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Opinion | Crossroads: Immigration

Growing up, my parents taught me the basic values of fairness and following the rules. I think these values were common in households all across our state and country.

In today’s society, those two basic values need to be applied to the ongoing debate about illegal immigration.

In terms of fairness, we have people who are going through the legal process to enter our country, which takes time and effort, only to have people skip that entire process and just walk across our border illegally. That goes against the basic value of fairness.

Also, we are a nation built on laws, but currently illegal immigrants openly disregard the rules and laws of our country. By not holding them accountable, we are further encouraging a culture where the rule of law does not matter.

Currently, we find ourselves at a crossroads as a nation.

Down one path is the status quo of broken immigration policy, porous borders, and a steady flow of drugs, violence, and human trafficking across the southern border.

Down another path is what Democrats advocate for: open borders, limited funding for national security measures at the border, and disregard for the rule of law.

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But, down the final path is strong border security, including increased funding for a border wall, cracking down on criminal aliens in the United States, and reforming our broken immigration system in a way that works for American citizens, not for foreign interests.

Unfortunately, the Democrat leadership in Washington is pulling the nation down the path to the left, the path that threatens our national security.

Because of this, the President was recently left with no choice but to declare a national emergency to secure the funds necessary to adequately secure our border. As much as I wish that it had not come to this point, I stand with President Trump on this action to get a handle on our immigration crisis.

If the Democrats in control in Congress will not act in the best interest of the American people, then it is up to the President to take the necessary steps to keep our nation safe.

I have heard from countless people throughout Alabama that they are worried about the influx of drugs and violent crime across our Southern border due to illegal immigration.

We see story after story each week of criminals arrested by the dozen trying to enter our country illegally, murders committed by illegal immigrants who are members of violent gangs, and the myriad of deaths caused by overdose from drugs originating in Central and South America.

This must stop.

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Once we can get a handle on the countless illegal crossings each week, we can move to reforming our broken system, combatting sanctuary cities, and encouraging people down legal paths to citizenship.

For the officer killed in California at the hands of an illegal immigrant, I will fight this fight. For the three Americas killed in Missouri by an illegal immigrant released without the knowledge of ICE, I will fight this fight. For the young woman raped by a previously-deported illegal immigrant in Shelby County, I will fight this fight.

For the people of Alabama, and for the people of the United States, I will remain committed to seeing this fight through to the end to secure our borders.

We need to return the commonsense, family values of fairness and following the rules to the immigration debate. By doing that, we can take our nation down the path toward secured borders, safer communities, and a more prosperous nation.


Bradley Byrne is the president and CEO of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and a former Republican congressman who represented Alabama's 1st Congressional District.

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