2017-05-18 / Views

Immigration hysteria is serving no one

Immigration policy has perplexed folks far more heady than us.

Or has it?

We attempted to set records straight last week with our story, “No immigration raids in schools.” Rumors about immigration agents plucking students from classrooms, which were begun with no supporting facts and spread to propagate an emotional response for political purposes, were out of control.

A few phone calls later, and we learned that no raids had been conducted at schools in Leelanau County — or anywhere in the state, for that matter.

But the state Board of Education and Civil Rights Commission had issued near-frantic warnings to local schools boards, which were told to approve a policy to stop the federal government from busting into schools to take students.

Perhaps over time the words of Immigration and Customs Enforcement public information officer Khaalid Walls, who we interviewed for the story, will be proven wrong.

But he sounded sincere to us, and his contention that ICE doesn’t work that way is backed up by department policy.

The over-zealous campaign rhetoric of President Donald Trump can be sourced as a start to the hysteria. But so can the political work of his opponents, who search frantically for the dark lining in all immigration enforcement as though we’ve evolved into a nation without laws.

Sometimes they “adjust” stories to an end. Sometimes they make them up.

But the fact remains that America has borders, and those who are here illegally have no civil right to stay.

The benefits of being an “American” are reserved for its citizens, and it’s those citizens who the federal government must protect and should help prosper.

There are simple steps that can be taken to calm immigration panic. We like the proposal put forth by our own Sheriff Mike Borkovich last week.

He’s not the first person to suggest that people who came to America illegally to work should be offered working papers and be allowed to stay. Maybe such a simple solution will have to come from the heartland rather than Washington. So we need to add more voices to what just might become a movement.

Kick out the criminals, which the Trump administration is doing. Then give work passes to the people who need them.

As to a “path to citizenship,” let’s put that decision off. It’s the part of the equation tripping up those heady politicians in Washington.

First let’s get people here illegally above ground.

Sounds simple. Rather than pushing rumors, let’s push for a solution. We’ll see.

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