“Dreamers,” “hard-liners” and “hawks.” Loaded language doesn’t help us find compromise that’s both compassionate and just.

Many “dreamers” and their parents have committed multiple crimes: identity theft, Social Security card fraud and lying on state and federal documents. Their presence has created a huge consumer market for identity theft. If native-born Americans commit these crimes, they face jail time.

Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs gave special federal protection from our laws to one favored group. What do we call that? Of course, we’re polarized! Stuck between another mass amnesty or mass deportations.

If we’re going to find a compromise, then both sides need to give. Democrats will have to move on their demand that everyone gets full citizenship, and Republicans need to give on deportations. Can we find a way to legalize a limited number of highly deserving “dreamers,” so they can stay and keep their jobs, but without full citizenship? Bottom line: Can we demonstrate some compassion without totally compromising the rule of law, creating special deals for favored groups?

Then we need to get to the basics of immigration policy: How many immigrants should we admit in the future? How do we choose them? And what’s the most humane way to enforce our laws? Loaded language doesn’t help us.

Jonette Christian

Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy


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