Immigration reform needed

We are not the first to say it nor will we be the last, but last week’s defeat of a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate represents the paralysis the nation has in dealing with illegal aliens and their role in American society.

Without a doubt, our system is broken and despite the bill’s controversial nature, it did represent the best chance to overhaul the system in years. Most of its framers are known for their moderate views and, quite frankly, that will be where the ultimate solution will lie: In the middle.

Unfortunately, the incredibly cumbersome bill collapsed under its own weight due to pressure from Senate Republicans, who are even going against President Bush, who has seemingly put politics aside momentarily to advocate for what might be his last legislative accomplishment.

While buzz words like “xenophobia” and “amnesty” continue to be thrown around with reckless abandon, the problems posed by illegal immigration go on unabated.

Unquestionably, some illegal aliens are a drain on the system but there are many who, for all intensive purposes, are vital parts of society.

There are jobs that Americans won’t do, and, contrary to alarmists, the threat that the Spanish language poses to America is overblown, if existent at all.

However, a weak border does pose a security threat and too many communities are burdened with providing social services that are underfunded to begin with.

Without a new approach to immigration, the status quo will grow worse and it will become harder to change in the long run.

The efforts of those dozen or so senators are to be applauded because they are caught between politicians on both extremes playing political chicken with this country’s welfare.

No solution will emerge from mere opposition, and an aversion to compromise in the name of base politics is not a virtue.

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