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How to Settle the Immigration Debate?

Updated on April 25, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years.


The immigration issue has been a problem for our country for over 30 years. Both sides believe strongly in their positions. It doesn't help when our national leaders and large Corporations choose to look the other way rather than trying to work out a solution. Meanwhile, the problem seems to get worse. I have a simple "what if?" question.

-July 2015

Here is the Simple Question.

Suppose you are owner of a mansion in Malibu - like the one shown for Barbra Streisand and suppose a stranger showed up on your door uninvited.

Would you invite him in and offer him a room to stay?

Would you offer him a job to mow your lawn or take care of your landscape for a wage?

Would you extend your generocity to his family member?

Would you then offer them healthcare coverage?

Would you offer to send his kids to school?

Would you offer to teach him English if he doesn't speak our language?

Would you offer to get him a driver's license and an ID?

Barbra Streisand Mansion

What's the Response?

If it was me, the answer would be no. I may offer him food and drinks and then send him on his way. That is the universal accepted response for welcoming strangers or travelers.

Apply Logic and Common Sense

Now replace the words "owner of a mansion" with America, and "stranger" with illegal immigrants. Re-read the first module and try answer the questions again. Be totally honest. Would your answers be the same or different? If different, why? What's the difference?

For Barbra Streisand and other Liberals...

If the above scenario was actually Barbara Streisand, guess what would be her responses. She would not have to deal with this. The stranger would never make it to her door. She has a secure fence and body guards guarding her home - as she has a right to being a celebrity...

She and others like her would tell the rest of us to be open minded and compassionate when dealing with undocumented immigrants. I have a message for her. If you are willing to take in undocumented immigrants to your own home, then I may listen to your advice.

Zuckerberg Builds Wall in Hawaii

What Is Open Borders Policy?

A common debate on this topic focus on the policy of current Federal Government. Do we have an open borders policy? Can we enforce the laws and close the borders? What do liberals want?

The answer for me is obvious. When you fail to enforce our current immigration laws, it is open borders. When you allow people to come here without papers, you are opening the borders. Some liberals will argue they are just being compassionate and they are not for open borders. How can this be? They support building a wall "wink wink" if we allow people already here a path to citizenship... The truth is, they never intend to build that border wall. It has happened before under Reagan. Reagan passed an amnesty law with the stipulation of a stronger border enforcement. The first part happened right away but the wall was never built or funded.


I want to give a little personal background information. I am not against immigration or immigrants. I myself is a first generation legal immigrant. My father immigrated here back in 1956 to attend a graduate school. My family waited almost five years before being approved to immigrate here. This was after my father attained his degree and worked for a company willing to sponsor him. We got our green cards and after waiting another five years became naturalized citizens. I was proud to become an American and was honored to be able to vote the first time in 1972. I have voted in every national election since.

I want to address some charges that many past immigrant waves from various nationalities were illegitimate. They falsify identities and their names to get in. That is all true. However, what is different now is that we have more serious issues both domestic and global. Our country is loosing its national identity. We are a nation of immigrants. We cannot survive as a nation if we continue this path. What also is different is that in the past, we did not have an extensive entitlement system. Those immigrants that came here did not expect any help from the state. They rely on hard work and also on extended family members for assistance. That is no longer true. There are many abuses of our social programs and not just from our southern borders. Many illegal immigrants take advantage of our generous and compassionate state and some loop holes of our laws. We have people that come here on tourist visas that stay to have babies so that they become automatic US citizens.

The main reason that I support legal immigration is that I don't wish to have a second class "citizens" who must stay in the shadows and be exploited by some because of their lack of legal status. The best way to help illegals is to make them legal (one way or another). I don't support the status quo where more and more undocumented immigrants are let in and they remain in limbo status. This contribute to crime and exploitation and abuse. For that reason, the only common sense solution is to close our borders first. Next, we can deal with the undocumented immigrants already here. I am not against a path to citizenship for them. Also, we need to improve the lNS so that legal immigration can be facilitated in an organized and speedy fashion.

Solutions to Address the Immigration Issue

Some in public office put forth the "comprehensive" immigration reform as the only way to solve our borders problem. I disagree. We can tackle this problem with many small but more targeted and more manageable legislations. By breaking up the legislation, they can be passed incrementally starting with ones that are without dispute. As each piece is passed and put in operation, we can also see incremental improvements. I created a hub to address this.

Recently, Bill O'Reilly put forth a call for "Kate's Law" to counter the problem with repeat illegals deported and committing felonies. I think it is a good start. Who could be against this common sense law?


Sometimes, it is good to simplify complex issues by using analogies. It clears the mind and help lead to a rational solution. Taking the emotions out of the decision is a first step. We all fell bad for migrants who are just trying to improve their life. We are a generous nation. We try to help other nations especially our neighbors with trade. However, we can only do so much. Opening our borders is not the answer. There are legal processes for immigrating to our country. The reasons are obvious. We need immigrants that can help us grow and also make sure they don't bring diseases that can harm all of us. We also need to know who is coming here and their purpose. Our citizens deserve to have a secure border.

© 2015 Jack Lee


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