Next to Hillary’s emails, and the Planned Parenthood fiasco, it is the one issue in the current election cycle that resonates with everyone in this country.
Every day, in this country, we have people spilling over our borders, entering through our ports, airports, and unguarded seashores, and, even, being packed into freight cars by criminal human traffickers. We have nearly unsustainable levels of people in this country looking for and getting hand outs from the government . It is an issue that is very important to many citizens, it is about our way of life, it is about National Security, and it is about economic security as well.
But, what are we going to do about it?
Well, what can we do about it?
On the second question, as well as the first there are several “schools of thought” if you will on how to handle the crisis. From the Left, they want open borders, on the Right, secure borders and tougher laws. From Americans in general, there is a “send them all back” sentiment. Neither side can offer a constructive plan on how to deal with it, because Americans of all stripes are demanding something be done NOW!
Let’s be honest with ourselves about this issue; and, before you go making assumptions about me, let me spell this out: I don’t like illegal immigration, and I fully agree it must be stopped, and our border secured. I understand, that although there are many people coming here to make things better for themselves, there are also large numbers who are here to cause problems, break laws, and do nefarious things, not to mention the very real possibility there are ISIS-types among those illegals. I worked 9-1-1 in a Law Enforcement environment, in a town that has a rough reptuation, as well as being a haven for gangsters, and criminals of all stripes, telling me that there are serious criminals coming here illegally, is like saying water is wet. Prior to the Obama Administration, ICE was a regular visitor to our lock up. I remember quite often running names and coming up with criminal histories marked “previously deported alien”. However, not all of them are criminals, not all of them are bad, and not all of them are from South America, Central America, and Mexico. Illegals come from China, Russia, Germany, Jordan, Israel, Cameroon, South Africa, Korea, Malaysia, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Canada, India, Pakistan, and, well, you get the picture. People enter this country illegally every year, from all over. One of the principal points of entry is in the Southwestern United States. but, they enter everywhere.
As solutions go, there are none that will solve the problem quickly. It is too far gone, and too far advanced to turn around on a dime, and fix. Regardless of what Trump and his supporters might think, there is simply no way to come to a fix that isn’t going to take a lot of time, energy and money. Fixing the problem, which should be a priority, will be expensive. It needs a multi pronged approach, there has to be action on three things: Securing the Border, dealing with the millions who are already here, and preventing more from coming in.
Shouts of “Build a Wall” or “Send them all back” are neither practical, or real solutions. We can’t send back millions of people. How would that be done? Do you really want the world to see train and bus loads of people being forcibly removed from the country? Do you really want this country portrayed like that? The “Land of the Free,” packing people in to freight cars, a la, Nazi Germany for deportation to another country? Look, I know they broke the law, but, seriously, how could anyone with a sliver of humanity in them see that as nothing but barbaric. Who would round them up? Do you want to go there too? How would you avoid any violence? Because violence would surely result from any kind of forceful measures, and would quickly spiral out of control. If you are one of those who think it wouldn’t, your are delusional, and devoid of any logical thought. So. lets remove the “send them all back” option from the equation, except for those convicted of crimes. The criminals can go, we don’t need them.
So, what do we do then? Path to Citizenship? Mentioning that is like saying someone in the room has the measles. Is that a “reward” for breaking the law? Perhaps. But, what is worse; Giving a segment of the illiegals citizenship, or, being seen as a human rights violator right up there with China, Iran, and some other nations?
At this same time, current Immigration laws would have to be enforced, vigorously. The borders, including our ports, coasts and airports, as well as the long border crossings between us and Mexico as well as us and Canada would have to be secured. There would have to be immediate deportation of those that are caught crossing the border illegally. I have no problems with those borders being patrolled by heavily armed border guards in armored vehicles. Remember, this is OUR country, and we can choose who we wish to let in.
Along with strengthening the border and other points of entry, there should be a comprehensive effort to remove the criminal element, and deport them back to wherever they came from. Immigration and Customs should be beefed up, and be available whenever law enforcement comes upon someone who has a criminal past, and is here illegally, or, is here illegally, and has committed crime. Upon arrest, and the determination that the individual does not belong here, ICE agents should be on call to take the person into custody, and to a central location where they will be sent back to wherever they came from. Many other countries around the world have strict immigration laws, we need to have them too. This country belongs to those of us (regardless of where anyone came from) who are citizens, whether they became a citizen last year, or their ancestors did two centuries ago.
Comprehensive, strict, and enforceable immigration laws, and a system to enforce those laws is what we need to enact. Fixing the problem will take time, probably on the order of ten or fifteen years, but it can be done. We won’t make the country impervious to illegal aliens, but we sure can make it tougher for them to try to get in, and, make it tougher for those who do manage to get in to stay. We also need politicians not afraid to act, and put the interests of the country above the interests of the party.(whichever party they belong to) Donald Trump does not qualify as “not afraid to act”, his bombast is worthless, his plan nativist and isolationist, appealing only to the xenophobic, and racist among us. Enacting any plan the requires the removal of large amounts of people, would require enacting a police state in this country, which is anti-thetical to anything and everything this country was founded on.
Now, let me make this clear: I am not talking about a blanket amnesty, if there were feasible, agreeable path to citizenship, then it would have to include getting oneself off of welfare, finding stable, productive employment, and staying out of trouble with the law (x number of misdemeanors, or one felony conviction within x amount of time gets one deported, perhaps) . Once staying on illegally, whether it’s a border-jumper, or someone who over stays their visa, is made riskier, and less attractive, that may force many to head back where they came from. LIke I said, it’s not going to be done quickly. The only way to do that is to violate the civil and human rights of millions, and that will just lead to violence, and that is not a solution either.
Also, the next thing that would be necessary, is a stable, and growing economy, and a lean toward energy independence, which would create jobs as well. A growing economy in Mexico, and South and Central America would also help, as many of the people who come here are poor and with little means. But, again, this all takes time. At this point, what we have to deal with is this:
Porous borders, anywhere from 11 to 20 million illegals. A system the is broken, and has been allowed to languish under the current administration, as well as an administration that has sought to make it easier for people to get here illegally. That is what we have to deal with, and even if we “fix” the system, we will still have millions of people here, that are here illegally, and a solution is needed for them as well. The very idea of forcing millions of people out of the country is appalling to me. I don’t like the fact that they are here illegally and have taken advantage of my country, but, at the same time, I don’t like the idea of rounding up people by the millions (and, honestly, how would we tell who was who?) and shipping them off either, so I am at an impasse. There has to be a workable middle ground here, and it needs to be found. Internal and external security needs to be rebuilt, illegal immigration needs to be brought under control.
Shouts, slogans, screams for mass deportation are not going to solve the illegal immigration crisis in this country. The only thing that can, is a solution that addresses every avenue in this issue, and takes into account the security, well being, and needs of American citizens first and foremost. It has to be that way. We are a sovereign nation. We have the right to secure borders, and a secure homeland. It’s really that simple.