President Barack Obama has just started promoting a plan for comprehensive immigration reform. Why now? Election 2012 has begun, and Obama wants to deflect criticisms that he isn’t doing anything about immigration.
Why is it such a big deal? Well, there’s an immigration crisis, say Republican presidential candidates. Herman Cain says that “weak borders have caused
a compounding problem of terrorists assimilating with illegal immigrants, crossing the border with them and entering the U.S.”
Where are those terrorists who have assimilated with illegal immigrants, though? Herman Cain can’t say. They’ve assimilated, after all, so there’s no evidence of them being there. Cain just knows it in his heart.
We’ve heard that claim for years and years now, but terrorists with nuclear suitcase bombs coming from Mexico have not attacked. In all these years of supposedly loose border security, not one American has even received a paper cut from a terrorist who has come into the United States from Mexico.
In the 2004 presidential election, we were told that there was an immigration crisis. In 2008, we were told that there was an immigration crisis. Now, again, in 2012, we’re being told that there’s an immigration crisis.
I’m sure that there are genuine problems with immigration. For example, families led by same-sex couples who have married in other countries cannot immigrate into the United States together. There are people who cross the border illegally as well, though they’re decreasing in number.
What kind of crisis, though, could continue for an entire decade of alarm without any increase in harm? The immigration crisis is no crisis at all. The issue of immigration deserves calm, rational evaluation and reform, not hype.