Jeff Crouere
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It is clear that the House GOP leadership is preparing to take action on the immigration issue this year. According to reports, the “principles” of immigration reform will be introduced next week and it will include a “pathway” to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. The bill will reportedly also mandate improved border security, provide additional visas for foreign workers and require those immigrants seeking legalization to learn English and pay certain fees.

The net effect of this legislation will be to provide “amnesty” for millions of immigrants who ignored our laws to settle in this country. It is a way of rewarding lawbreakers while insulting the Americans who dealt with the arduous process of legally becoming a citizen.

Each year, 1.2 million individuals legally become United States citizens. This legal immigration process should only be expanded if our country needs to import a larger talent pool of workers in certain types of industries, such as healthcare.

House GOP leaders claim that they need to take action on immigration since it is a supposedly pressing issue impacting the country. However, new poll numbers show that Americans are much more concerned about other issues. In fact, according to a new Gallup poll, immigration reform ranks at the bottom of the list of top priorities. The poll showed that only 3% of Americans listed immigration reform as a top priority for 2014.

In the view of Gallup’s Lydia Saad, Americans believe “the government” is the most serious problem facing the country with 21% of respondents listing it as the top priority. Poll respondents ranked the economy as the second most important problem, followed by unemployment/jobs and healthcare.

In the poll, Americans cite healthcare, jobs, the economy, foreign aid, the debt and deficit, poverty, income inequality and ethics in government as much more important issues than immigration reform. In effect, a plethora of issues rank above immigration as deserving of attention from Congress. Nevertheless, Washington politicians are moving ahead on immigration legislation, ignoring the wishes of the American people and taking their marching orders from special interest groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic advocacy organizations.

Immigration legislation will allow big business interests, influential in the GOP, continue to recruit cheap foreign labor. It also provides Democrats with a steady stream of loyal voters. In the last presidential election, Barack Obama enjoyed the solid support of 73% of Hispanic voters.

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Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com
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