Immigration: The Problems, the Positions, and the Proposals, Part Three
July 6, 2016 by Herbert Daughtry
The people who support consideration, sympathy, or compassion for immigrants do so from practical, self-interest, and/or moral/humanitarian reasons. They argue that we cannot close our doors to people who are desperate or in dire need. We have to find a way to take them in, and/or provide opportunities for them to better their lives.
They argue that immigrants have helped to make America what it is today. In fact, they have given their lives for this country. They have served for decades in the highest form of patriotism. They are honest and hardworking people. They want what all of us want – an opportunity to have a better life for themselves and their children. Given the opportunity, they would be good neighbors and good citizens.
Moreover, from a practical standpoint, what is to be done with 11 million people? There are probably far more. It’s unthinkable that we can put them on boats, ships, or planes and send them back to their country. Even if we could, the countries may not want them back. Then, we would have created another problem. Of course, we can force the countries to receive them. We have the military might to do so. But, who wants to go to war on the immigration issue? Thus, stands the problem which I hope I’ve adequately expressed. I would like to suggest four ideas.
1. Border Security
The border has to be secured. I don’t believe we can adequately concentrate on the internal problems while the borders are porous.
2. Moratorium on Immigration
Let’s have a moratorium on all immigration except where there is a desperate need, or in the country’s interest. Before there is a rush to conjure up Donald Trump, let me hasten to say, there are major differences.
-The moratorium that I am suggesting is only a period of time to be determined by experts.
-The focus is not against any religion or group. It’s everybody.
-The primary reason is quality of life for everyone, and not terrorism. Although, terrorism can be considered.
-It is to resolve a complex, internal problem.
3. Create a Pathway to Citizenship
Create a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants who are in the country, except the criminal element. It’s the only practical thing to do. As I have said, we can’t round up all 11 million people and send them back to their native lands. It is cruel to send youth who have been here for years and know little to nothing about other countries. Likewise, for parents who have children who are citizens. In other words, it seems cruel to tear families apart that are law-abiding and whose children have made and will make productive citizens.
4. Immigrants’ Assistance
All immigrants will be required, conditional upon citizenship, to assist in three ways:
-During the moratorium, they will cease inviting relatives and others to enter the country. There could be a stiff penalty against anyone violating the law, even to denying their citizenship.
-Assist or encourage those who are here to submit to the process of citizenship
-Assist in apprehending the criminal element
What is being suggested requires everyone to give something, everyone will receive something, and no one will get what he or she wants.
The first step is a bi-partisan commission who would explore the above suggestions, adding, refining, or deleting. They will be charged to put forth recommendations expeditiously.
Another consideration is Population Management. There are towns and cities which are overcrowded. Thus, reducing the quality of life while there are similar places which are sparsely populated.
We need to create new sites or large places which have small populations. This could be done with incentives, or a certain kinds of assistance. Of course, it would be done with the willing consent of the participants. If necessary, if it serves the greater good for citizens and non-citizens, an offer could be made that could not be refused. Even land grants could be considered.
I think if the plan of population shift were clearly explained, that it is to the benefit of everyone, it would be gladly accepted. The pages of history is replete with population management for various reasons, i.e. the need for certain kind of laborers and to build various projects (i.e. railroads, dams, canals, etc.).
To conclude, the sketchy ideas put forth, admittedly, are a long ways from perfect. If others were to add or modify the plan, it could be perfected and implemented. Or, it would be the best we can do. The fact of the matter is, there is no solution that is acceptable to everybody. The longer the situation festers, it will not only be “kicking the can down the road,” it may mean kicking each other down the road.
The idea is to accept everyone who is already here, and create some breathing room to think what to do next. By the way, there’s nothing unusual about shutting down the systems for consideration about what to do next – where we are and where we are going.
If we start from the vantage point of thinking not only with our heads but also with our hearts as to what is good for others and ourselves, we can arrive at a solution that makes life livable for all of us. After all, the problem is not there is not enough in the world. There is enough in the USA for all to live a quality life. We must make America just, humane, and compassionate.