The United States is stuck in a precarious position thanks to the failure of politicians in Washington. The border between the United States and Mexico, long known as the very symbol for why the nation needs immigration reform, is under siege. Thousands of immigrants are crossing the border between the United States and Mexico each day. They come from all across Latin America, in the hopes of finding a better life in the U.S.
While each day immigrants cross enter the United States in a lawful and legal manner, many, many more cross the southern border illegally. And now, the problem has developed from adults crossing the border to unaccompanied children crossing into Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. Unlike adults, we simply cannot send them back from whence they came. Their parents have essentially left their children on our door step, rung the doorbell and ran away, hoping, knowing that we will care for them. What other choice do we have right now?
While some may advocate sending the kids back across the border for Mexico to deal with, that is not the humanitarian thing to do. For better or worse, these children who have nobody else to turn to for help are our responsibility. The key now is to figure out a solution so that in a year the immigration problem has not become exponentially worse.
Some citizens are upset that government aid is going to these immigrant children while American children are starving and homeless too. Honestly, they have every right to be upset but what other choice is there really? Perhaps the outcry from the downtrodden in our society will serve as a wake-up call that the conditions some Americans live in are truthfully not that much better than those that these immigrants are trying to escape. So, what can be done to keep this issue from escalating even further?
- First, we need to secure the border. Without finally closing the holes in our incredibly porous border with Mexico any other steps of immigration reform will be essentially be moot.
- The children who are here need to be cared for. With our current social service system already overburdened I’m not sure it makes sense to place these children there. We should reach out to existing non-profit and for-profit groups to see if they can handle the extra workload these immigrant children will require.
- The pathway to citizenship needs to be reformed. Far too often legal immigrants fall through the cracks and become illegal through very little fault of their own.
- Increase fines on those businesses employing illegal immigrants. If there are fewer opportunities for those who come here illegally to profit (either for themselves or their families) then illegal immigration should start to trend downward.
- Reevaluate and possible increase aid to Latin American countries. If the lives of those living in the southern part of North America are better they will be less inclined to seek a life within the United States.
Obviously these points are over simplified and each one could merit numerous sub-bullets but it woudl certainly serve as a nice starting point for Congress. Our Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill need to understand that immigration reform is of the highest priority to this nation’s future. Not only is our immigration policy a security risk but it is also an economic risk too. The more illegal immigrants we have in this nation, the greater the drain on our tax base with very little returned to it.
Immigration reform is a necessity, not some political punching bag. Don’t you think it’s time Democrats and Republicans start working together on this for the betterment of our entire nation? While the Senate passed a reform bill, it is stalled in the House. Don’t you think that needs to change? Shouldn’t President Obama get a bill he can sign versus enacting some half-measure of an executive order?
Read more from Samuel Genson at The MidWest Wing