Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

No better time

Citizen Staff Writer
Our Opinion

The controversial work required for immigration reform has been foiled and put on the back burner again and again.

Decades of negligence by this country and by Mexico have resulted in raging border violence; unprecedented levels of smuggled drugs, guns and immigrants; shattered families; and hundreds of deaths in our desert every year.

Now President Obama has announced he will begin to tackle this cantankerous topic in May.

Naysayers in both parties insist he should focus on other priorities – the economy, energy, health care. But Obama knows our broken immigration system cannot wait longer for a fix.

So does Felipe Calderón, the first Mexican president with the courage and audacity to do serious battle against the drug cartels that have overtaken his nation and have been infiltrating ours, as well.

With presidents of like mind on both sides of the border and with a House and Senate willing to work with our executive branch, the United States finally has a real opportunity to address this increasingly critical problem.

And with former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano now in charge of Homeland Security, border issues finally are being given the long-overdue attention they require.

In addition, southern Arizona Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords are keeping this issue in the spotlight in Congress.

Immigration reform efforts two years ago failed despite the best bipartisan efforts of Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, both R-Ariz.; Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.; and others.

We cannot afford another failure now, however. Returning this issue to the back burner is not even an option.

Dozens of beheadings south of the border, hundreds of migrants’ corpses scattered across the desert north of the border, gunfire erupting all along the border, pieces of broken families separated by the border – all semblance of civilization has been shattered here.

All of us in southern Arizona are well acquainted with the human suffering and loss of life in our backyard and the fear gripping ranchers, residents and outdoor enthusiasts, all vulnerable to smugglers’ violence.

Even while arrests of illegal immigrants are down, the number of deaths in the desert is up – underscoring the reality that increased enforcement has not thwarted our border problems.

We need a sane guest worker policy, strong security to combat drug smugglers, compassionate family reunification and reasonable immigration guidelines – not endless layers of conflicting and impossible bureaucracy, which only fuel illegal rather than legal immigration.

On this issue, we bid godspeed to Obama, to Congress and to Calderón. Americans have waited too long.

The time for immigration reform is now.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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