Saturday, September 20, 2014

Border Problems

On a daily basis it seems all news media decry the alleged crisis on the United States’ southern border.  Efforts to reform our immigration system languish unaddressed in the Congress.  It frankly appears neither party has a clear solution acceptable to a majority of the American people for dealing with immigration. And it is costly.

We hear repeated calls from members of both parties boldly announcing that immigration reform should be addressed only after we secure our borders.  Unfortunately, to date no one has clearly defined what is meant by securing our border.  It seems to me the only way to absolutely seal off the border between the United States and Mexico is to have enough personnel within sight of each other to span over 1,000 miles of border.  Obviously, this is not a practical solution.  Uninvited guests into the United States from foreign countries have proven time and time again that they can find a chink in any supposed effort to seal our borders.  Constructing a fence along portions ofthe Mexico border has proven to be only a joke and waste of money.

It also appears Americans, particularly Texans and other citizens of border states, have  split personalities when it comes to the subject of preventing uninvited immigrants into our country.  This was reflected only recently in a session of the Texas Legislature when two Republican House members proposed we could tolerate illegal aliens so long as they were here to be housemaids or yard men.  Obviously many Texans are conflicted about the option of sealing our border or continuing to have an adequate supply of ultra-cheap labor.

All of this said, it appears the real solution to securing our border could be relatively simple.  Simply pass a federal law creating a mandatory sentence for any person found to have knowingly employed a person who is in the United States illegally.  It appears no Legislature nor Congress has had the will to pass such a law.  The reason this simple solution would probably work is the fact that what attracts people from South of the border more than anything else is the hope of having a good job.  'Stop the jobs, you stop the temptation.

A liberal guest-worker program--whereby those desiring to cross the border in order to be employed will submit to a background check, register and be issued a special work permit--would provide a record made of their presence in the United States and allow for them to pay taxes.  Currently, even receiving a lower than average wage, undocumented aliens in America generally do better than American citizens working for minimum wage.  The reason is, there is absolutely no obligation on them to pay income tax or social security.  Many work for years in the United States on a cash basis and many have managed to accumulate pots of ready cash and property.  

Unfortunately, this type of system does not benefit the United States’ productivity.

Economists have estimated that having a workable system of immigration, including guest-worker programs, could add several billion dollars to our nation’s economy.  It could relieve the shortage of workers.  It could invite and retain highly skilled scientists and entrepreneurs who would love to stay in the United States and create new businesses.  Our current system invites young, bright people from other nations to come to America, get a college education, acquire skills and then requires them to get out.  It is a clear waste of talent and entrepreneurial skills.

Clearly, outlawing the employment of those here without authorization would be a far better and extremely more beneficial solution than spending $18 million a month marching national guard troops to the border to do nothing more than get in the way of trained border patrols.  It is time politicians like Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and others stop playing politics and start applying real, beneficial solutions to our border problems.

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