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Monday, March 27, 2006

Immigration: The Challenge

“If a man be gracious to strangers, it shows that he is a citizen ofthe world, and his heart is no island, cut off from other islands,but a continent that joins them.” Francis Bacon wrote those words. Last weekend over 500,000 people protested the proposed new law that would make millions of people felons for being in the U.S. illegally.

Nothing like it has happened regarding the other controversial subject which also has huge ramifications for our future: the Iraq war.

Different international smuggling gangs are making raids on other gangs houses in Houston—where they “stashed” people instead of cocaine. Human trafficking is more profitable than drug trafficking, and smugglers are giving up the drugs to smuggle people. Which is worse?

Women have also been the target of international traffickers. Both issues require creative solutions in Congress. Making people felons won’t solve the problem. If it is a choice between feeding the family and getting a felony, I know what most people will choose. Congress should know it as well.

Our present system encourages massive numbers of people to circumvent our border crossings, overwhelming border security despite all the walls you build. Even the Berlin Wall failed to keep people from crossing -- and it was small compared to our Mexico-U.S. border which stretches thousands of miles.

Right now, Border agents can’t tell economic refugees from potential terrorists when thousands are crossing illegally every day.

The only solution is a radical one – make it to ENCOURAGE people to go through our border checkpoint so we have a biometric fingerprint on everyone. A work permit is that lure. The only way to do that is to take a serious look at President Bush’s Guest Worker plan. Let’s face it, I don’t see any of these people taking over as CEO of Wal Mart; nor do I see regular Americans willing to cut grass and do a lot of nasty work these people do every day.

If we change our system so that is sucks people THROUGH our system instead of forcing them to go AROUND IT then that leaves only the terrorist or people smugglers crossing illegally to avoid giving up their identity.

In fact, such a change would put most of the coyote “people smugglers” out of business, leaving only the terrorists trying to duck the border. Our agents could focus on them. The bad buys will be easier to pick out. They will no longer be able to hide among the swarms of people coming across looking for a job instead of a target. It’s a win-win.

Final thought: If we REALLY want to fix this problem, we need to help generate economic growth in places like Mexico so that the jobs develop there. THAT will reduce the desire of people to cross the border for work HERE.

They are crossing our border more out of desperate need for income than choice.

Don’t believe me? Just ask the guys cutting your grass…Francis Bacon had it right.

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