Immigration and the Texas Presidential Debate
They support a path to citizenship. Clinton said she'd consider stopping the raids. Obama talked about the increase in hate crimes against Latinos due to the harsh rhetoric employed against migrants. They both came out in support of increasing opportunities for migrant in Mexico, which gets at the root of the problem. They took reasonable stances on the issue of language. But there was one policy espoused that was deeply flawed.
If they had a committed a crime in our country or the country they came from, then they should be deported.Hillary Clinton - Democrat Debate (21 February 2008)
Obama hasn't come out explicitly and said this, but in his immigration fact sheet, he says migrants "otherwise playing by the rules" should get a path to citizenship, implying those that don't should be deported.
At first glance this seems pretty reasonable. Criminal undocumented migrants should be deported, period. It's pretty hard to argue against that with the average U.S. citizen. I wouldn't dare advocate that undocumented criminal migrants shouldn't be deported, but it is important that the U.S. is smart about this.
The U.S. hasn't been smart about this in the past and it has hurt everybody, including U.S. citizens. When the U.S. expedited deportation proceedings in the 1990s to tackle undocumented criminals, it didn't reduce undocumented criminals it only succeeded in spreading them around the entire hemisphere and organizing them transnationally.
Now, gangs that were once relegated to neighborhoods in Los Angeles, like Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18, have been converted into "transnational criminal hydras". Not only do these gangs wreak havoc on U.S. citizens, they make conditions in the countries migrants come from worse, forcing even more migrants to leave.
Again, I'm not saying the U.S. should keep undocumented criminals within it's borders, but the U.S. should do a better job of communicating with receiving countries and helping them assimilate these undocumented criminals in a way that doesn't make the problem worse.
If we just allow Clinton and Obama to deport undocumented criminals without holding their feet to the fire about specifics, it's going to beat us in the long run.
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