The national security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border can be felt in Ohio. Whether we live on the southern border or not, it’s imperative that we act now to secure the border.
It’s no secret that Ohio is in the midst of an opioid epidemic that has affected countless families. It’s also no secret that leaving our borders open makes us vulnerable to an influx of drugs that contribute to this deadly crisis. There is no excuse for inaction — we must crack down on border security.
President Trump recently unveiled a plan to reform our immigration system and protect our communities. From focusing on accepting new Americans with special skill sets, to constructing a physical barrier on the southern border, the president is taking a proactive approach in addressing this crisis, rather than kicking the can down the road like previous administrations.
One of the priorities under President Trump’s plan is to welcome highly-skilled immigrants to the country. With the national unemployment rate hitting record lows and Ohio’s unemployment rate at its lowest point in 18 years, there is no shortage of “Help Wanted” signs along the road. The problem is, businesses can’t find enough skilled workers to fill these jobs. With President Trump’s plan to increase skilled immigration to 57 percent, up from only 12 percent, President Trump is placing a premium on immigrants with merit that will benefit our state where we need it. And by requiring civics and English proficiency exams for those entering the country, we’ll help set immigrants up for success so they can better adapt to life in the United States.
Importantly, the president’s immigration plan also commits to finishing the building of a wall on the southern border, which would curb illegal crossings and help stop crime like human trafficking and drug movement. With apprehensions at the border surpassing 500,000 this year alone, it’s clear that completion of the wall is one of the most critical initiatives of the president’s plan. By the end of 2020, there will be about 400 miles of wall completed — an important step forward to ensure safety and security in our communities.
We are on the right track, but there is still more work to be done.
President Trump’s immigration plan is one that should bring Republicans and Democrats together. Unfortunately, Democrats are so blinded by their desire to obstruct President Trump that they refuse to come to the table to work for the American people. Democrats have been quick to denounce the president’s wall and plans for immigration reform, but they have not proposed any serious plans of their own.
President Trump is showing real leadership on an issue that affects all Americans. His comprehensive and compassionate immigration plan would bring simplicity and security to a system that has been flawed for decades. If Democrats are serious about fixing the immigration system, they should set aside their partisan differences and work with the president instead of only focusing on building walls in Congress.
Dublin resident Mehek Cooke is an Indian-born attorney and republican strategist. She served in former Gov. John Kasich’s office and on his presidential campaign.