Ashford: Congress dropped ball on immigration

The issue of illegal immigration is under scrutiny by a state legislative study underway in several Nebraska communities. State Senator Brad Ashford of Omaha says elected officials in Washington can’t be allowed to sit on their hands any more. Ashford says: “Probably the worst example I’ve ever seen of dropping the ball, politically or governmentally. Someone has to do something. There has to be political leadership to address the issue. Part of my mission is to explore the impact of the failure of the federal government.”

The study will examine how illegal immigration effects education, employment and social services. It will be completed in October and be presented to the Legislature next year and Ashford says he’ll push for action by Congress. He says, “There needs to be a nationwide, concerted effort by state legislatures to demand action. We haven’t done that yet. We’ve complained about it but haven’t demanded it.”

Ashford says states don’t have the resources to enforce a national policy on immigration. “We need to put our arms around where we are,” Ashford says. “We need to tell Congress to act. We need to demand that they act and then we need to address legislatively those things the state can do but I’m afraid it’s not a whole lot.” He says citizenship needs to be respected.