The Question of Illegal Immigration: Are We Going About This in the Best Manner?
Illegal Immigration: A concern for decades
For many years, Illegal Immigration has been a thorn in the side of America. In recent years, it has grown in both political and moral stature, reaching more and more people annually. The primary reasons given for coming to our country include education opportunities for children, lack of employment for adults and fear of drug cartels in the Central American countries. Each of these is serious enough in its own right but when they are combined in a single area they can become overwhelming to the point of forcing a family into an exodus of biblical proportions. Our government spends a massive amount of money on this issue and the associated social programs which go hand in hand with it, from Social Security to Health Care, and programs in schools for anything from language barriers to higher learning. All total, we must be spending billions of dollars annually on a situation that hasn't gotten better, only worse.
So I ask you: is this the best use of the resources we currently have?
But before you answer that, I need to give you a little background on me, my thoughts and what led to me taking a look at the problem from another angle.
Me, my thoughts and why.
As a younger person, one of a mere two or three decades of age, I rarely gave any thought to the issue of Illegal Immigrants. While in my twenties and thirties, which would correspond to the Eighties and Nineties, it really wasn't on my radar. The media rarely pushed it, or of they did I never paid attention to it. It wasn't until the late Nineties/early 2000's that I began to notice what was going on. Seemingly millions of people were coming to America from our southern neighbor, Mexico. Life there was not the best, with poor wages, little industry and no opportunities for the masses who called Mexico their home. Add in the growing drug cartels, the crime associated with them, the influx of illegal immigrants from south of their border (namely Guatemala) and you can see why the problem has become even more problematical for both America and Mexico. So, north they came, crossing the deserts, rivers, and even oceans to find a place in our society. Some do the right thing and find a way to enter our country legally but millions either had no time, money, or inclination to do it correctly, preferring to enter our country by a method that immediately put them on our bad side: as criminals.
Many people do not consider them to be that: criminals. They say they are simply attempting to find a safe place to live and our laws are so convoluted as to prevent this from occurring. Maybe so, but still, if I speed and get caught I have to pay the piper. If I steal and get caught, I have to pay. How is this any different? A law is a law and as such is to be followed, obeyed. Our very Founding Fathers decreed this and who are we to ignore it? We do not get the luxury of picking and choosing which laws we follow, and which ones we can arbitrarily ignore.
And so, I became a hard liner. I am a notorious straight arrow, a person who follows the law to the letter. Not only Man's laws, but I do my best to follow God's laws as well. I do not drink, smoke or do drugs. I honor everyone whether they deserve it, ask for it or not. Every male is a Sir, every female a Ma'am. Respect is given and while I would like it returned, whether they do or not has no bearing upon how I treat that person.
That being said, I have come to realize that I might have been fooling myself. I have believed, as a "hard liner", that every single person who has entered the country illegally is A) a criminal no if's, and's or but's and B) needs to be sent packing not simply back to their country of origin, but as far from our country as possible. For example, if it was to Mexico then we needed to send them to the southern border near Guatemala. That way they would have to cross the entirety of Mexico before they could possibly invade our country again. Harsh, I know but that was my thought. If they cannot enter legally they have no right to be here so send them packing.
Today I am having second thoughts about that manner of dealing with those termed illegal. Now that our president is closing in (possibly) on spending billions of dollars on fencing, walls, canals and/or whatever to limit the opportunities for people to enter this country illegally, combined with additional manpower, firepower, and technology the amount of money spent and resources used will amount to possibly the single largest purchase or use of our country's funding that has ever been.
And for what? To incarcerate a people who simply want to have a life? To send people back to a life so bad they leave everything, including family members to escape it? To force people to return to a country so riddled with poverty, crime and drug cartels that they literally have no chance at even surviving? In the past, I didn't bother to care; after all, if they want a better country they needed to take action and do it for themselves. However, today I am looking at this just a bit differently.
Bear with me now, as I am going to suggest something a bit radical. Truthfully I have not fully thought this through, at least not all the way. Consider this a "thought experiment", something we might do in order to find an alternate solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem.
By the way, for years I have been called "The Idea Man" because of my tending to look at things from a slightly different direction in order to arrive at a solution to the problem at hand. Think of this as just another of my ways of trying to solve something no one else has.
So, what has changed and what would I do?
First, why am I thinking a bit differently today than I have in the past? As silly as it sounds, because of a film. For many years I have been a fan of Neil Diamond, and recently I watched his film "The Jazz Singer". Yes, I know, silly but nonetheless...
In the film he performs a song I have heard many times but for whatever reason this time was different. Perhaps it is because I am older and pay more attention to the news, politics or the state of our country but I began to think "What if we took the money we are spending on keeping people out and instead welcomed them into communities we built specifically for them"? Rather than kick them out, spend the money currently being spent and planned on being spent on government programs for and against illegal aliens, barriers, special immigration police, and the judicial system and such, instead spend that money on creating housing in new towns and invite businesses to set up shop in or around these cities, offer special concessions to things such as manufacturing facilities, doctors and hospitals, various other needed agencies in order to make these places self sustaining, thus creating jobs, livelihoods, entire communities capable of standing on their own and contributing to America by allowing the American Dream to continue.
