Make no mistake about it. We have a humanitarian crisis on our Southern border. This should come as a surprise to no one. In fact, it would be a surprise if our Southern border wasn’t a mess.
Why is the border a mess? The answer is obvious to anyone who hasn’t been blinded by partisan politics. The answer is partisan politics. Specifically, the bickering in Washington over immigration policy.
All you have to do to start a knock-down, drag-out brawl among Washington politicians is just say the word “Immigration.” Immigration policy and the border have become weapons the politicians use against each other. None of them are serious about creating a consistent policy. Our political leaders would rather use immigration as a platform for posturing, grandstanding, and righteous indignation than have a coherent policy.
As a result, the people in charge at the border (Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement) are getting inconsistent and contradictory direction from Washington. They’re also not receiving the funding they need to do their jobs because the politicians are too busy fighting over immigration.
The fact is, we don’t have a border policy, at least not a coherent one. It’s a schizophrenic policy that is completely detached from reality. It reflects the partisan mess in Washington. When the policy is inconsistent and incoherent, how can you expect those who are supposed to carry out that policy to do a good job?
The humanitarian crisis can be addressed and lives could be saved. We could have a fair and just immigration policy that protects America’s interests and also allows for people truly seeking freedom to come here. However, that would mean President Donald Trump and the Democrats would have to actually agree on something. Their mutual attitude of “My way or the highway” towards each other have created the mess we see today.
Negotiation and compromise shouldn’t be seen as signs of weakness. In fact, our whole system was built on the idea that no one will ever get everything he or she wants. Negotiation and reaching a consensus were built into the system because that’s what the founders had to do to make the United States of America look something like a unified nation.
Our Constitution wasn’t handed down from Mt. Sinai. The founders weren’t wise men in ivory towers. They were (gasp!) politicians! It took a lot of negotiating and compromising to create our system of government. They built negotiation and compromise into the system because they understood that was the best way to preserve freedom and make sure no one branch of government dominated the others, and that one section of country couldn’t dominate other sections.
This is a point that many of today’s political leaders don’t seem to understand.
The crisis at the border will continue to grow until our political leaders in Washington finally grow up and get down to business about actually solving it.
It can be done. Looking at the cast of characters in Washington, I’m not optimistic they’re the ones who could actually do it.
I hope I’m wrong.