Smith is irresponsible

    In a recent missive from Representative Jason Smith entitled “The Wrong Way” he lists facts that are mostly wrong. It is correct that America is a nation of immigrants, ask any of the First Nation Peoples. The statement “to enter our country the right way – legally and by swearing an oath to our Constitution” is wrong.

    Not only can people enter the country legally without swearing an oath to our Constitution, people can even become permanent residents. A proper reference to people in the caravan is “asylum seekers.” Asylum seekers are legally protected when they arrive at the border under the U.S. Immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980.
    These asylum seekers are driven to seek asylum in the U.S. in large part due to the devastation caused to their political, economic and environmental systems by U.S. policies and actions. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras all suffered lawless interference in their elections and civil wars by the U.S. since the 1950s.
    The U.S. instigated the overthrow of democratically elected presidents, supported dictators, and trained death squads. The U.S. should take responsibility for its actions and its consequences. Instead of wasting billions of dollars to build a wall, we need to take billions of dollars to rebuild societies we ruined. Building a wall, separating families, making it impossible for asylum seekers to enter the U.S. through a U.S. Port of Entry is “The Wrong Way” to deal with immigrants.
    The administration tries to instill fear of immigrants, but the facts are different. For example, in an article published in the journal Criminology in March,“Does Undocumented Immigration Increase Violent Crime?” we can read “Increased concentrations of undocumented immigrants are associated with statistically significant decreases in violent crime.” On June 4, 2018, the Cato Institute concluded: “Illegal immigrants are 47 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives.”
    The U.S. has actually seen a 1.6 million decrease in the unauthorized immigrant population from 2007 through 2016.
    I don't know who writes these missives, but Smith is “irresponsible” for them. Fear is an effective weapon to control people. When fear kicks in, rational thought is abandoned.
    Encourage your elected representatives to make decisions based on true facts and data instead of political goals supported by unfounded fears.
Jim Vokac
Willow Springs

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