On Inauguration Day, An Immigrant’s Son Sends a Hopeful Message

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

January 20, 2017

Just days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, I read a heartening guest opinion column that the Denver Post published, “Trump Poised to Reform America’s Failed Immigration Policies.” The author, Troy A. Eid, served as Colorado’s 40th U.S. Attorney from 2006 to 2009. Now in private practice, Eid is the first Arab-American named to any U.S. Attorney position, and once co-chaired a statewide civil service reform with CAPS advisory board member and former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm.

Americans are expecting Trump to deliver on his promises
for an immigration system with integrity.
 

Eid and I share a deep frustration with the current morass that falsely passes for U.S. immigration policy. Eid called U.S. immigration “a bad joke” that costs billions (an estimated $113 billion) and hurts millions. The son of an Egyptian-born immigrant, Eid exposed the fallacy of mass deportations which advocates constantly claim are imminent if the government enforced immigration law. In fact, as Eid noted, no mass deportations have occurred since at least 1979 when Los Angeles first became a sanctuary city.

Today’s immigration system, wrote Eid, is unfair. He cited the federal government’s tolerance for criminal aliens “who offend against other illegal immigrants living here as well as U.S. citizens.” Eid exposed more flaws in the federal government’s “bad joke” approach to immigration that includes its failure to secure the border, Congress’ reluctance to defund sanctuary cities, its lax visa oversight, and its tolerance for allowing prospective legal immigrants to languish in line while rewarding illegal immigrants with deferred action and affirmative benefits.

In short, Eid named all the troubling immigration flaws that CAPS and its members have been combating for decades, including the runaway population growth that immigration spawns. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015, 46.6 million people now living in the U.S., including an estimated 11.3 million illegal aliens, were born in other countries, up from 23.3 million in 1990.

Eid’s column ended on an upbeat note. In his final paragraph, Eid wrote:

“Having successfully called out the problem [immigration] and won a mandate for positive change, Trump is the best-positioned president since John F. Kennedy to achieve lasting reform of a broken system that hurts U.S. taxpayers and non-U.S. citizens alike.”

Let’s hope that Trump doesn’t disappoint the millions of Americans who have put their trust in him.
 

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