Gregory C. Duerden


​Politically Active and Aware

IMMIGRATION - border walls, DACA, and citizenship . . . 

    According to the Constitution, the authority for the Immigration and Naturalization system is founded in Congress (both in Article 1, Sect. 8, Clause 4 and the 14th Amdt). The Supreme Court ruled in 1876 that immigration regulation was an exclusive Federal responsibility, especially after the first Federal law was enacted in 1875. Congress established the Immigration Service in 1891

Congress enacted a quota system after World War I (1921 & 1924) and the laws remained unchanged until the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965. Changes were made in 1976 and 1978, and with the Immigration Act of 1990.

But Presidents have tried to 'help' a couple of times along the way. There is the Refugee Act of 1980, which gives Presidents the authority to admit refugees, in consultation with Congress. Then the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 addressed unauthorized immigration creating two amnesty programs 'legalizing' about 2.7 million people who illegally entered the country. With the illegal immigration issue remaining a problem, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 was passed to provide greater controls on the borders and reduced benefits. Then the Homeland Security Act of 2002 consolidated authority for border protection, naturalization, customs and immigration in the new department and has just plain 'mucked it up' even worse.

The issues Trump has raised is nothing new, he just stuck his foot in it and we have had a legal mess ever since. Since February 2018 the Senate has considered several bills, but none have made it through the gauntlet. One of the things his Exec. Order (13780, issued March of 2017) did was to suspended the US Refugee Admissions Program and cut the annual number of refugees from 110,000 to 50,000. Granted, the USRAP needs reform but that isn't done with a meat cleaver, unless you have other issues along the way, too.

Then, in an almost rapid response, in March (2018), Trump sent National Guard Troops to the border under the reasoning to increase general security (although they cannot legally arrest any immigrants and direct interdiction) but details of cost, numbers, assignments, etc., are very vague, at this point from either the White House or from Homeland Security.


On the issues of IMMIGRATION / naturalization and the WALL, here is where I stand:  

  *     IMMIGRATION  -  This has been a 'hot button' issue since Pres. Trump's campaign ignited it, literally, during the 2017 campaign.  POTUS' firey rhetoric hasn't brought much sanity to the debate, rather it has been diversive and often overtly emotional so as to obviscate the real issues and solutions.  Emotions are well and good until that is your only 'go-to' ploy, as this seems to be for him.  

        Even Trump's grandfather came from somewhere else, his roots are not from this soil, which is not uncommon in America (which IS a nation of immigrants!).  He is the son of immigrants from Germany.  So he is being very hypocritical about the basic philosophy of 'Keep 'Em Out' or 'Send 'Em Home' or NIMBY - not in my backyard  .  .  .  since, HE IS one of THEM, too!!  Where is the compassion and logic and thought about the issue .  .  .  oh, wait; we are talking about the Tweet-in-Chief, right?  Policy in 132 characters or less.  

​       Perhaps Trump's grandfather was a refugee from World War One, or the oppression of the Bismark Regime, or a political refugee; whatever the cause, there should be more compassion from OUR World Leader than he is showing on this 'hot topic,' in this man's opinion. But be that as it may;  My opinion is that we need to enforce the current quota system and re-establish the order and decorum of our immigration policy, which has worked for a number of years (as mentioned above) until the 21st Century and the advent of the Homeland Security Administration (thank you Pres. Bush!) and the multiple mandates (aka: Executive Orders of the Obama era - or any President, even this one - which really need to be either codified by Congress or 'sunset-ed' and closed at the end of each administration - a radical housekeeping concept!).  

         On DACA, I am in favor of it. It is a bi-partisan measure with careful thought and work done for a measure of such import, one worthy of adoption. in my opinion  [YES, that would mean keeping a pathway to citizenship for 'Dreamers' - all 1.7 million who have only known this country, so why tear them away from family, friends and all they have built ... and NO, I am not anywhere near an open-border philosophy but more of a Compassionate-Conservative type!!  Compassion is our Christian Duty, is it NOT?]

         THE WALL is a stupid idea from the get-go!!  The history of such instruments has been 'so-o-o very, very successful'  .  .  .  NOT!   Berlin's wall,  the Great China Wall, the Mageneau Line in WWI . . . were all breached and useless or finally taken down, entirely.  WALLs DON'T WORK, folks!!  WALLs keep more people IN than they keep OUT!!  WHY only one wall on the South?  Why not one, if they are so great, on the North, TOO?  Isn't THAT hypocritical?? Or is it okay for Canadians to flow across but NOT Mexicans?  OR IS THAT SOMETHING ELSE?  Maybe Racism?  A Wall is too Costly ($46.8 Billion by one estimate - HR6136), Too Naive, TOO BIG and TOO Stupid to be a viable real solution!

      Naturalization  -   AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP  is a privledge NOT a right.  There is nothing we do to make it a right!  WE CAN work for it, serve our country, be a productive member of society, pay taxes, VOTE and be a law abiding  member  of this great nation   BUT   we don't just get it, do we?  Even those born here, by the hard work of their parents and ancestors, don't just become a citizen by birth ... not really!  There is work, sweat, study, effort and there is always the danger of losing it, for everybody!  It may be from invaders from outside or it may be from the incidious evil from within.....the Tree of Liberty requires regular and almost constant care, tending, and even the blood of patriots, upon occasion.  FREEDOM isn't Free!  Liberty and America are not just easily won and ours without vigilance and trials, sacrifice and effort.  IT is NOT kept cheaply!!  Visit Arlington and tell me it was cheaply kept!  Go to Valley Forge and see how 'easy' it was.  Climb Ceribaci on Iwo Jima  OR walk the shores of Tarawa, Normandy, or the hills of Gettysburg and tell me it wasn't a sacrifice!

Congress' current dysfunction and partisanship has been an issue in the matter of immigration and several others issues. Hence the need for an Independent, principled THIRD PARTY candidate to provide sanity and a 'voice crying in the (sane) wilderness.' What seems to be needed is someone who can build a consensus among conservatives and moderates to take issues to the goal of reality, and away from the petty party politics which IS the SWAMP!


An Immigration crisis has turned into more of Refugee Issue, with Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy ramping up the separation of over 2300 children from their families (many of these families are seeking asylum in the US from gang and governmental violence in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Trump's response to the backlash was to sign an Executive Order stopping the practice and making the policy that children have to stay with their parents (but only for 20 days). He also floated the idea of no hearingsjust deportation for illegal aliens - the trouble is that is NOT Constitutional, even according to his own advisers and counselors! Hopefully, what they told him sunk-in!!

It amazes methe grandson of a German immigrant is having such apparently hard time empathizing with other immigrants, and grasping the issues.