I call this "Phase I"
These steps would be what I am calling Phase I. They are the initial steps taken in order to find a humanitarian manner of dealing with a problem that thus far has not had a humanitarian answer for it. If one looks around at construction sites in my portion of the country, one sees a large percentage of the people doing the actual construction are of Hispanic origin. Mexican, I presume. So, find those among the illegal immigrants who have the same capabilities, allow them to build their own communities in border states such as Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and California initially before moving inland as needed. Build apartment buildings first, shopping centers and such before beginning homes for them. Once this is underway, it is time for the next aspect of Phase I.
This would be to let industries know that if they pull their overseas and out of the country jobs in order to bring them back to America and put them into these areas we are creating, they can get tax breaks equaling the amount saved by going overseas. Yes, allow them to help America by helping them. Radical, I know but the money they pay to those working for them here will begin to spur growth in and around these communities thus making them self sufficient. That way we are no longer supporting them or spending money to keep them out, they get health care from those businesses and they get their feet on the pathway to becoming American citizens.
How much is spent annually on Illegal Immigrants?
- Trump says $200 billion, NBC says closer to $54 billion.
Trump said illegal immigration costs upwards of $200 billion per year. Is there any truth to that?
How much does it cost to build an apartment building in Arizona?
To begin with, we need to see what the cost would be to build an apartment building capable of housing immigrant families. What I found was surprising: as little as $65,000 per unit to as high as $86,000. So, if we take the high estimate and multiply it by forty we would arrive at less than $3,500,000. A building this size would house perhaps 200 persons, if we estimated five per household. Considering the amount spent to keep illegal immigrants out, deport them, place them in holding areas and such this is far less costly than what we are currently doing. For 2,000 people we would need ten buildings for a cost of $35,000,000. Not too bad and there is a new small town for these individuals. Add in a grocery, assorted retail shops, businesses and restaurants which support a city of this size and you would add perhaps another $30,000,000 or so. Not bad.
Now we need something to put these adults to work. Bring in a manufacturing company of some kind, using tax relief and low interest loans, low cost land and you have created the beginning of a self sufficient town. Doctors, a clinic or small hospital add to the area and it is well on the way to becoming what both we and these people need: a real chance at the American Dream.
Now we have a construction group who can begin to build houses for the original immigrants, thereby freeing up the apartments for new immigrants. Couple this opportunity with a requirement for continued work records at the local businesses and offer citizenship in a two year period and we have grown our population, added taxes to the local and national government and a solution to a portion of the problem.
For Phase II, I propose our government address the root of the problem for the influx of immigrants, namely why they are rushing here. To a degree it is income and job related but it is also the drug cartels and their reign of terror. I have read and heard that resorts literally pay them off to leave their tourists alone. Is this any different than the 1930's and Al Capone? The "glory" days of the Mob and its receiving payment for "insurance" that nothing will happen to a shop owner so long as they pay for protection? I think not.
Therefore, I propose that we let Mexico know in no uncertain terms that unless they clean up their country, we will make them persona non grata and no longer allow our citizens the opportunity to travel to their country in any form of a tourist aspect due to the danger, thus eliminating one of their major sources of income. Harsh, I know but something must be done. We could offer to assist the Mexican government and possibly even include a portion of the population of the new immigrants as well as those still residing in Mexico to join our military, thus creating another method of having them become American citizens, by serving a two year hitch in our military.
If this were to take place I feel we might just be able to make a sizable dent in the illegal immigrant issue, offer hope to a people who literally have none, and help our country all at the same time.
I do have a beginning of a thought for Phase III but it is too early to discuss it here. Additionally, it is even more radical then what I am proposing at this time. It would be years before we could rationally discuss the possibility of it and therefore not worth our time right now.
However, the other plans are something that I feel we could discuss now, and maybe even formulate a plan of action to achieve some or all of them. There is a saying which basically says something about pouring money down a blind hole, or throwing good money after bad, wasting money hand over fist which is what we are doing right now regarding this issue. After further consideration, a wall isn't the answer I thought it was initially and bulking up the border patrol isn't either. Keeping families in detention centers and paying ridiculous amounts of money to do this and/or shipping these people back across the border is not a sound plan, it is just inhumane and cruel.
The time has come to welcome them by having a plan of action, a plan that would allow them to earn their keep, to become citizens of this great country. A plan that would bring jobs back to our country rather than shipping them off to a place that is cheaper but not better. A plan that might heal our country of one wound we currently have, one which divides us when we don't need to be divided.
Well, what do you think? Is it feasible? Is it something we could do; should do? Or is this just a step in a direction that could lead to something else, something better for all of us? I am really interested in what you think, gentle reader.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Mr Archer