Fix broken immigration system now

The current crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border involving migrant children being separated from their parents is the manifestation of decades of failed immigration policies by both Democrats and Republicans.

To say the problem is complex is quite the understatement. Those seeking a better life have been traveling to North America for hundreds of years. And with the exception of Native Americans, every U.S. resident is either an immigrant or a descendant of an immigrant.

On the other hand, if a nation simply allows anyone to enter at anytime for any reason to do whatever they wish, what is the point of being a nation? Moreover, how can a nation doing this expect to defend itself from foreign attack?

How did we get to the point at which federal officials confirm nearly 2,300 children have been separated from their parents at the border since April?

Why did Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce a “zero-tolerance” policy that leads to criminal prosecution for anyone crossing the southern border without permission?

Is it as simple as many say when they refer to Sessions and his boss, President Donald Trump, as racists?

Is it as simple as others say in that the U.S. must enforce the law to protect citizens from gangs and drug dealers?

As usual in politics, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The U.S. must live up to the standards established by “The New Colossus,” the poem which is in the Statue of Liberty’s museum. In part, it reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We must live up to this, however, while ensuring we limit the danger to citizens by ensuring that those who seek to harm us cannot enter.

It is past time for Democrats and Republicans to fix America’s broken immigration system. We cannot have totally unrestricted “open” borders, nor can we have innocent children being pulled from their parents to be housed behind chain-link fences.