Opinion: Elect leaders that develop positive immigration policies

It’s been over 10 years.

That’s a long time even for our government. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was put into place on June 15, 2012. It was meant to be a stopgap, temporary measure while we figured out a more permanent solution. It has been just over 10 years — and we are no closer to a solution. No closer to providing the stability to these families that we originally intended to.

It is entirely possible that you interact with DACA recipients daily and don’t even know it. I guess that it begs the question: If DACA recipients are employed, educated, trained and law-abiding individuals, then why can’t we seem to close the loop and get their citizenship status made permanent?

Much the same could be said for why we can’t seem to get much of anything done at the federal level. We keep sending the same leaders back year after year, and then we wonder why nothing ever changes.

Nothing ever gets better.

Yesterday I attended the DACA-versary event put on by Poder of Idaho at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa. It was amazing to see the triumphs of many of our DACA recipients. At the same time, to be honest, it was sad to hear about some of the struggles and challenges faced by these families. It was heartbreaking to hear about the constant fear these individuals face. They know that at any time their status could be revoked, and they would be forced to leave their lives behind. Idaho can do better than this. We must do better than this.

It’s time that we start to elect leaders who understand the diversity of our state. Leaders who realize that it will be better for all of us if we can integrate these individuals into our society and increase productivity across our state.

Immigrants are not going away. Our economy depends on their willingness to work hard for, let’s face it, low wages. It does not matter how tall the wall is — we still need workers. Let’s elect leaders who understand that and will develop immigration policies that work for immigrants and the United States.

David Roth is a nonprofit director and a candidate for U.S. Senate.