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Immigration Reform: What’s the key to making it work?

Senator Marco Rubio, Florida

 Rubio’s message: This plan can work,

but we must work the plan.

Whenever the topic of immigration reform comes up, past or present, a vocal opposition immediately arises. They make a lot of noise, but they never really offer a viable alternative. With the most recent attempt at solving this issue, the noise offered is no different. But what about the plan itself? Is it different? What makes anyone think it will work?

Some contend that the plan currently being offered by a bi-partisan  Congressional committee, a plan largely authored by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is no different than the plan offered under the Reagan Administration some three decades ago. Opponents say immigration reform didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

But Senator Rubio knows what

it will take to make it work.

The key to this plan working will be finding a way to enforce it. That is a bone that seems to stick in the throats of many who say that past attempts to fix illegal immigration failed entirely due to lack of enforcement.

Someone always comments that the devil will be in the details, but a well developed, detailed plan is the only way to avoid either the enactment of blanket amnesty or allowing the current de facto amnesty to continue.

Enforcement will surely be where the fine-tuning is necessary.

Maybe that will require building into the legislation specific support to give the individual states more power to do the actual enforcing. As it stands now, individual states and even ICE agents are having to fight the federal government just to be able to enforce laws already in place. While states have individual governing rights which trump the federal government via the Tenth Amendment, it seems the feds have little or no respect for that. Maybe it will require that the current plan include explicit restraints on federal entities to override state enforcement, such as the current administration has been doing.

It is, admittedly, a touchy subject with lots of opportunities to trip. But it is an issue which must be managed once and for all because the alternative is wholesale, instant amnesty – and that means that, if the Democrats get their way, they will have easily bought themselves a whole new block of voters to indoctrinate and control.

That being said, if a truly comprehensive plan is to be passed, it still must contain elements that allow for both sides to get some satisfaction out of supporting it. Senator Rubio obviously understands the need for offering something that can be considered appealing to both sides. That ultimately has to require some degree of flexibility. For those who are rigid on this issue, compromise is unacceptable, but compromise is often how anything at all gets accomplished in such a complex system.

While Rubio has a clear understanding of this need to demonstrate some flexibility, he is also astute enough to know where flexibility can be applied and where to stand firm. For him, it is a matter of common sense. And Rubio has stated several times that, in order for any plan to work, it will be necessary to stand firm on the issues of enforcement and of making the path to citizenship a significant effort for those who have been present illegally. Given the character and leadership that he has already demonstrated, there is no reason to believe that he will not hold the line on these issues.

One can only speculate as to the motives of the loudest opposition within our own party, but it does seem that the loudest and most rigid opposition comes from the far Right. It will be left to the reader to deduce possible motives in considering whatever attributes might go along with that far Right crowd.

It appears that most reasonable people desire a reasonable solution to the issue. In a recent FOX News poll, 66% of Americans favored “a path to citizenship, with conditions”. Pew Research Center found that number to be as high as 72%. What is currently being proposed is a path, and a long one with many hurdles, not a fast track.

The sticking point for most reasonable people is not eventual citizenship. The real fear here is two-fold: That the undocumented population will gain immediate citizenship and create a huge new Democratic voting base; and that the influx of illegal immigrants will not be stopped. But, since Senator Rubio has made his case to stand firm specifically on these two issues, there is much reason to believe that we can make it work.

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