Photo above by Katerkate on Flickr Creative Commons License
By Diana Waterman
Chair, Maryland Republican Party
Two days ago, columnist Barry Rascovar shared his opinion about the situation caused by the high number of unaccompanied children arriving illegally in the United States. While Mr. Rascovar is entitled to his opinion, the Maryland Republican Party finds his partisan attack on members of our party to be both outrageous and slanderous.
Let me first define the term illegal immigration for Mr. Rascovar. Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people across national borders, or the residence of foreign nationals in a country, in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country.
Entering the country illegally
These children are entering this country illegally and that is what Mr. Rascovar is missing in his article. And to call us bigots because we oppose illegal immigration is typical of the liberal left. When they disagree with us on issues they revert to name calling and personal attacks.
Mr. Rascovar wants his readers to believe that the Grand Old Party is somehow an anti-immigration party because a portion of its founding members were part of the Know-Nothing Party. Well some members of the KKK were members of the Democrat Party so using his logic the Democrat Party is also a racist party.
Mr. Rascovar also assumes that it was a Republican who placed graffiti on the Carroll County military building without evidence. No one has been arrested or charged with this crime, but he assumes it was a Republican because of the message. To make an accusation like that is not only irresponsible but unprofessional as well.
Reagan signed immigration reform
In 1986, President Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, a bipartisan immigration reform bill that created a pathway to citizenship for 3 million undocumented immigrants. Now that President Obama is considering legalizing 5 million illegal immigrants, foreigners are racing for the U.S. border before he does so in an effort to receive the bounty of being a U.S. citizen, without having to go through the process. The United States looks like the answer to all of their prayers. The enticement of U.S. citizenship without any strings attached is a very strong motivator.
Mr. Rascovar goes on to attack some of the elected officials in my party because they’re trying to fix this problem and not turning a blind eye to it. The current border crisis highlights the incompetency of the Obama administration and the fractures within the Democratic Party on how to solve our broken border system. President Obama is sending a clear message: the only way he will ever be a firsthand witness of the crisis on the U.S. – Mexico border is if the DNC holds a fundraiser there.
Republicans committed to solutions
Republicans are committed to solving this situation, but President Obama and his administration need to deliver a plan that actually curbs illegal immigration. Disappointedly, Senate Democrats fired the first shot in the border solution negotiations, attempting to block an honest Republican proposal and turn it into a polarizing political prop.
They’re following the same pattern as President Obama, concerning themselves with fundraisers and politics over actually making sure the well-being of kids is taken care of and the border is secure. This is proof that immigration isn’t a policy issue for Democrats, it’s a political prop to trot out in an election year.
Americans disappointed with Obama
With President Obama failing to lead on a slew of issues, Gallup reports that Americans are also disappointed with his handling of our broken immigration system. Americans' approval of President Barack Obama's handling of immigration has dropped to 31%, one of the lowest readings since 2010, when Gallup began polling on his handling of the issue. Today, two in three Americans (65%) disapprove of his handling of immigration.
What President Obama doesn’t get about our immigration system is that half of the country, including many independent voters, see a struggling border and weak interior enforcement as a reflection of another mismanaged aspect of this administration. Until President Obama fixes the reality problem at our border and Americans see him enforcing our laws, we will have a perception problem abroad and he will have a favorability problem at home.
In closing the Maryland Republican Party has been and always will be a proponent of lawful immigration. We support everyone’s desire to be a citizen of the United States, but we encourage people to emigrate the legal way. A nation without borders is not a nation.