Representative Sam Graves from the Sixth District of Missouri is my U.S. Congressman. To keep up with his ideas and work in the House, I get his weekly email called “Straight Talk with Sam.”
Rep. Graves’s July 7 email article was titled, “Enforce U.S. Law to Secure Our Borders.” The article begins with an attack on the President. Sam writes,
Today, Missourians and people around the country are witnessing one of the most aggressive attempts to expand executive power in history. President Obama would prefer to go around Congress to enact his agenda.
The first sentence, however, is highly questionable, and the second sentence seems to be patently false.
The end of last month I heard the President say, and emphasize, that he would like to work with Congress. “I don’t prefer taking administrative action. I’d rather see permanent fixes to the issue we face. Certainly that’s true on immigration. I’ve made that clear multiple times,” the President said.
Why should we assume that Rep. Graves is correct about what the President prefers when we have the President’s own clear statement about the matter?
Rep. Graves is certainly right in pointing out that there is a current humanitarian crisis caused by tens of thousands of “unaccompanied alien children” who have crossed into the U.S. illegally in recent months.
There are highly conflicting opinions, however, about what has caused this immigration crisis and what to do about it.
Rep. Graves declares, “The reason we are witnessing the surge along our southwestern border is because the President and his Administration have refused to enforce existing immigration laws. Instead he has implemented policies, which have not passed Congress, that encourage more illegal immigration.”
Again, the Congressman’s statements are quite problematic.
During each of President Obama’s years in office, the number of undocumented (illegal) aliens who have been deported has been far more than the number deported during each of the years President Bush (W) was in office.
True, concessions were made by President Obama for children who had been brought in by parents who came without documentation. And it is true that such concessions did not have the approval of Congress.
But they were approved by the Senate, so it wasn’t exactly the President acting on his own.
A major part of the current immigration crisis has been caused by the Republican-controlled House, with members like Rep. Graves, who have refused, and who continue refusing, to act for immigration reform.
Rep. Graves is requesting “an explicit public commitment from the President that he will not extend legal status to newly arriving illegal aliens–regardless of age.”
To the consternation of some people, this seems to be what the President is going to do.
A week before Rep. Graves’ email, it was publicly announced that the President was trying to get a 2008 law changed in order to make it possible for unaccompanied children to be sent back to their home countries more quickly.
Most of the children who have sought refuge in the U.S. have been living in terrible conditions—otherwise they would not have risked trying to get into the U.S. No doubt many of them will be killed, injured, or raped if they are forced back into their country of origin.
Seeking to provide for so many needy children in this country is clearly a problem. But isn’t indiscriminately sending them back too callous and too lacking in compassion?
In 1980 alone, about 125,000 Cubans came to the U.S. and found refuge here. Can’t more be done to help the children coming to this country now?