Stop kicking immigration can down road

The ongoing issue of illegal immigration is in the forefront of all Americans’ minds.

And by “ongoing issue,” I don’t mean just the hot button topic that has been in the news recently. No, I mean going on and on and on.

Last week, Republican congressional candidate Chris DePizzo described the issue like this: “Immigration is absolutely, probably the situation that has most been kicked, kicking the can, down the street, kick, kick, kick, since the Reagan administration.”

He’s right.

And whether you like Donald Trump, it’s hard not to admit he has been one of the few presidents trying to address the issue.

For sure, the issue has created a divisiveness, but that likely has something to do with the Republican Party mounting a strong congressional campaign in this Democratic stronghold 13th district race with DePizzo, a Youngstown native, facing longtime officeholder U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland.

Good! Every politician should face opposition. It keeps them on their toes, drives them to work harder and makes them answer questions — including on divisive issues like immigration.

Both Ryan and DePizzo have said they want to shore up the borders. Of course, neither wants to see drugs or terrorists coming in.

Last week in an impromptu visit to the Tribune Chronicle newsroom, DePizzo said this:

“You can’t have DACA amnesty without also increasing the border security. Because the next group of young people are going to see that as, ‘oh, if we just wait around long enough, they will give us a path to citizenship.'” DePizzo said. “Let us in, we will stick around for 10 years, and eventually it’ll become so pressure filled, we will get citizenship. That’s not to say the DACA situation doesn’t need to be solved and I think they deserve a pathway, but it needs to be coupled with increased border security. Without that, you’re creating some very bad, unintended consequences. It needs to be addressed.”

Around the same time last week, Ryan was taking a stand against the separation of families issue by co-sponsoring the Keep Families Together Act in response to President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy that had led to separating families at our southern border.

Ryan also delivered an impassioned rant last week on the house floor about the governmental policy “to strip kids — babies, toddlers, infants — from their parents!”

With arms flailing, Ryan shouted from from the floor, “The most powerful country in the world has resorted to this nonsense! This is a joke!”

Since then, Trump has walked back the policy by signing an executive order ending the migrant separation policy, yet there still is little answers about what to do with the families that already have been divided.

But does anyone have any real answers on how to end illegal immigration? And even if a longterm solution to curtail illegal immigration does exist, then how do we pay for it?

Let’s face it. It’s only a matter of time until legal challenges are filed and it is determined that it’s unconstitutional to hold these illegal migrant families — united or separated — indefinitely. And when that happens, they will be released with orders to return for their court dates. Considering the dangers they’ve encountered in the months they’ve probably spent on the run from their Central American homelands, missing a court appearance is a risk they’re likely to take.

Eventually, they will find employment like those that were working inside the Columbiana County meat- packaging plant. And if they are caught and arrested, it’s likely they will be separated from their families while they, again, await court hearings and possible deportation.

Maybe discourse being brought out by what looks to be an exciting and legitimate challenge in this contested congressional race will trigger some workable ideas for this issue.

Let’s hope so. Maybe then we can stop kicking that can down the road.

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