A Friendly But Honest Reminder

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I know, I know – I hate to bust everyone’s groove during Democratic National Committee week, but it’s time to get serious and, as the old adage goes, there is no better time than the present.

With CNN reporting a deadlock between President Obama and Mitt Romney the same week of the DNC convention, the presidential election has evolved from a struggle between good and evil to the grateful versus the forgotten.  As we approach the final stretch to Election Day, the President’s fate rests in the hands of a group who appears to have taken a backseat to economic issues and Obamacare: Hispanics. And let me tell you – after last week, nothing is certain.

Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? The Republicans want to reclaim their place in the hearts and minds of Hispanic Americans, and they laid it on pretty thick at the GOP convention. But Democrats have arduously worked to procure the Hispanic vote by promising immigration reform.  Both sound pretty convincing to a voter on the fence, so who wins the vote?  It’s a tough call, especially since this so-called immigration makeover turned out to be weak sauce.

I know that the party line is to stand with my liberal counterparts but change begins with the truth.  And it just so happens that I stumbled upon an inconvenient truth when I read Brian Bennett’s article in the LA times this week.

According to this carefully balanced article, lawmakers are tasked with solving a legal quandary in which undocumented immigrants are separated from their American-born children when deported.  Immigration advocates suggest leniency for parents, while opponents argue against exceptions to the rule.

I empathize with the concerns of immigrant advocates on this issue; however, I am compelled to remind everyone of a truth that grants us the freedom to fight for justice every day, and is a proven ally in American history. It is this: the law is the law. We can make new laws, even change old ones, but we cannot break the laws that exist. I’d like to think that in our efforts to implement positive change, we aren’t so arrogant to believe that we can simply ignore laws that we do not like.

We tend to despise people like that.

If anything, this issue confirms even more that the current system does not work. What happens, for instance, when a convicted felon becomes a parent? Would the law then provide leniency for crimes committed by parents? What if the biological parents neglect the child or is not the primary care provider? Would a person who acts as the guardian, but is not the biological parent, have the same deportation rights? And how would this compromise our national security? There are so many possible loopholes and opportunities for fraud with these scenarios that it nullifies the law altogether.

The Obama Administration took a temporary diplomatic approach to this issue by focusing mostly on illegal immigrants who are convicted criminals. Additionally, under the tutelage of the administration, the Department of Homeland Security implemented a program to protect young immigrants not born in the states, but are old enough to work.

Still, the main issue has yet to be rectified. While it is a start for now, these measures do not address the illegal immigrant with an American-born two-year old.

My guess is that the forgotten will want answers.  Sure, some other things may have gotten in the way, but a little cosmetic maintenance to an already tragically flawed system may not be enough to be given another chance. Who knows? President Obama is still in the White House. Maybe the ‘October surprise’ will bring about this novel idea that I keep hearing about – something about overhauling a dated system in dire need of actual reform. What will happen in the next few weeks is anyone’s guess, but rest assured the Hispanic population will make their statement on November 6th.