Tonawanda News


February 6, 2013

DUVALL: The pragmatic immigration debate

Tonawanda News — There are two debates we can have over immigration reform: The one we need to have about finding practical and fair solutions as to the future of the 11 million illegal immigrants in America and the one about how we wish they had just never come here in the first place.

In case you hadn’t noticed, pragmatism is sorely lacking in our public policy debates with lawmakers offering “solutions” as if the problems they don’t like simply never happened.

See the immigration debate, where House Republicans face this choice. First indication is they’re going to stick to their guns and refuse anything they deem “amnesty” for those here illegally.

A bipartisan group of senators, including the ascendant conservative from Florida, Marco Rubio, have proposed a series of steps that would further secure the nation’s borders while offering a “path to citizenship” for those here illegally. 

It offers law-abiding, gainfully employed illegal aliens a series of steps to complete, including paying a fine to answer the charge of entering the country illegally and proving proficiency with the language. In return, they will be granted citizenship.

The proposal is balanced, realistic and reflects the values of Democrats who seek to protect immigrant rights and Republicans who don’t want to reward those entering the country illegally.

This would be the pragmatic approach and could, if properly packaged, pass with a large bipartisan vote — in the Senate that is.

But in the House, Republicans are far less reasonable — and terrified they’ll lose a primary to a tea party conservative next year.

That means their response is to shut down anything that allows those illegal aliens an opportunity to become legitimate American citizens.

To this, there is a fair question: What’s the alternative?

We could continue to ignore the problem. 

Text Only
  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core

    They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wallace, Amy BW mug WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry I don't know about you, but I am so sick of the cable news stations' constant coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo