In 1986 President Ronald Reagan reluctantly signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted amnesty to over 2 million illegal immigrants. President Reagan was persuaded to sign the bill because it promised “compressive immigration reform” with a focus on strengthening border security and internal immigration enforcement against employers who were hiring illegal immigrants. The promise of border security was never fulfilled. There have been six more amnesties from 1994 to 2000, and yet our border remains dangerously unprotected.
Securing our nation’s vulnerable borders should be the number one priority before there is any action regarding legal status of the illegal immigrants already in our country. Border security is not only an immigration issue; it is a vital national security issue and one never to be politicized. Terrorist groups, criminal gangs, weapons and drugs are flowing freely across our borders endangering the lives of all Americans. Since 1986, politicians have been promising to secure our borders in exchange for amnesty. History has shown us that these promises were disingenuous and our borders remain wide open and the illegal immigrant population has exploded.
Unless and until we focus on securing our borders first, this cycle will continue to threaten all those who love our great county. Once the border is secure, we can then begin to reform our immigration system and come up with solutions to address the legal status of those people already here.