Friday, August 19, 2011


The White House has announced new steps to assist "low-priority" offenders, unauthorized immigrants such as the elderly, crime victims, and people who have lived in our country since children--most of them brought here by parents and family at an early age.

There are approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants in various stages of deportation proceedings, and this huge backlog has clogged the immigration legal system. There will be a case-by-case review of all these cases, and the focus will now shift to those who have been found guilty of a serious crime and whose deportation makes sense.

However, to focus upon the elderly and students who have graduated from high school and college serves no valid purpose. Educated immigrants who are now willing and able to enter the labor market, pay taxes, and improve the economy are a great asset to all of us. I am hopeful that many "Dreamers"--students who have graduated from college and/or served in the military--can now register with the immigration department and be given authorization to become employed with their own social security number.

I support the efforts of the White House to put the emphasis where it belongs: the deportation of those who have committed criminal acts while in this country. Those whose only "crime" is to be here without papers need to be considered separately and seen for their value to our country.

Some are claiming that these new procedures amount to "amnesty"--which has become apparently a very negative concept and word. Only those cases will be closed which demonstrate that the unauthorized immigrant has taken positive steps for his/her education and work skills, and that they are now prepared to assume their responsibilities as contributing members of our society.

On July 12 last year I did a blog of the issue of "amnesty," and I invite you to view that blog as well.

I am confident that Americans of good will can understand that the steps being proposed will help our country enormously, while those who have committed crimes here will be deported to their home countries.