For the last month, the Department of Homeland Security has been separating captured immigrant children from their families at the border. They’ve been housing the children in cages at an abandoned Walmart and other facilities, and holding their parents in cages elsewhere. The public revulsion to this policy of families being forcibly separated led President Donald Trump to sign an executive order on June 20 that keeps families together in the same cage, administered by the Department of Defense.
“Instead of preventing the confinement of children and families by reforming our immigration laws, the administration is putting them into camps run by the same agency responsible for indefinite detention of suspects at Guantanamo Bay,” said Phoenix mayoral candidate and Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “We want to end this practice completely, not merely move kids from an abandoned Walmart to an Army concentration camp. People shouldn’t be caged for seeking a better life.”
On May 7, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.
”If you smuggle an illegal alien across the border, then we’ll prosecute you,” Sessions said. “If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
Even many Republicans were repulsed by the harshness of that policy. Previous administrations treated misdemeanor illegal border crossings using civil procedures that usually resulted in deportation of illegal border crossers.
“It’s time to recognize that America has always benefited from the energy and entrepreneurial skills of immigrants,” Sarwark said when this new zero tolerance policy was implemented. ”That has not changed. We need immigrants as much as they need us to escape economic impoverishment in the countries they are coming from. Immigrants do the opposite of taking American jobs. For every job they take, they create even more jobs by increasing demand and opening new markets with their consumer and investment spending.”
Immigrants not only expand the economy and enliven our culture, they also constitute a crucial demographic for replenishing depleted pension funds.
“America has record low unemployment right now,” Sarwark said. “We have a growing population of senior citizens and a static or declining number of working-age people. That’s pushing both public and private pension plans toward bankruptcy. More people are collecting pensions than paying in. Aside from higher pension investment returns, higher pension contributions, or lower pension benefits, the only way to sustain the retirement funding that Americans have come to expect is to increase the number of contributing workers. The United States has a static birth rate, so the only way to bolster the working class is to increase immigration. Instead of building a wall and writing more restrictive immigration laws, Congress should be encouraging immigration for anyone willing to work and contribute to the economy.”
The Libertarian Party is running a record number of candidates for local, state, and federal office in 2018. All will work for a growing economy and an immigrant-friendly America.