their cheeks who are scared their parents may be deported. Should the tears or fears of those living in the United States illegally determine American policy?
In 1993, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn't enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant? No sane country would do that." Nineteen years later, Harry Reid sang a very different tune from the Senate floor, saying, "Thanks to President Obama . . . 800,000 young people . . . who are American in all but the paperwork no longer need to live in fear of deportation.
Current Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders believes in passing comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. Additionally, he is against building a fence or wall, supports funding sanctuary cities and believes climate change laid the groundwork for mass migration.
In 2005, Hillary Clinton was adamantly against illegal immigration. Today, like Sanders, Clinton supports comprehensive immigration reform, and favors the Dream Act and amnesty. She doesn't want a border fence, but instead favors using more technology on the border.
Donald Trump's highly publicized thoughts on immigration are well-known. He wants to build a wall on the southern border and have Mexico pay for it. Trump also wants to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States. He admits that in his business, he uses H-1B visas, but as president, would stop them from being used. He also believes that, "we're the only country dumb enough to allow birthright citizenship."
Ted Cruz also outlined a tough plan on immigration which includes enforcing current federal laws, deporting illegal aliens, building a wall and tripling the border patrol. Cruz is not in favor of a path to citizenship and would defund all 250-plus of America's sanctuary cities.
Americans now face a choice: Will this decades old problem ever be solved? If so, how? And who is the best person to solve it?
Listen to the Full Series on Immigration