Through Erik’s Eyes: The unbearable, political truth


Our political system works like two babies stuck inside a cage. One of the babies, the Democrats, battles for his favorite food (an immigration reform), and the other baby, the Republicans, babble on about how she is not satisfied (they want to upgrade our Department of Homeland Security). Ultimately, the U.S. is currently in a state of political drama that one would find in an episode of “House Of Cards.” The end result will be unexpected, and the only people who can change the outcome are citizens of the U.S.

Ignoring political bias, we can all agree that political inconclusiveness is immature and unproductive. The political dissent starts with our president’s proposed executive order in relation to immigration reform. Under the order, otherwise known as the Deferred Action for Parental Responsibility (DAPA) Plan, five million immigrant parents will be given legal documentation. Anyone with progressive ideals would believe that an immigration reform is needed right now, as there was a huge surge of child immigration from Central America over the summer. The only problem with these progressive ideals is contradicting conservative opinion.

Politico, a political magazine, continuously reports on the clashing opinions when it comes to new laws. The conservatives, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner, are at the forefront of the battle. The New York Daily News also explained that U.S. District Court Judge, Andrew Hanen of Texas, was the first to temporarily stall Obama’s executive order. Then, the political civil war began, as Democrats decided to filibuster (halt the progress of a legislation) Republican efforts to increasing funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

Even though these are fundamental issues that affect everyone, should the government sacrifice one for the other? In my opinion, it should not, especially when we look at the economics behind both legislation efforts. The Republican’s legislation, as discussed in an LA Times article, will add an approximate $50 billion into the Department of Homeland Security’s budget. Now, $50 billion is a lot of money, but past legislative efforts to grant illegal immigrants legal status have shown vast economic prosperity. Juan Carlos Guzmán, a monitoring and evaluation specialist at the Initiative for Global Development, investigated how much revenue could be gained with the passage of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act (a legislative effort that would give many young illegal immigrants the opportunity to go to college). He found that about $329 billion would be added into our economy, along with 1.4 million jobs, by 2030. I acknowledge that the DREAM Act is not the same as Obama’s executive action, but regardless—legal status results in an increase of taxes that go toward the government.

This means that billions of dollars could be put into the Department of Homeland Security, making Republicans happy. Partisan divide should not hinder legislation, nor should it divide parties. As of March 3, CBS reported that the House of Representatives decided to fund the Department of Homeland Security, but only after Boehner conceded to the Democrat’s demands of restricting Republicans from blocking Obama’s efforts to pass an immigration reform. Many Republicans were outraged at how the minority party was able to get the majority to agree on terms not favored by them.

It’s often quite easy to live life without thinking about the domestic policy that congressmen are debating. On the other hand, when the legislative efforts of both parties are to protect you and grant legal citizenship to five million people who might be your next–door neighbor, you should pay attention. Right now, the U.S. is juggling domestic affairs when it shouldn’t be putting them at risk of falling.