Jeffrey C. Carter has released the following statement:
“This Nation’s history can be told from the perspective of who and how people first migrated to the eastern shores of a new and undeveloped continent and continued to arrive over the decades. Some of the first people came voluntarily for religious freedom; some to seek their fortune; and some were brought by force as the property and chattel of others. As the colonies became a country, more people have come here and a unique, unmistakable and continuing character – the “American” - was created and expanded. The growth of the American identity and character goes on today. And many people from all over the globe continue to wish to come here. Our future, like our past, is dependent upon our ability to absorb those who want to live and work here.
“However, over recent decades many of our political leaders and many business people have permitted an extra-legal situation to develop with respect to millions of people who have entered the Nation illegally. This de facto immigration policy has benefited the political fortunes of some and has enhanced the financial fortunes of others. While those who have come here without permission have undoubtedly broken the law, we cannot and should not overlook the circumstances that have caused them to do so – poverty in their home nations, promises of jobs and support here and a wink and a nod to border and immigration law enforcement.
“Suffice it to say, we find ourselves with as many as eleven million people here who are here without permission – but we have, to a large part, let this situation begin and exist.
“I believe that we have a duty to resolve this issue promptly and fairly. This situation is not a moral or legal equivalent to the scourge of slavery that we have dealt with over the centuries. But, to the extent that children, women and men are arguably “imported” for the purpose of doing hard and low wage work for the rest of us, there are parallels between our slavery history and the situation in which many “illegal immigrants” find themselves.
“This Nation has also has a duty and a right under our Constitution and statutes passed, and under principles of international law, to strictly enforce its borders and provide for the Nation’s defense and take action to ensure its national security. Open and undefended borders are clearly dangerous. We have a right to know who is coming here, to regulate their stay and to set the rules for their legal status including how they can obtain the greatest status – citizenship.
“I have yesterday read the proposal set forth by Senators Rubio and Schumer, and their colleagues, known as the “Gang of Eight”.
“The proposal does appear to me to represent the kind of substantive, legal and political blend of concepts that could lead to a resolution of our crisis in immigration.
“Border enforcement and security is the first keystone of the proposal and, without that, any proposal is hardly worth consideration
“The rest of the proposal fairly and rationally addresses procedural steps – and, of key import, treats individuals in different circumstances with specific tailored policies.
“I hope that, now that these eight Republican and Democrat Senators have worked to set forth a true bipartisan and intelligent path toward resolution of this problem, others, whether it be the President, some Democrats or some Republicans, will not try to turn this delicate issue into a matter for political gain. It may be necessary to work around the obstructionists in order to get this done.
“Let us work to bring this to a good resolution.
“It is time.”
Jeff Carter lives in Studio City, California with his wife, Rosalind Moore, a writer, and their ten-year-old son Ben. He practices law in New York, California and Pennsylvania and is the founder and principal of The New Commonwealth Company, which, through its groups, engages in mediation, education, consulting and publishes The Aquidneck Inquirer and New Commonwealth Magazine. Carter has served in various charitable, educational and civic organizations including Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, The Columbia Law School Alumni Association and as a Board Member of The Studio City Neighborhood Council. Jeff is an alumnus of Brown University and Columbia Law School.
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