Kitson P. Kelly avatar

A recovering 7 foot tall cactus

greenback aliens.

Immigration in the United States has been at the forefront of the news the past several weeks. I have my own opinion on what should be done about the “illegal immigrant problem.”

My thoughts are two fold. First, border security. As long as there is a financial incentive to sneak across the border or to move people across the border for profit, people are going to do it. Ever since the recent “crackdown” on border security, more people have died, more dollars have been spent and there hasn’t been a significant change in the number of crossings. People are simply getting more desperate. It is like the “war on drugs” or prohibition, it simply incentivises the criminal minded among us to make a significant profit.

I am not suggesting that we open our borders, but at the least we don’t need to spend more money in a futile effort. The economics means that the US will always be significantly better choice for the poor of Mexico and other people of the Americas south of the US border.

Second, we need to document the undocumented. Some republicans want to make out like these are horrible law breaking people that are the scourge of society. This is far from the truth. Outside of border States, we have had this “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it come to the illegal aliens. You will only get deported if you commit a felony. I don’t think that any person in their right mind would suggest moving a couple MILLION people in buses back to Mexico. Therefore we need to have a solution that documents these people, gets them paying taxes and contributing financially to their society.

Also, as long as the illegals feel that the government will only use the information given to harass or deport them, they will not come forward. Therefore I would recommend a program that provided some benefits as well. Their social services are coming out of your and my pocket. A hospital won’t deny them service, so they take it out on those of us that have money. Therefore I would suggest a program that had the following features:

  • The internal immigrants would be able to be immediately documented and apply for permanent residence status without having to leave the United States.
  • All they would need to do is prove that the head of household had gainful employment and that they have a place to live.
  • Those holding this status would be able to cross the border as they wished. One of the biggest problems now is that if they go to visit family south of the border, they run the risk of not making it back across again. This only encourages them to stay.
  • There would be a low cost, government sponsored, heath care program that they could join. Any reasonable person knows the preventative care is far cheaper in the long run. Without good medical care, these people are just ticking time bombs of health problems that the general public will end up footing the bill for.
  • If the person is undocumented, after this program is in place, we need to really demonstrate that it doesn’t make sense to not document yourself by starting to deport for not being registered. This way it is more risky to “hide” then it is to come out in the open and be counted.

Only a program like this would realistically work. It is somewhat selfish, because it would only benefit me by hopefully encouraging the government to spend less on the problem. I would say generally these people just want a part of the American Dream and would not shy away from being productive members to society. So lets stop paying for them and have them pay for themselves, the true American way…