OUR OPINION: Opportunity knocks in Washington

January 30, 2019

Agreement on Friday to end the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history opened the door to opportunity. It’s unclear if our leaders in Washington, D.C., will take advantage.

The clock is ticking. The funding resolution signed by President Trump only runs through Feb. 15. Then, another shutdown is possible.

For the greater good of the country, we hope that isn’t how this plays out.

Rather, we hope President Trump and Republicans and Democrats in Congress use the timeout to begin strategizing the framework of a broad immigration reform plan, including strengthened border security.

Members of our editorial board have used this space on many occasions over many years to advocate for substantive action on illegal immigration. The myriad challenges related to illegal immigration America faces today result from an inability of our nation’s leaders to reach a comprehensive agreement.

What’s needed is embrace of a once-time-honored approach used effectively throughout history to find solutions to difficult problems. It’s called working together.

As we have said before, no one side will get everything it wants on an issue as complex as this one. Extremists on both the left and right who insist on all will produce nothing. For our nation to bring order to the chaos, decision-makers must start talking to one another in meaningful fashion. Until then, America will continue lurching from one illegal immigration-related crisis to another, applying only temporary Band-Aid solutions when deeper, long-term care is required.

This shouldn’t be framed or viewed as what individuals or political party wins or loses. This is - or should be - about what’s best for the country. Without question, what’s best is, in our view, a bipartisan immigration reform deal. In the dispute over border security at the heart of the partial federal government shutdown, lawmakers have a good place from which to start a bigger discussion.