The Need for Congress to Act on Immigration Reform

The Need for Congress to Act on Immigration Reform

Op-Ed: A dismissal at Customs and Border Protection shows how hard law enforcement reform can be.

I don’t care if you’re on the left or the right.

In his opening remarks on Capitol Hill this week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske made it clear that CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, despite his reputation as a “conservative”, is willing to do “whatever it takes” to enforce the law he oversees.

“We will not sit idly by,” Kerlikowske told members of the House Homeland Security Committee. “We’re going to get this fixed. We’re going to be creative with the resources that are available to us. And we’re going to bring them to bear so that we can move forward and get the job done.”

Kerlikowske’s remarks were meant to show support for the Trump Administration’s approach to immigration. He spoke at length about the need for Congress to act. After listening to the Commissioner’s remarks, I wrote a column, highlighting his tough words and emphasizing the need for Congress to finally act on immigration reform. And, I believe, I’ve made the case that Kerlikowske deserves the thanks of immigration reform advocates who understand the need for Congress to act to improve our immigration system.

I’m not alone. In fact, as recently as last month, the American Immigration Council’s Executive Director, Matt Chandler, went as far as to say that it would be a mistake to “treat this like any other legislative initiative”. Rather, he suggested, “The only real work for legislation would be passing comprehensive immigration reform.” Chandler also pointed out that the issue of immigration was one that needed fixing “on its own,” as opposed to using the political process to push the legislation through. And, he argued, “To be successful, you first have to get it right.”

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