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Politics

"Comprehensive" Immigration Reform

Is the problem really the porous border with Mexico? What about the border with Canada, and how is it really less porous?

What will we do about the people who arrive on legitimate visas but overstay their allotted time or try to change their status? What is the reasonable balance on family unification , and who is to say which relatives matter within a person's & family? &

How can we both speed up the process of issuing legitimate visas while correcting defective government watch lists such as the no-fly list?

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When I was still overseas in the early 1990s, the problem was getting timely information to the visa issuers in an era when the lists were still sent out on microfiche and visas were typed by hand. Now we talk about biometric databases , and seemingly ignore or gloss over the problems with information sourcing that have made related government databases like the no-fly list highly suspect, if not generally ridiculed .

The immigration system & needs reform, and the answer is way beyond deciding whether to build a fence and if so, how high should it be. The system is so broken that some form of reform will almost certainly take place during the next presidential administration. The changes will have to be significant, and someone will certainly claim whatever passes amounts to a "comprehensive" package.

So, does it really matter which candidate's plan is better? Even though talk on bipartisan approaches and cooperation between the branches of government & generally comes across as advocacy for kumbayas and group hugs, I'd rather hear some talk about how the ultimate winner is going to work with a Congress to pass tough legislation.

-Citizen Voices blogger Chuck Hartley is an attorney who lives in Escondido.