Our View: The American dream


The immigration system is broken, and no one seems to know how to fix it.

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., will speak in Craig this morning. We expect him to talk about immigration and what's being done nationally to rectify a situation that's gotten out of hand.

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., will address the same issue in Hayden on April 21.

We're glad senators are talking about a problem that's been stagnant politically for 20 years.

But simply discussing immigration isn't enough. Without effective legislation, the problem will continue.

About 11 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S., according to various estimates.

Because politicians have failed to address a growing problem for 20 years, they are faced with a daunting task.

What should be done with the millions of immigrants already here and the millions more who would like to come?

Should we give them all citizenship and the benefits that come with that designation?

Should we round them all up and haul them back to their native countries?

Should we just let them be and crack down on the ones who try to cross the border from now on?

There's no doubt illegal immigration is taking a toll on our education, health care and judicial systems.

The long lines at money transfer stations are evidence of the reason many immigrants come to America: to make money to send home to their families.

If we make jobs less accessible to undocumented immigrants, they will stop coming.

The government needs to make the process for employers to check potential employees' citizenship status more efficient so employers can make sure they are hiring legitimate workers.

Border Patrol officers need to crack down harder on those sneaking into the country.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials need to keep better track of immigrants here on visas and prosecute harder those who have broken the law by not going through the legal process of immigrating.

And at least some of the illegal immigrants who are already here need a path to citizenship, because sending them all back is simply impractical.

The allure of jobs and the American dream entices workers to come here.

But when they arrive, illegal immigrants are forced to live on the margins of society, often afraid to report crimes against them because they fear deportation.

The broken immigration system is not a partisan issue.

We hope fixing it isn't a partisan issue, either.

We encourage Allard and Salazar to take what they hear in Craig today and Hayden next week and put it into action when they return to Washington, D.C.

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