Opinion – How do you spell dysfunction? Congress!

How do you spell dysfunction? Congress! We can’t help but wonder why the congressmen and women even bother to show up. They already know how they will vote, they have been instructed by their party. They don’t vote on what is best for the American people, their constituents, they vote the way their party tells them to, and sometimes some of them know it’s wrong.

It’s really time for the citizens of this country to stand up against this party establishment.

The three-day government shutdown is a perfect example of dysfunction. Since when is it right to shut down the government and deny wages to thousands of workers, our military, and in this instance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) recipients which number in the millions? Yes, the immigration issue is important, but we can’t help but wonder why illegal immigrants are more important than existing citizens. Should the issue be resolved? Absolutely, but not by holding anyone hostage. Numerous polls indicated that Americans want immigration issues resolved and did not want a government shutdown. Dreamers, who are technically illegal, are caught in the middle. They were brought here by their parents as children and have built lives here in the United States. They have attended our high schools and colleges, some have enlisted in the military, most are contributing in a positive way to the communities they live in. Our government needs to find a way to allow them to stay. But the picture is bigger than just the Dreamers. If it’s true there are 12 million people in the country illegally it’s time to address this issue. How do you grant amnesty to 12 million?

In 1986 President Reagan granted amnesty to nearly three million illegal immigrants. In a televised debate with Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale in 1984 Reagan said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally,” he said. The bill made any immigrant who’d entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty. Now, this Congress could do similar legislation but with some strong stipulations: the wall gets built, increase border patrols, stop chain migration, reform our green-card system, base future immigration on merit and, lastly, pass legislation that forces businesses to use e-verify. The next issue will be, if we grant amnesty now, will we have millions more coming in to the country to get their own amnesty? Probably, the reason people come here is to get jobs. If businesses have to use e-verify it just might slow down the number of illegals coming across our southern border.

Our hearts go out to the people who came here looking for a better life and the opportunity to help their relatives in other countries. It’s time for Congress to quit bickering and take a stand to help these people. Quit being Republicans and Democrats and be human beings with compassion. Next steps for voters to take — term limits!

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