A Republican Congresswoman is taking heat for her comments about addressing illegal immigrants during a panel at the World Economic Forum.
Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) voiced support for an immigration overhaul because “not only [do] we need those hands… but we need to also give dignity to those people who are in the country.”
“We’re talking about 13, 15 million people who are, most of them, Hispanics. I would say 85% who speak my language, look like me, and sound like me, that are contributing with the economy of this country and they live in the shadows,” she continued. “So it’s time to seal the border, put order, let’s see who comes in and who doesn’t.”
She added, “And then turn around and give dignity — that doesn’t mean [a] path to citizenship. That means to include them and make them dignified members of our community.”
Watch the video below:
Republican Congresswoman Maria Salazar says at the WEF that we need to "give dignity" to the "13-15 million" illegals living in America. pic.twitter.com/dXykyYQOj2
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 17, 2023
Her comments did not go over well.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted, “It is time to restore dignity to the People, Border Patrol, ICE, [and] the families who have lost a loved one to the Cartel’s fentanyl murders and illegal alien crime.”
“I serve the American People and no one else. As far as I’m concerned American dignity is the only one that matters,” she added.
It is time to restore dignity to the People, Border Patrol, ICE, & the families who have lost a loved one to the Cartel’s fentanyl murders and illegal alien crime.
I serve the American People and no one else. As far as I’m concerned American dignity is the only one that matters. https://t.co/sPgdl5qBS3
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 17, 2023
Conservative commentator John Cardillo wrote, “[Salazar] should just switch parties already. She’s an anti-gun pro-illegal alien leftist plant. This woman represents everything wrong with the establishment GOP.”
.@RepMariaSalazar should just switch parties already.
She’s an anti-gun pro-illegal alien leftist plant.
This woman represents everything wrong with the establishment GOP. https://t.co/DP5LN4421V
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) January 17, 2023
“Someone primary this clown, for God’s sake,” tweeted Newsweek’s opinion editor Josh Hammer.
Someone primary this clown, for God’s sake. https://t.co/Eca8NiX2tH
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) January 17, 2023
According to the law, there are millions of people who should not be in the country because they illegally crossed the border.
And by that logic, they should be removed.
But realistically, deporting millions of people — regardless of what originally brought them to the U.S. or whether they are productive members of society — is not feasible. Not to mention finding everyone who illegally entered the country would be difficult when it is not as though there is some official record.
It is important to note precisely what Salazar said and the order in which she said it. Because the tweets give the impression she is calling for a pathway to citizenship or for “open borders.”
First, she said to “seal” the border to prevent a similar future situation. Then she said to figure out how to give dignity — not a pathway to citizenship — to the people who are already here.
If your idea for fixing the country’s immigration system is to secure the border and deport everyone in the country illegally, regardless of their situation, good luck winning support for it.
Yes, the people who crossed into the country are here illegally. They should have known there could be consequences such as deportations, or, as Salazar said, having to live in the shadows. But it does not make them less human or less worthy of being treated with dignity.
The fact is, there are millions of people here now. And past attempts to reform our immigration system have fallen apart, while the border is not secure. So clearly, what our politicians are doing is not working.
We should want to uphold our laws, not reward people who break them, and risk incentivizing more people to violate them. But we also must grapple with dealing with a difficult situation involving real people. This is not just some academic conversation without real-world consequences.
And just because an idea is heard at the WEF does not automatically make it some evil, communist, globalist plot to push open borders and destroy the country.
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