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"Why are we unable to fix the broken immigration system in the US?" - US diplomat

This is an immigration story shared with me from a colleague from USAID. We worked together in Pakistan.

"We all have an immigration story. It is a fundamental theme of our history and an element of our unique national character. Immigration has renewed our cities and provided labor for essential services from agriculture to tourism to health care. We all have an interest and a responsibility to renew this system and make it work. 

"The crisis at the border combines conflict abroad and the decades-long neglect of our institutions and systems. Congress needs to act to fix it. Republicans' recent flip-flop indicates they want the vision of a porous border for political purposes more than they want to address the problem through funding and additional personnel.

"A lack of urgency for resolving this reflects that, for some sectors, this broken system works. Immigrant labor is able to find cash labor in many sectors, providing needed help yet exposing themselves to potential exploitation by unscrupulous employers. The immigrants, legal or not, need some type of protection. A proper legislative fix will provide this.

"Consistent polling indicates that the country wants legislation to put consistency into the immigration system, which has not had a comprehensive overhaul since the Reagan administration. Why are we unable to do this?

"I served my country as a diplomat in several beautiful but terribly conflicted countries that could not properly provide for their citizenry. Are we to count ourselves amongst those places because we are unable to craft a solution to our immigration problem, which is not going away anytime soon?

"In June 2013, the U.S. Senate passed an immigration overhaul bill with 68 votes. The legislation died in the House. And Speaker Boehner resigned less than a year later. Here we go again. Republicans appear to like this playbook." (Nov 6, 2014, WAPO)


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