Want To Reduce Illegal Immigration? End The Drug War.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Several GOP presidential hopefuls have over the last few weeks offered wildly extreme and generally unrealistic proposals for deterring illegal immigration — largely spurred by Donald Trump’s grandiose plan to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, then let a few of the “good ones” back in, all while building a giant, possibly self-branded border wall. Other ideas Republican primary candidates have pondered lately include eliminating birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed by the 14th amendment to the Constitution, because some argue that it acts as a magnet for undocumented immigrants.

While these ideas might energize the GOP’s conservative base, they wouldn’t do much to deter illegal immigration, for one simple reason: All of these propositions rest on the false assumption that most undocumented immigrants are crossing into the U.S. primarily to look for a better life and a higher-paying job.

Anyone who speaks to undocumented immigrants regularly knows that they invariably view the dangerous and expensive trip into the U.S. as a last resort, usually because something went horribly wrong at home — not because of dreams of having a child who is a U.S. citizen.


Get Caught With Pot, Face Deportation

NEW YORK:  When George Kidan was a student at the University of Toledo, he helped buy $30 worth of marijuana for a friend — who, it turned out, was working with an undercover narcotics officer. Police arrested Kidan at his on-campus job. He was convicted in 1987 of “trafficking in illicit drugs,” got two years’ probation, and paid $1,070 in fines and restitution.

“I didn’t think much of it,” he said of his conviction. “I figured since I paid my fine and did my probation, I’m good.”

But Kidan is not a U.S. citizen, having arrived in 1981 on a student visa from Kuwait. That meant that years after he completed his probation and moved on, his marijuana conviction could come back to haunt him. And in 1999, it did. He was arrested by Immigration Enforcement Officers from his home in Western New York, locked in detention for months, barred from traveling, and remains in legal limbo — even after the governor of Ohio granted him a full pardon in 2006 for his initial crime.