Does anyone really want California to be a sanctuary state for illegals?
At the same time does anyone really believe deporting all illegals whether they are criminals or not beyond their immigration status is a wise thing?
As long as the political blustering on both sides rival a Category 3 hurricane nobody will be well served - citizens, legal immigrants or even illegals for that matter.
Immigration Customs & Enforcement (ICE) hard data showing 200 illegals charged or convicted of serious physical crimes for a week-long period starting Jan. 28 were released by law enforcement agencies in sanctuary cities instead of honoring immigration holds underscores the point we are not talking about petty theft criminals or those wanted for driving without a license.
The list of 200 include those accused or convicted of domestic violence, assault, sex crimes, heroin dealers, and even arson for iginiting a house fire with a family inside. And to be clear, they were of all nationalities. The arson suspect is a Cambodian illegally in this country.
Do we really want politicians in Sacramento who are salivating to go mano a mano with Donald Trump over illegals give "all" illegals carte blanche even if they are charged with rape, gang affiliations, gun crimes, sex crimes, and assault?
At the same time do we really want to deport illegals who were brought to this country as a child and then raised and educated here? If for no other reason American tax dollars have educated them so shouldn't American taxpayers benefit from their investment and allow the so-called Dreamers to have legal status?
The first solution is for all law enforcement agencies (and most already do) to do what local police have done for years. They do not check the citizenship status of people they stop. If there are criminal arrest warrants for them or they are being charged with a serious felony that is another issue.
It is disingenuous for sanctuary cities to say checking immigration holds for illegals with serious felony charges pending is somehow violating their constitutional rights. Setting aside that illegals are all breaking a basic law of nations by being in this country without permission, how can you justify turning an illegal lose wanted for rape, committing violent acts on behalf of a gang, or trying to burn a family alive inside of their own home when it is clear they have no ties to the community?
Why not have a halfway policy given the immigration courts are as backed up as the criminal courts. Any illegal charged with a felony - either convicted or charged - and is detained by law enforcement for a legitimate reason must be turned over to ICE. Those illegals accused of petty crimes as well as traffic violations other than driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter wouldn't be held for ICE and would go through the system like everyone else.
Meanwhile, something needs to be done about the ineptness of the system allowing so-called Dreamers to gain citizenship. There should be no fee charged to process their citizenship application. Given this is 2017 and apparently the federal government is so effective they can crack iPhones and do massive data sweeps and cherry pick details of conversations they had no legal authority to do so, doing a background check on a 22-year-old who has been in this country since the age of 3 shouldn't be much of a challenge.
Yes, it might allow some "bad" people to slip through the cracks. But the bigger issue here is making Dreamers full productive citizens given the investment America has already made in them and vice versa.
As for other illegals, give them one last shot at applying for legal status short of citizenship. They can be issued non-resident guest cards that can protect them from the threat of deportation until such time their case can be processed. And if a fee is charged, make it nominal - say $20 - to make sure there is some commitment without breaking the bank. Yes it costs money to push paper and do background checks but restoring order to immigration is more important.
There should be a well-publicized year-long window for applying for the card. Those that fail to do so will be treated no different than illegals that enter the country at the end of the application period. They will be subject to immediate deportation.
Those illegals issued the non-resident guest card should they commit a felony after receiving it would not be subject to deportation but would be treated the same as any other American criminal which, judging by many Third World nations where illegals flee from, is much better than if they were deported.
Yes, illegals do a wide variety of jobs that many Americans will not tackle.
Yes, our guest worker program works much smoother for those filling high tech jobs that make big campaign contributors such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, and Larry Ellison even richer than they do for migrant farmworkers.
Yes, the vast majority of illegals aren't criminals other than their residency status.
And, yes, residency status is not a minor point when it comes to the sovereignty of nations and the rights of all of a country's respective citizen.
But to continue as we have resolves nothing. We need a working compromise in place for the existing situation so we can go forward with serious and precise talks for establishing future immigration limits and protecting our borders.
This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.