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Letter on Immigration and Law Enforcement

A friend, a retired law enforcement officer, recently asked me, what’s wrong with Trump enforcing immigration laws? My response was another question: in traffic control, do policemen always enforce the speed limit? Even in these days of “alternative facts,” I suspect we can all agree from personal experience that the answer is no. And I suspect that virtually all of us concede that that’s a good thing.

It’s also a good thing that the enforcement of immigration laws has never been absolute. Such laws are far from perfect and are inadequately funded by Congress. Humanitarianism aside, the fact is that most undocumented immigrants are productive members of our society. The federal government under Obama strove to deport those who were not and to greatly reduce those entering our country illegally, and in both cases with considerable success. Trump should do the same, while trying to persuade Congress to devise a method by which productive illegals have a pathway to citizenship and restrictions on those trying to enter our country are more enforceable. The latter will require continuing cooperation with Mexico.

Trump has stirred the emotions of Americans, positive and negative. Effective policy requires respect for facts and analysis derived therefrom. Excessive partisanship facilitates neither.

Written by xx, printed on xx/xx/2017