Issue: How to Increase Border Security and Legal Border Crossings
I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone that thinks border security isn’t important. I think the issue for most of us is how can we responsibly let good people in and keep the evil doers out. Migrant workers (documented and undocumented) are extremely important for our economy. They harvest our produce, take care of our children, mow our lawns. On the other hand, MS-13 are bad hombres, but so are the Bloods, Crips, and pretty much any other gang in the US. (By the way, I just saw an article that sited border officials saying that MS-13 make up a very small portion of the border crossings. The rest are just people trying to find a better life for their family. For more https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/texas/articles/2018-04-27/ap-fact-check-ms-13-gang-arrests-at-border-are-up-this-year.)
The other big issue with undocumented workers in particular is they undercut the wages of US workers. and easily out bid them based on low out bid them for work.
The Current Proposed Solutions:
A Wall—Really? The issues that I have with building a southern border wall from sea to shining sea is the cost, and why do ALL Americans have to pay for it. In a perfect world, only those that are creating the need for a wall should have to finance it. Farmers, home owners, restaurants and parents using undocumented workers to save a buck should be the ones that have to pony up the cash. This revenue could be generated by imposing heavy fines for anyone using undocumented laborers. This would generate an enormous amount of money for the wall.
In reality, though, if you made it so expensive to use undocumented workers, we probably wouldn’t need a wall at all! Would anyone looking for a better life illegally crossing the border if they couldn’t find work? I doubt it. No jobs would reduce border crossings to a trickle. The remaining crossings would most likely be those looking to do no good in the USA.
Why don’t we already use heavy fines? I believe that there is no “political” appetite for it. Undocumented workers are too important to our economy, and any politician that voted for such heavy fines would have a difficult time being elected.
My Simple-ton Plan:
- Build a wall in only those sections of the border where it makes sense to do so. Use other cost effective surveillance technologies in all other areas.
- Make worker visas easier to obtain for migrants looking to work in industries that need additional workers (seasonal and permanent). This would encourage immigrants to apply for visas and follow established US law. Wouldn’t be nice if a “seasonal” migrant worker could legally cross the border to work in the fields and then safely go back home after the harvest? Also, service industries could request/hire more permanent workers to fill in areas that US citizens don’t want to work. (In every case, migrant worker visas and e-verify would only be valid only if the worker was employed or would become employed in a specific length of time.)
- Make the e-verify system much more robust. All worker visa records would be accessible to private and public employers. This include moms and pops looking for cheap labor.
- Impose heavy fines on US citizens for using undocumented labor.
- US citizens would always have legal precedence over foreign labor. For example, say the forest fire season was going to be extreme and the CDF wanted several hundred more additional line fire fighters. US citizens could apply for the jobs first, and then two months out, any remaining positions could be filled by foreign labor with documentation.
- All job positions would have to be paid a baseline prevailing wage. This is important because foreign labor can often under bid US workers. For example, a friend of mine was a handyman and lost many bids due to companies using undocumented workers to provide cheap labor.
- Another area we need to address is reducing the need for people crossing the border looking for asylum by making Central American Countries more safe for their populations. This is a tough one, because if we can’t stop the gangs and drug lords, there really is no hope.
Getting undocumented workers document is the easy part. All the worker documentation, work visas and e-verify processes would be paid by foreign workers going through the application process and paying any associated fees, and from the fines collected from US citizens using undocumented workers. The more difficult part is how to stop the actual evil doers. This includes drug and sex traffickers, terrorists, gang members, etc..
I believe if we can implement enhanced worker visa and e-verify programs would reduce illegal border crossings — freeing up border security resources to focus on and combating evil doers.
How do you stop the bad hombres from crossing the border? For a more permanent solution, we have to take away the rewards that encourage them to cross the border in the first place — power, money, and control.
To accomplish this:
- Stop the US war on drugs. It’s been almost 40 years and it is only getting worse, not better. It’s not working and we need to try a different tactic.
- I think ending the prohibition on drugs may be a good start. Making drugs legal would eliminate the gang’s ability to generate income; thus, reducing their power and ability to finance their drug empires. I know that this is a really controversial stance to take. People think that legalizing drugs would increase US addiction rates, and people that wouldn’t normally be inclined to experiment with drugs, would. My argument to that is that the drugs are already available and those that want to use drugs are already using drugs. If drugs were legal and properly regulated, and enormous amount of tax revenue would be generated for education and treatment. And if enough money went to research, maybe someone could come up with a medication or treatment that would end addiction altogether. There has to be some sort of inhibitor that would eliminate any pleasure that a drug would provide an addict. No pleasure; no reason to use it.
- After the money and power structures are reduce or eliminated, Central American Countries and the USA must work together to defeat the gangs and drug lords. This would keep our country safer from gangs and mobsters, and it would give Central America counties the ability to provide safe environments for their citizens–reducing the need for migrants looking for safe asylum in the US.
This is a start. I hope to flesh this out more later.