Immigration has always been a fraught subject in America. We all know that except for Indigenous people (Native Americans), at some previous point all of the rest of us made the long journey to America from somewhere else. In the last 400 years, Europeans, Africans and Asians have filled up the continent to the tune of 334 million people. The liberals and the Democrats like to say, “We all came here from somewhere else, we were all once immigrants,” but their opponents reply that that was then, and acknowledging that fact doesn’t mean we cannot have honest concerns about how much immigration is now enough and at what pace.
As 2023 begins, there is, down on the southern border, a legal crisis, a geopolitical crisis, a political crisis, an economic crisis and a humanitarian crisis. Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California all report challenging social pressures from the sheer numbers gathered at the border or huddled just inside the U.S. in border towns. The governors of Florida and Texas seem to regard what is happening as a five-alarm fire. The debate over immigration — legal and illegal — is likely to dominate our national politics for the next couple of years, but only a blithering optimist would suggest that sensible immigration reform will find its way through Congress. There will be plenty of blame and name calling and incendiary rhetoric, but actual reform seems exceedingly unlikely.
Which deepens and worsens the situation.
No National Policy Immigrants Can Count On
Much of the problem at the border is that the United States does not have a coherent, consistent and defensible immigration policy. Enforcement varies according to the level of public alarm and depending on which party or even which president is in power.