Michael Steele on Immigration
The act legalized undocumented workers who could prove they entered the United States before 1982 and lived here continuously since then. The Immigration and Naturalization Service reported more than 3 million of an estimated 4 million eligible undocumented workers applied for residency under the act, which eventually allowed them to gain U.S. citizenship.
Steele said Congress' priority should be border control before it should tackle the problem of undocumented immigrants already in the country. "If we're out on the Chesapeake Bay and we spring a leak, what are we going to do, bail water or stop the leak?" he said. "When you stop the leak you have the peace of mind to deal with the water that has accumulated in the boat."
A: Congress's unique inability to multi-task highlights our nation's need for common- sense immigration reform. Until we see Congress take some real and immediate steps to secure our borders, we can hardly expect Americans to seriously consider proposals for dealing with those illegal immigrants already in our county and those employers who fail to adequately report them. Nearly 1.2 million people were arrested trying to illegally enter the U.S. through the Mexican border last year alone, and an estimated 500,000 evaded capture. This is unacceptable. When a patient has a serious laceration, the doctor's first priority is to stop the bleeding, and then they can decide if simple stitches or surgery is needed to fix the problem for the long term. First thing's first: secure our borders and then we can deal with meaningful immigration reform.
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