Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Simple Solution to Illegal Immigration


WARNING! THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY IS GUARANTEED TO MAKE EVERY READER ANGRY! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Can you count the number of times you've heard opinions on the illegal immigrant "problem" in this country over the past few years? I can't. I venture to guess that there have been literally millions of public pronouncements by elected officials and the man in the street that have been published or broadcast in the past couple years. And yet, here we are, still with no viable solution in sight.

In my opinion, the solution to illegal immigration starts with secure borders. Without a secure border there is no way to stop illegal immigration, period. Yes, you can use Mayor Mansoor's tactic of picking up jaywalkers, errant bicycle riders and loiterers along with those dangerous felons he allegedly wanted to get off the streets and deport them. When they come back to continue to try to earn a living here they can be arrested as a felon and thrown in jail for a very significant period of time, adding to the crisis of overcrowding in our jails. Following their release they would be once again deported and the dance begins all over again.

And, how do we secure the border, you ask? Well, obviously, it's not by building a seven hundred mile long fence - a fence on which at least one contractor used illegal immigrants as laborers. Fences have not worked in the past and won't work in the future. I have a much better, much more cost effective idea. From Cambodia to Kosovo, this idea has been time-tested in most conflicts between neighboring countries throughout the past century. Much as abstinence is guaranteed to stop unwanted pregnancy - it works every time - my solution is guaranteed to stop unwanted "invaders" from wandering across our border. It's simple to install, requires virtually no maintenance and is guaranteed to stop anyone from walking across our borders uninvited.

That solution is land mines.

That's right, those nasty little buggers that can disintegrate the lower half of your body if you step on one. There are others that are spring-loaded and, once tripped, pop up to shoulder height and explode, shredding anyone within 50 yards with shrapnel. It sounds like the perfect solution to me - if we're serious about securing our borders.

I was right, wasn't I? You're angry at me right now, right? Well, think about it. Just scribe out a strip of property inside our border of, say, 300 yards. Then have the military fly along the center of that section and distribute those nasty little land mines that can blow a body to bits when touched. It's the perfect solution! Oh, sure, you'll probably lose a few dozen people the first couple weeks as they traipse through the mine fields and get blown half-way back to Jalisco, but it wouldn't take long for the word to get around before the migration would stop. And after all, what's a few disemboweled and dismembered Mexicans in the grand scheme of things, right?

Are you angry yet? Are you disgusted with me for even suggesting something like this? Good - you should be.

Of course, I'm not serious about using land mines to stop illegal immigrants from continuing to flow unimpeded across our border. It's a terrible, disgusting, inhumane idea. My point was to get your attention. Now, once you've stopped hyperventilating, I want you to drop me a little note - comment or email - and give me your solution to securing our borders, because our government's half-hearted efforts have not worked. Let's hear your ideas. If you don't want your comments posted on this site just send me an email - the address is on my Profile.

And, for goodness sake, stop yelling at your computer! I warned you at the beginning that this would make you angry.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Chuck Cassity said...

Geoff;

I really like your idea; quick and cost-effective. The only problem is that Mexico would sue us and so would the ACLU. Plus, we'd probably have to provide free health care for the mangled migrants caught up in our snare. My solution is similar. Let's place the land mines near the executive entrance to the companies that knowingly employ the undocumented, including that fence-building company in San Diego to which you referred. The ACLU would still sue, but Mexico would probably only file an amicus brief. Plus, the workers' comp insurance would likely pay for the prosthetics and rehab for the dismembered execs. Just trying to be helpful...

3/14/2007 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob Dickson said...

Great post, Geoff! Nice way to tee it up.

1. Full lockdown at the border. Whether it be virtual, or consist of a fence, just lock it down. This isn'y just about illegal immigration, it is about national security. We passed the Patriot Act, stripping citizens of some basic civil liberties, but we leave the border totally undefended? Pathetic.

The border lockdown will also deter immigranst from risking their lives making risky attempts to cross in remote and inhospitable areas. It will cut down on drug smuggling and the terrible ecological damage occurring daily (vehicle tracks, detsruction of habitat, litter).

2. Aggressive and meaningful worksite document verification and prosecution of employers who employ illegal immigrants. Eliminate the work, you eliminate the motivation to come here illegally. We make the focus the illegal immigrant, with no duty or loyalty to this country, yet let the employers off the hook? Pathetic.

3. Meaningful guest worker program, with real tracking of guest workers, so they actually go home when the work is done.

4. Realistic path to naturalization for those here for a set amount of time (5 years? 10 years?), no criminal records, and with full compliance with all normal immigration procedures.

3/14/2007 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous westside said...

