Cure Immigrants’ Problems Close To Home?
It’s Worth A Very Serious Try, With U.S. Help

It took a story in the Sunday World-Herald, reporting a three-week visit by a Washington Post photographer to the Central American country of Honduras, to wake me up to perhaps the best way to address Honduran problems which have been driving thousands of Hondurans north across Mexico and on into the United States as illegal immigrants.

The Washington Post photographer visited Honduras for three weeks, accompanying and photographing Honduran police as they battled against heavy odds to stem the flood of crime, including violent crimes, including rape and murder.

That flood of crime has helped wash tens of thousands of young Hondurans northward across Mexico to enter the United States illegally.

Minimize Cause For Illegal Migrations

Wouldn’t that flood of “undocumented” immigrants be more likely to be diminished, if not virtually eliminated, if the United States sent armed forces—police or military or whatever—to help the embattled Honduran police fight the violent crimes which are being used as justification for inducing thousands of immigrants to travel north and cross illegally into the United States?

You would think that honest Hondurans—politicians, educators, police officers—would welcome efforts to encourage people to grow up as Hondurans, not as illegal immigrants in the United States.

Direct American support to Honduras could include—in addition to law enforcement support—food and medical supplies.  It would be much fairer both to Honduras as a nation and to the United States to make a sincere effort to provide a safer, better life for young Hondurans in their homeland.

New Course Really A Time-Tested Policy

America and other advanced countries have a proud tradition of sending missionaries and other forms of aid to less advanced societies in foreign countries.  (Remember the relatively recent effort to restore a livable society in Haiti after an earthquake had devastated that country in 2010—an effort that met with limited success but an effort to restore a viable society in that country rather than saying, in effect, “Come on over.  We’ll take care of you in the United States.”)

The idea of helping Honduras—and other Latin American countries address their social problems at home is well worth a try.   (A better approach than encouraging illegal immigration by insisting that every immigrant, except those guilty of crimes, be given a case-by-case judicial hearings before there is any ruling on whether they should be deported—the course being pushed by some American liberals.)

America has become a welfare state, with 50% of its citizens paying federal income taxes to fund the operation of the federal government and provide food stamps, subsidized housing and other welfare benefits to those who pay no federal income taxes.

In the case at hand, why not try to extend aid to the countries where the problems originate rather than expand our welfare state society to include even more illegal immigrants?

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U.S. Immigration Reform:  Faster Path To Citizenship
Far Better Than Leaving Problem To ‘Imperial President’

Still on the subject of our treatment of illegal immigrants:

Governor Dave Heineman is under criticism from some extremists for opposing any sort of non-legal “amnesty” for college students who apply for driver’s licenses.  The proponents of such a policy would be limited to incoming college students who are admittedly illegal residents but who have record of law-abiding behavior and good scholarship on their way to college age.

Heineman has aroused the ire of some liberal critics, but if immigrants here illegally are to be treated as legal residents, where does the process stop?

Decisions like Heineman’s push us towards revising our immigration laws, as I see it.  We can’t continue to, in effect, give de facto legal status to an estimated 14 million or more residents who don’t have legal status.

Simpler Path To Citizenship Is Essential

We should be giving attention to finding a simpler, relatively speedy path to earn citizenship, instead of continuing to help illegal immigrants continue to find ways around the law.

And those who believe we should take firmer, stronger steps to discourage illegal immigration deserve better than the insults directed their way by—the source will not surprise you—The New York Times and other liberal voices.

‘Leave It To Obama?’  No Way

Congress went on its customary summer recess without changing policy on immigration reform, leaving that difficult job to President Obama, The Times said.  The paper’s conclusion:

Since Congress members left present policies unchanged, “they are in no position to complain” about how Obama now proceeds in regard to changing immigration policy, The Times implied.

So the “imperial presidency” role which Obama repeatedly considers and occasionally seeks to implement not surprisingly has the support of The New York Times and other liberals but, as I see it, not the majority of the American people.

* * *

W-H Endorsement Significant–
Heineman, Bruning Are On The Right Path
To Fix Blame For Reduced Prison Terms

The Omaha World-Herald editorial page was right on target, it seems to me, with an endorsement of Governor Heineman’s approach to the issue of performance of the Nebraska Department of Corrections in moving earlier-than-legal release dates for hundreds of prisoners.

The governor has rejected a call for a special session of the Legislature—loudly voiced by State Senator Ernie Chambers and endorsed also by State Senator Brad Ashford, who at the moment is primarily concerned with his role as Democratic nominee for the Second Congressional District but is still serving out his term as a state senator.

The headline on The World-Herald editorial read:  “Good start on prisons.”  It endorsed the promises of Governor Heineman and Attorney General Jon Bruning to have the widely-respected investigative arm of the State Patrol make a thorough investigation into the question of early release of prisoners.

When the facts are known in detail, Heineman and Bruning promise, appropriate action will follow.  The possibility of criminal charges is obviously part of the picture.

The World-Herald editorial endorsed the Heineman/Bruning approach as “a good start.”

Incidentally, in considering any intrusion by Senator Chambers into public issues beyond those properly addressed on the floor of the Legislature, it is interesting to look back at the results of Chambers’ effort to win election as an independent candidate for governor in 1994.  He got 4,772 votes or eight-tenths of one percent of the total vote.

* * *

Can ‘Imperial President’ Declare War?
Bloody Mess In Iraq Offers A Test

How far do the powers of “imperial presidency” extend?  Do they go so far as to, in effect, allow President Obama to declare war against those seeking to (1) overthrow the Iraqi government and/or (2) create a new nation in what has been northern Iraq, a new nation controlled by the Sunni sect of radical Muslims?

Are air strikes and dropping of bundles of food and clothing to Kurds and members of the Yazidi Muslim sect—the targets of Sunni radicals in northern Iraq—in effect, a declaration of war by President Obama?

Does President Obama have any idea how Congress would vote on this issue?  Or, even more importantly, how the American people stand on our becoming involved again in warfare in Iraq?

As I see it, putting those questions to a vote of the Congress or a poll of popular sentiment would find considerable sentiment—perhaps a majority sentiment—for our simply getting out of this Middle East mess and let rival Muslim sects kill each other as they have been doing for centuries.

* * *

Alex Gordon Gets Special Tribute
From KC Royals—And Husker Fans

Easy to find an upbeat way to end this week’s column.  Read on.

It was a great weekend for the Kansas City Royals and especially for a player who must be the most popular of the Royals, former Nebraska Cornhusker—and still a resident of Lincoln—Alex Gordon.

Gordon was spotlighted by the Royals in a two-day celebration of his popularity and his importance to the Royals—and, of course, his popularity with Nebraska fans who are attracted to the Royals at least partly by the fact that a native Cornhusker is the Royals’ most popular player.

For two days, Gordon was in the spotlight and enthusiastic Gordon fans, Kansas City residents and Nebraskans alike, assembled to help pay tribute to Gordon.

Alex Responds With Homers

Alex responded by hitting a homerun in each of the two games, both of which the Royals won.

The event included the distribution of Gordon bobblehead dolls.

Gordon was the No. 1 draft choice when he left UNL in 2005 and got off to a slow start as a Royals third baseman, served a brief position-reorientation training visit to a Royals minor league club, then returned and wound up being a simply superb left-fielder, where he has won two Golden Glove awards.

We Husker fans are proud of you, Alex, and pleased that you continue to reside in Lincoln, home of the UNL Cornhuskers including a Cornhusker baseball program (yes, Virginia, they play baseball there, too), that is being rebuilt under Coach Darin Erstad, another Cornhusker All-American, who returned to Lincoln after an all-star major league career.

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