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GOP Huelskamp on Immigration Reform Deal: “They made a mistake in 1986. I’m not going to repeat that.”

With Congress back in session, legislative news is back on the rise. One of those hot topics is immigration reform. Before the recess the Senate was close to reaching a bi-partisan deal on immigration. While generally supported in the Senate and somewhat by the Obama administration, many in the House are opposed.

Some of the highlights include: a path to citizenship, funding for border security, and other minor details. One Tea Party member has recently criticized the bill. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) stated “They made a mistake in 1986. I’m not going to repeat that.”


The Congressman has a point in regards to the mistake in 1986. The government should not dive into popular legislation without thinking it through and using past examples, he makes a great point. Many members of the House are against the legislation without more funding for border patrol. While border patrol may help reduce some illegal immigration, it does not solve it. To solve the problem the legislators need to look at why massive influxes of immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American nations are happening. Why are Canadians not rushing to the United States?

Latin America is known as being less fortunate than its neighbors to the North, but is being less fortunate the driving force behind the illegal immigration? For years Mexico and many nations in Latin America have been very unsafe. Some would argue that Mexico is in a civil war. When thousands of people are dying every month in the majority of the Mexican states it is only reasonable that one would want to go somewhere safer. The closest safe haven is the U.S.. Escape from violence may not be the driving force behind the influx, but it certainly plays a role. Many of the violence is due to drug related cartels where their major buyers are in the United States. This has caused many officials in Mexico to become extremely corrupt from the massive profits from the illegal drug trade.

While immigration reform will help the situation it will not solve it. To solve it the U.S. needs to look deeper into the reasons causing the influx. The reasons being poverty and violence, and with ongoing violence there is little chance for prosperity. If the U.S. would tackle the illegal drug trade, the violence in Mexico could decrease, giving the government the chance to establish itself. In turn making prosperity possible.

Call it old fashioned and out of date, but it is our best interest long-term to help our neighbors. Reforming the war on drugs, and focusing foreign aid to our neighbors and friends rather than nations that do not support our interests, should be our action before legislation on immigration. As far as making the mistake again, we already have.

Jared Simmons is a political blogger and a contributor to 1-800-Politics.com

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