Ccontrolling our borders should not be a complex issue for anybody. Every country has a right to control who, how many and for how long foreigners can enter their country. Each country also has the right to limit what foreigners can and can not do while in the country. Customarily this control is accomplished by the issuance of visas; be they turist visas, student visas, work visas or permanent resident visas, etc. It is absolutely irresponsible and criminal the way our government performs its duty to control our borders. In a blog at Fleece Me yesterday, the author noted that America has more people guarding the border of South Korea with North Korea than we have guarding our own borders. That boggles my mind. There simply is no argument of merit for not controlling one’s borders. No nation can long exist if their borders are open to anybody and everybody to enter at will. In my opinion, it is of paramount importance that the United States apply whatever manpower and technology necessary to stop the flow of illegal immigrants crossing our borders on a daily basis.
The issue of what to do about the illegal immigrants already in our country is, to me, a much more complex issue. We have illegals in our country from all over the world. But the greatest numbers are Hispanic and probably the majority of these Hispanics come from Mexico. So for the purposes of this discussion i will focus on the Hispanics.
Before I go on let me establish my credentials as being someone who is not a racist nor anti-Hispanic. I was married for more than 30 years to a Mexican-American women. My children and grandchildren carry Hispanic blood. I have lived in Mexico and I have lived the last 18 years in Venezuela. And, by the way, both countries require(d) me to have appropriate visas to live here/ there.
What to do about the illegal immigrants already in our country is, I think, a more complex issue. Harry Reid’s DREAM Act, which appears will fail to pass the Senate, was poorly written in the extreme and I’m delighted that it will not become law. I find interesting the reaction of illegal immigrant activist groups and others to the failure of this bill. According to a recent Washington Post article, illegal immigrants and their support groups are planning to make the DREAM Act a campaign issue come 2012. The article reports that:
Groups like The National Council of La Raza and other Hispanic and immigrant advocacy groups know the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are dim for the time being. So they’ve turned their attention to a measure that they believe will spark more sympathy from most Americans, bringing with them a coalition of labor groups, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and even Defense Secretary Robert Gates. And come 2012, advocates say, Spanish-language media will be filled with ads slamming lawmakers who voted against the Dream Act.
My admitted first reaction was not kind. I thought; how is it possible that non-citizens are planning to make political attacks on our system, demanding rights that they don’t have. However, after reading the rest of the article I began to realize that what I thought was a black and white issue was in fact more grey. The WaPo article presents some cases of people who came to the US illegally but worked hard, paid taxes and in some cases studied and became professionals and they feel they have earned the right to stay. And I’m thinking that in these cases maybe they have earned the right to stay. After all, the dismal way we have controlled our borders has been like an open invitation. Now, the article failed ‘to mention that not all who enter our country illegally come with good intentions. How many are involved in drug trafficking? How many are now gang members terrorizing our cities?
I’m going to suggest something that will probably bring the rath of many conservatives down upon me. That’s okay. It’s good to have controversy sometimes.
1.) First, as mentioned above, our government must commit to supply all the manpower and technology necessary to control our borders and cut the flow of illegal immigrants to a minimum. Without this first step, we can forget about the second step.
2.) Second, I’m sure that people smarter than I coul come up with a conditional amnesty program, with a fixed time limit, that would be acceptable to most Americans. The conditions that I would suggest are: if the person can demonstrate that they have been in the country for X years, have paid their taxes and have no criminal record or outstanding warrants against them and that they are not a known gang member, then they will be given a two-year visa to stay in the country PROVIDED THAT they complete two years of community service ( 10 to 12 hours per week ). If they fail to complete their two years of community service they will be deported to their country of origin. If they complete their two years of service they will receive permanent resident visas.
3.) Third, those that do not apply for amnesty within the time limit would be considered undesirables. When caught they will be returned to their country of origin. If caught a second time, they will do serious jail time and then deported, etc.
It seems to me that there are only two alternatives to resolving the issue of illegal immigrants that are already in the country. We can find a political solution, such as I’ve described, or we can use persecution and force. The latter could result in all kinds of unintended collateral damage.
I know that my suggested plan is far from perfect but I’m hoping it can serve as the starting point to a useful debate. So, if you have some thoughts, let’s hear them.