Immigration debate puts cart before horse

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Immigration continues to be one of the most contentious issues in American politics. While some of the Trump administration’s most controversial actions have been relatively unimportant for a San Diego audience and thus beyond the scope of our localized paper, the issue of immigration is exceptionally close to home and of great relevance to our readers.

Immigration continues to be one of the most contentious issues in American politics. While some of the Trump administration’s most controversial actions have been relatively unimportant for a San Diego audience and thus beyond the scope of our localized paper, the issue of immigration is exceptionally close to home and of great relevance to our readers.

We in San Diego have been at the epicenter of a political fire storm over the purpose and necessity of our immigration system. While the moderates on both sides of the political aisle, and indeed the general public at large, share a resolute belief that our borders must be strong, the stentorian ire of the far left has been screeching against the healthy consensus in demanding the full abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the immediate cessation of deportations.

This loud and raucous minority has altered the issue of immigration into a behemoth of controversy rather than a mild-mannered, debatable, reasonable issue of partisan disagreement, which is what it should be. Their demands for the abolition of ICE and the end of deportations are so patently absurd that they serve as nothing more than a distraction from real solutions.

For those of us in San Diego and the East County, such distractions can have immediate and unfortunate consequences. We have been handed an impossibly large horde of border crossers and been given minimal resources to handle it. I cannot, in good conscious, say that the fringe proposals to cut back resources even more are appealing.

I think the President’s actions on immigration, while crude and perhaps forceful, are made in good faith. Of course, none of us want to see children separated from families but we also do not want to see innocent children detained in prison facilities with their parents. The separation of children from their parents (or relatives, or unrelated “guardians”) was a means of protecting the children from what might very well be a cold and dangerous environment for young children. While not a perfect solution, to portray ICE as having malevolent intentions is to grossly mischaracterize them.

I think that in order for this issue to be peacefully resolved, the immigration issue must be dealt with forcefully but gracefully. I often use the image of an overflowing bathtub to metaphorically synopsize the issue. If water from the bathtub is still flowing, the first step is to stop the water flow, then drain the tub. As such, the first step to solving the immigration crisis is to turn off the metaphorical spout or, in real terms, curb the flow of immigration by properly and tightly securing the border.

After that has been accomplished then we can proceed to discussing who, what, when, where, why, and how people here illegally should be handled. I think such a process would relieve us enough to think sensibly and help take the burden off San Diego law enforcement as well as law enforcement around the country.