Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past several weeks, you’re well aware of what’s happening at the United States’ southern border. A tidal wave of people are entering the country illegally. This surge is above and beyond the normal flow of illegal aliens coming into the country. The spike includes many unaccompanied minors, apparently sent by their parents to the United States in hopes that the children will be granted asylum or be reunited with other relatives already in the country. The numbers of illegals are skyrocketing, and the system designed to capture and process these people is being overwhelmed. The Obama administration has been both feckless and secretive in its management of the situation. Something must be done.
Frequently you’ll hear elected officials from both major parties complaining that our immigration system is broken. That’s actually not entirely true. We have a number of laws on the books designed to lead to legal immigration. What’s broken is the ability and willingness to enforce those laws. Many officials want to change the laws, as if doing so will somehow prevent new illegals from entering the country. There is no evidence that new laws will stop anyone. At this point, passing new laws is akin to tossing a novice juggler three more balls because he can’t seem to keep two in the air. Enforcement of existing laws is what is most needed at this time. Once the flow of illegals is stopped, then we can address issues regarding the number and background of immigrants we want to allow.
There are several immediate steps that can be taken:
1. Diplomacy – Mexico and other South American countries must be encouraged to staunch the flow of immigrants into the United States. They need to understand that the significant amount of aid that the U.S. provides them is dependent on their ability to slow down the flow of illegal immigrants headed our way.
2. Public Relations – Many crossing the border believe they will be excused and allowed to stay in the U.S. because of a change in policy by the Obama administration. They need to be disabused of this notion. We need a swift and aggressive media campaign in that part of the world to let them know that entering the U.S. illegally is not a wise option.
3. Build a Barrier – Congress needs to appropriate the funds to begin immediate construction of a barrier along our southern border. Construction should begin as soon as possible. This is not a new idea. It’s been proposed and budgeted for in the past. Unlike most other enforcement measures, it’s gone by the wayside. It must happen, and soon.
4. Engage the Military – The threat of a barrier will increase the desperation of those hoping to enter the country illegalyl. It may create an even larger wave than we are currently experiencing. Active duty soldiers or the National Guard may be needed to intercept the flow of illegals coming across the border.
5. Open the Door for Charity – Private organizations such as the Red Cross, who specialize in humanitarian crises, should be allowed at the border to assist immigrants who are turned away. It is not incumbent on the government to provide humanitarian relief and house those who’ve entered or tried to enter illegally. Allow private charities to do what they do best.
6. Lift the Veil of Secrecy – Thus far, this crisis has been cloaked in secrecy. That must stop. There is no reason that media and elected officials should not have access to the situation. All operations must be transparent to ensure the American people and the rest of the world that immigrants are being dealt with in a humane but legal manner.
Now while it is probably fun for Republicans and Democrats to bicker back and forth over whether the Bush Administration (through the William Wilberforce Trafficking Law in 2008) or the Obama Administration (through a decision to halt deportation in 2012) is to blame for this crisis, the first thing on everyone’s mind should be to solve the problem, so we call on the administration to do just that: their job.
The truth is, if the executive branch spent more time actually doing the things required of it under Constitutional purview (safety and security, including our borders), and less time trying to skirt around Congress to meddle in the affairs of Americans and their businesses, then perhaps we would not be where we are today.