Authored by William Robert Barber
This immigration issue and proposed legislative solution(s) that’s being bandied about by the Senate is traversing from confusion into lunacy. I can’t seem to discern what these senators are legislatively contemplating: The conservatives and the Republicans want to “secure the border;” the liberal progressives and the Democrats favor a more or less open border policy. Each inference has a sort-of creditable source that evidences or at least renders sufficient intellectual comfort and political cover so each perspective can affirmatively bellicose the wrongheadedness of the counterparty.
There are those that suggest that because our nation has millions of illegal/non-documented immigrants within its borders (roughly 60% from Mexico) in a practical sense amnesty already exists. There are others who have reams of mathematical calculations bequeathed from the Congressional Budget Office proving, well, estimating that legislative amnesty would be a financial plus to the nation. In sympathy to the idea of granting legal status to immigrants from south of the border Catholic institutions present moral maximums — of course the majority of these immigrants are Catholic and God knows the Catholic Church needs more worshipers. In alignment with such sympathy is the Democratic Party; like the self-serving inclinations of the Catholic Church their reckoning is that the super-majority of these people will vote liberal-progressive.
Marco Rubio and the coalition of Republicans who favor the current rendition of “a path to citizenship,” have been pushed and pulled, cajoled, manipulated and yes, I believe tricked, into collectively justifying an unworkable solution for a problem that is incorrectly assessed. Firstly, if I was born poor in Mexico I would by whatever means available (knowing that expensive and time consuming legal means are not an option) venture north into the United States. Secondly, no fence nor any other kind of physical challenge would stop my need to improve the lives of my family. I do not think I am unique in this regard.
Legislators have been kicking this issue around the corner and past the bend in the road forever or at least so it seems. The newest proposal is to spend billions of dollars — not pesos, dollars! — to keep one of Mexico’s most profitable exports (its people) out of the U.S. The idea of spending billions to keep people south of our border is ridiculous. It so stupid that one could just as ridiculously suggest: Instead of building a fence, hiring thousands of guards, and installing mechanisms for surveillance monitoring the USA should simply pay each Mexican that earns less than $3,000 USD a year an annual fee for every year they can document they have never left their country.
The Mexican government imports valuable dollars into Mexico from its blatant, professionally marketed promotion of aiding and abetting the illegal trafficking of their citizens into the United States. Why we do not charge Mexico a fee for every Mexican illegal found trying to cross the border and for everyone deported back to Mexico is beyond my comprehension.
As previously stated, I believe the problem has been assessed incorrectly; whatever the number of undocumented people there are in our nation and no matter where they came from because we are an open society, a rich, and a free country, the mechanism to track down and ‘capture’ an undocumented immigrant is limited. No matter the rudiments of any particular legislative “path to citizenship,” the fact is, America is a favored destination and will always have millions of noncompliant immigrants within its borders. Whether there is a guest worker program, E-Verify, or strict ICE enforcement — there will always be those that choose not to comply.
Obviously, Mexico and Canada are prolific highly profitable trading partners. These countries are our friends and allies. Canada to the north and Mexico to the south; both countries are intimately engaged by family, western values, and years of commercial interface. Consequently, as with Cuba, our immigration policy for these neighbors mandate a specific differing than others. Our immigration policy as to our closest geographic neighbors should be simple, precise in scope, and wholly manageable; therefore, America requires a minimum of standards that are consistent with our national interest.
The answer to our neighbors’ illegal venture north is not a fence but a bilateral agreement permitting American companies to own controlling interest within Mexico’s commercial infrastructure and property. If Americans could invest into Mexico as Mexicans can invest in America there would be few Mexicans interested in leaving home and hearth to venture north. Presently, this normal course of business investment is denied to American citizens.
Whatever the result, nothing will stop a person from striving to improve their life and the lives of their family members. Instead of building a fence we should be investigating ways to open our arms.