We have a simple solution to the immigration debate. But first, why do we talk about the immigration problem? We have an immigration problem when people fight to get out of a country, not to get into a country. What we have here is something between “a condition” like when your mother-in-law has bursitis, and a “situation” like when a low-life neighbor keeps parking in your driveway.
Here is our three-part solution:
1. Registration: The most powerful weapon police have is “intelligence” in the military sense. When a cop stops you for a traffic violation, in two minutes he can find out if you are wanted for anything from spitting on the sidewalk to murder. Similarly, if a crime has been committed in a neighborhood, the police can immediately do a computer search and obtain records of other similar crimes in the neighborhood, helping them to identify suspects.
What we need to do is much the same: develop a central complete registry of all aliens in America — legal and illegal. As to what we do with the illegals who step up to the plate and register, see #3. Those that don’t register will eventually either be questioned for something else, perhaps trying to get a job or otherwise interface with the institutions of our country. Prospective employers or other agencies should be required to report unregistered aliens immediately. If an employer does not do so, he should be charged with a crime. An immigrant not having the proper card should be immediately deported and never be permitted to reenter the country. Eventually all of the illegals will either be sent to jail or, over the course of time, die.
2. Fences: The idea we cannot build a suitable fence or have secure borders is ridiculous. We have had secure borders in Germany, North and South Korea, Vietnam, etc. Dictators throughout history have been able to build fences to keep the people in or out. The Great Wall of China was 1,500 miles long, built in the 3d cent. B.C., and is still around.
In this regard, we have an additional simple solution. Just give anybody who will live on the border two free acres of land. Thousands of people will happily live there and keep an eye on things, pick up the phone if they see anybody coming from Mexico, and offer them coffee and cake until the border patrol arrives. Of course, the Miami Beach condominium market may decline, but it’s a fair tradeoff.
3. Draft Boards: For those immigrants who register but are not here legally, we should establish local community boards, similar to the local drafts boards we had in World War II. These would be made up of small groups of dedicated citizens who would devote their time to hear cases involving the illegal aliens who have registered, on a case by case basis. In that way, local community standards, which vary from place to place in the country, would be applied. Only after this process is completed would the aliens be permitted to test adverse decisions through the judicial system.
What we don’t want to be is a country that denies health care to a child or adult, denies education or any other benefits that, on a human level, a functioning humane democracy should provide. Without immigrants, we would have no atomic age, no computers, no lasers, no microchips (Einstein, Teller, Fermi, etc.). Also, without Dr. Salk, we would now be in the midst of a polio epidemic.
Too often the people who want to crack down on immigrants are like members of a country club who, once admitted, don’t want to let in anybody else. It should be suggested to them that without immigrants we would not even have an America.