Senor Removedor:

This is where I differ from you and all of the people who aren't able to see clearly where the problem is coming from (this is my humble view on the immigration issue). It's an economic problem, more so a macro-economic issue. Beginning with the Reagan Administration up until today, our governments have successfully exported to other countries, particularly to the Latin America region, a so-called Neoliberal economic system (orthodox market economics). This model of development does work in the the U.S. but hasn't been doing so well in Latin America. Most countries in Lat. Ame. have engaged in neoliberal econ. since the 1980s (downsizing of the bureaucracy, privatization, opening markets, low tarif, taxes, etc.) and worked out well to a certain degree, but in the end the model simply collapsed, and most countries enter into an economic recession, Mexico in 1994, Argentina in 1998, Brazil 1997, Ecuador in 2000, and so on... Because this model has concentrated in creating development in the urban areas only (most investors like you go invest where they can make profit, RIGHT), it forgot the rural areas. It created massive migration process to the cities, particularly the large ones, because those rural people were never pulled into the economic growth. Some of those who couldn't get any jobs in the private sector (public was killed by neoliberalism) simply engaged in criminal activity (that's why there is so much crime in Lat. Ame. today) and those good people who didn't want to be criminals, or extremely poor, simply decided to move on and come to America or other countries where the dynamics of economics plays much better. So, the problem is a macro-economic. Latin America needs to move from a Neoliberal, to a more controlled economic system, where investors don't just go there to make some profits through a financial system that pays really good (30% profit sometimes), but also create jobs. By the way, the third richest man in the world is Carlos Slim from Mexico. He started out as a stock broker in Mexico City, and thanks to Neoliberalism, he now have 43 billion dollars. I think, immigration will slow down --never stop--, only if governments in Lat. America are able to control that "flying capital" that comes in and flies back to Ame. banks quite easy. That's precisely what the American government and neoliberal economic don't like to do. So, you see, the solution is simple, let the Latin Americans run their economy, let's not interfere. I guess, we haven't been so good at it. REgarding shutting down the border as you suggested. If you read Adam Smith's book, Wealth of Nations, you will find an interestng line where he says the following: "you can stop la corriente (the stream) of a river for a moment when you build a dam, but eventually the waters will go over it". Same thing with immigration. Shutting down the border won't work. Need to read more. Lee mas amigo.

3/15/2007 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

my solution: Make the exploitation of undocumented laborers by US mega-business--below poverty-line wages and unsafe working conditions--a felony that hands out a serious punishment, such as death by decapitation! Now that would really get someone's attention, right?

3/15/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob Dickson said...

Westside,

So the problem is the United States economic policy? The solution is socialism? WE made Carlos Slim the 3rd richest man in the world? NO, endemic government corruption and established practices of exporting the poor to the United States are the problems. Fully 10% of Guatemala's GDP is remittances from the million plus Guatemalans living in the US (the population of Guatemala is 14 million). I mention Guatemala because its presdient demanded that we stop deporting Guatemalans found to be illegally in the United States.

Think about that for just a moment - Guatemala's president publicly criticized the US president for enforcing US immigration policy!! Why fix problems in your own contry when you can sinmply export almost 10% of your population and let THEM pay for schools, infrastructure, etc.

Better yet, all those remittances flow through banks, who take a huge cut of the immigrants blood money.

Market economics don't work in countries where there is no free market. That is a failure of the governments, not the policy.

Here is an excerpt from the Migration Policy Institute paper "Guatemala: Economic Migrants Replace Political Refugees":

"According to IOM, almost all [remittances] (97.6 percent) are sent from the United States, and each household received, on average, about US$306 per month. Guatemala's remittances now exceed the total volume of its annual exports or income from tourism.

In 2004, the population residing abroad and sending remittances back home was approximately 1,049,349; 71.5 percent were men and 28.5 percent were women.

Initially, remittances were used to purchase basic goods such as food and clothing, but more recently, families have started spending the extra money on "luxury" items such as televisions, cookers, irons, and electrical goods, according to a 2006 study by the Centro de Estudios de Guatemala (CEG). More recently, remittances have been invested (largely through hometown associations) in housing projects, water and drainage systems, schools, health centers, and other communal services. Thus, argue many civil society organizations, the government has been freed up from its traditional responsibilities."

I think it is time that central and south Americans STOP blaming the United States for their problems and start looking inward. It is incredibly detrimental to a culture and society to have huge percentages of their populations living in foreign countries. If global economic policies are detrimental to these countries, chart a different path, but STOP blaming everyone else, and hold their own governments responsible!

This may be overly simplistic and may take years to implement, but the answer isn't socialism, as that concentrates even more power in corrupt governments and eliminates the dynamic market forces that lift an economy up.

3/15/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob Dickson said...

Art Pedroza, over at the Orange Juice! blog, has a great list of suggestions for fixing the illegal immigration problem. You can check them out at this link:

http://o-juice.blogspot.com/2007/03/new-ideas-needed-in-order-to-restore-us.html

Some of his ideas are fantastic - like making citizenship impossible for those who came here illegally (they may still obtain green cards and live here, but no citizenship for those breaking our immigration laws). He also suggests that children of illegal immigrants born here be citizens of their parents' home country - NOT the US. These ideas go a LONG WAY toward making real immigration reform more palatable to the average American. One significant barrier to reform has been the gut feeling that we cannot reward criminal activity - these proposals acknowledge that.

Other ideas go to the economic issues Westside discussed. I encourage you to check them out.

3/15/2007 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Len Bose said...

“Westside” has the answer. Let me try to explain with fewer words.
If you want to slow immigration, you have to raise the economic standing of the suppliers. Until then, your better deal attracts.
ID’s ain't gonna stop that, walls wont work, dogs ain’t gonna work and land minds wont work.
Therefore the true question is how to raise the economic standing of the suppliers?

3/18/2007 08:28:00 AM  

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