People have a right to be upset with the "frustrating situation" going on at the U.S.-Mexico border, says Mario Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, but immediate deportation is likely not the answer to the crisis.
"Even if we want to deport these folks, we have to process them and identify who they are and where they come from and do all that stuff," Lopez told MidPoint host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV
Thursday. "So blocking buses from being able to take folks in order to be processed seems like it's just only going to delay the situation."
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But, Lopez said, it's understandable for people to think the government isn't listening to their opinions when it comes to the situation.
"We can't fix this problem once and for all," Lopez said. "This is not a new situation. This has been going on for 10, 12, 14 years"
The true solution, said Lopez, is to increase border security measures, which he said have improved over the years but could be better, and to fix the country's legal immigration process "so that we have an orderly way to process folks who do want to immigrate legally to the United States and not the current mess, which is also a bureaucratic nightmare."
Jessica Vaughan, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, joined the segment with Lopez and said that the immigration situation has turned into a "secretive operation" because the government knows most Americans are very upset.
"The administration wants to focus public attention on the children, but in fact it's a lot of families and adults coming too," Vaughan said. "People want to know a straight answer on whether or not these people are going to be allowed to stay here and the administration knows that its plan to allow as many people as possible to stay is not going to be politically popular."
Lopez noted that the migration is a "humanitarian crisis" leaving feelings all over the place in the Hispanic community.
President Barack Obama has been "derelict in his duties" in protecting the border and working with Congress on immigration reform, said Lopez, calling for transparency.
"They want to hide their own failures, and so they would rather this crisis continue and people keep suffering than to let people know just how badly their policies have failed the American public," Lopez said. "That's a real shame; they should really be ashamed of that because it's quite troublesome."
In addition, to "really fix this issue once and for all," the process of legal immigration must be solved, Lopez said.
"It is currently a big government, bureaucratic nightmare to try to immigrate legally to the United States and that cannot happen," Lopez said. "Of course we need border security, of course we need to handle the current crisis in a humanitarian way because that's the kind of people, that's the kind of country that we are. But we also need to fix the legal immigration process so that these things don't continue to happen."
But Vaughan maintained that the public just wants to see the laws that are already on the books be enforced.
"When they have confidence that that is actually happening, then we can talk about all of the other problems in our legal immigration system and how to fix that," said Vaughan. "But first enforce the law. Let's have enforcement in the interior and at the border."
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