In high school, my civics teachers’ mantra was “Freedom is relative, not absolute!” As a young kid, that phrase didn’t hold a lot of meaning to me.
50 years, a wife and kids, and a successful law practice, have made me realize that freedom is meaningless chaos without responsibility. Even the freedom to drive an automobile requires the responsibility to obey the traffic laws and drive safely.
Let’s look at the U.S. Government, U.S. citizens, and immigrants today:
- The Senate was free to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year which covered more visas for workers at all levels, enhanced border security, and a path for illegal aliens to become legal.
- The House was free to dislike the Senate bill and last week, passed a bill enhancing border security and overturning the administrative action benefiting illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as children.
- The President was free to enact an administrative measure called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and consider other administrative actions to enhance border security and defer deportation of other classes of illegal aliens.
- Illegal alien children from Central America under a 2008 law are free to cross the border, turn themselves in, and have the right to a hearing before being admitted or deported.
- Illegal adult aliens are free to complain about the lack of comprehensive reform they believe they deserve because they work hard, pay taxes, and aren’t criminals.
- U.S. citizens are free to complain about the presence of illegal aliens in the U.S. even though they often are hiring them directly or indirectly and complain when they get fined and their illegal alien gets deported because of antiquated laws.
Does anyone else see the disconnect between the freedoms above and the lack of responsibility to come together to find solutions?
The concerns are genuine: border security, humanitarian care, safety and health, and a 21st century international and mobile workforce. The solutions are hard and will demand compromise but isn’t that the role of the U.S. Government and our leaders? Immigrants who are not legally here don’t really have a free voice nor should they but U.S. citizens need to come together and tell our leaders we need solutions and compromise is not a dirty word.
We work hard for our clients to understand the difficult and often conflicting immigration laws that make their business and personal lives a challenge to manage.