(Welcome Congressman! - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)
You all might have heard that members of Congress have been receiving bricks in the mail from folks around the country. The message: Build a wall between this country and Mexico.
I saw something else in the bricks we've been receiving -- holes.
As you can see in the photograph, I'm holding bricks with holes in them. Moreover, they're crumbling in my hands. Having built a wall or two in my day and spent a considerable amount of time roaming the aisles of El Paso's various home improvement and hardware stores, I can tell you, these are not bricks to build with.
The first thing that struck me about the bricks that we've received is that they are representative of the House Republicans' empty approach to immigration reform. I've said a thousand times that people who want to wall off an entire country and turn immigrants and good samaritans into felons simply do not understand the true nature of immigration and border enforcement. If we truly wish the meet the challenges (and take advantage of the opportunities) that present themselves on our southern border, we must pursue policy that approaches immigration and border enforcement in comprehensive fashion. And we definitely can't design policy just to satisfy the conservative base of the Republican party. That is not in the best interests of America.
What I'd like to do is send a three legged stool to every individual that sent me a brick, because it is the three legged stool, not a brick, that represents good immigration policy. Immigration reform must cover three points to succeed; if not, the proverbial stool will fall. Here are the points:
1. Step up border enforcement by providing more resources for agents, detention beds, and force multipliers like cameras;
2. Establish a guest worker program that contains a pathway to citizenship; and
3. Beef up interior enforcement by enforcing employer sanctions and generally making it more difficult to employ illegal immigrants, which eliminates the "pull factor" that encourages immigration today.
If there's an appropriate symbol for the immigration proposals I've heard from the Republican Caucus in the House, it's certainly what I've been receiving in the mail, a brick you can't build with.
Check out the picture over at http://www.reyesblog.com.