Trump’s crisis should spur Congressional action on immigration

Even partisan Republicans and Democrats would agree on this: Pres. Trump is very good at creating a crisis.

That’s not always bad, because big, tough public policy problems often never get solved until they reach the point of crisis.

So, Trump created a major crisis at the border with his short-lived policy of “ripping children from the arms of their parents” when the parents were arrested for illegally crossing the border. The rhetoric by liberal Democrats and the liberal news media comparing the policy to Nazi Germany murdering millions of Jews was silly and overblown. But it’s true that Trump created a bona fide crisis.

In a crisis, all the balls are in the air and stakeholders are often more willing to be reasonable to solve the problem.

Therefore, in the celebrated spirit of “never let a good crisis go to waste,” Congress absolutely must pass reasonable, comprehensive immigration reform that creates a sensible immigration system.

Trump created a crisis, but the immigration mess is not Trump’s fault. The system has been a disaster for decades, and Congress deserves blame for not fixing it. It was in disarray during the Obama administration, when Democrats controlled Congress. They didn’t fix it. The Bush administration didn’t fix it. Congress has been kicking the can down the road for decades.

If members of Congress can’t pass good legislation after the incredible uproar, they all deserve to be fired.

Trump has managed to illustrate just how bad the system is, with its outdated laws and past court cases. People who illegally come into this country ought to be arrested. There should be no debate about that. But their accompanying children can only be held a short time. So, until Trump cracked down, bringing children across the border was, in essence, a “get into America free” card. The border was a joke.

The beneficiaries are the drug cartels and coyotes who make millions of dollars bringing immigrants to the border and telling them what to do and say.

We need immigrants – more immigrants. We need them to come to America legally. Congress needs to pass tough, sensible, border laws (and even build a fence in some areas), but make it easier and more practical for good people to enter the country legally.

Immigration is a quintessential congressional responsibility. It’s one of the biggest problems facing the country, and Congress must act.

Unfortunately, I don’t have much faith that Congress can get the job done, even with the crisis. Democratic leaders don’t really want to solve the problem. They just want to make political hay. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has made that very clear. He just wants an issue to use against Republicans in the mid-terms. Unless some more moderate Democrats reject his blatant political play, any hope of success in the Senate is doomed.

In the House, moderate Republicans and arch-conservatives can’t agree. House Speaker Paul Ryan ought to propose a mainstream bill that can attract enough moderate Republican and Democratic votes to pass. That will enrage the right-wing, but who cares?

Having some Democratic support in the House would put pressure on the Democrats in the Senate.

Congress ought to be embarrassed and humiliated. It is disgusting that they haven’t been able to solve this problem. Trump’s crisis has given them an opportunity to do the right thing.

If they actually do it, Trump will deserve thanks for finally getting meaningful action on immigration.