Six undocumented students took Mike Delph to school on Monday, by protesting Indiana’s new immigration law and getting arrested. Their bold action serves as a reality check for Mike Delph, the original sponsor of the bill, and all Hoosiers as we look for a viable solution to the immigration problem. In reflection, four important lessons can be learned as we search for answers.
Not all Illegal Immigrants Arrived Yesterday.
Delph makes it sound like all “illegals” just came to Indiana yesterday. In reality, all of the students that were arrested had been here with their families for years. These six students are representative of thousands like them. Over a 100,000 undocumented persons now live in Indiana, including thousands of students. Many of them came here decades ago.
Most Illegal Immigrants are Doing all They Can.
Delph’s simplistic answer is that these students should just “go back home” and reenter our country legally. His naïve assumption is that it’s that easy. In reality, many undocumented persons living in Indiana have been here for years and do not have a home to go back too. Nor is there a line for them to stand in even if they were to leave our country and petition for reentry.
Not all Illegal Immigrants are a Drain on our Economy.
Delph’s assumption is that all illegal immigrants are costing Indiana taxpayers and not contributing anything to our economy. In reality, most illegal immigrants are hardworking taxpayers and make significant contributions to our economy. Many of them are giving much more than they are receiving in return. Plus their children represent a lot of potential, if we will just invest in them instead of marginalizing them.
The Illegal Immigration Problem Cannot Just Be Legislated Away.
Delph says that he is frustrated with ICE for not deporting these students. One would hope that our legislators are wise enough to craft laws that are enforceable. Any reasonable person can see that our government does not have the will or the resources to extradite all 12 million undocumented persons. Given that Delph has been obsessed for years to make Indiana’s laws the toughest in the nation against illegal immigrants, how could he be surprised by this outcome?