A Better Border Solution
What if I said there was a solution to America’s illegal (and even legal) immigration problems that would have all the elements both parties seek. You might think I would be crazy, but maybe we all need to look further than the options put on the table thus far.
Gun enthusiasts always like to point out criminals don’t like to follow the law and thus making more laws are not productive. What people miss in both the gun and immigration debates is, while all out prohibition does not work, well-regulated pathways to legality do. With both these issues the solution needs to just be more vetting. Making sure people buying guns are responsible enough to use and store them safely. Making sure the people being let into the country are not, as Trump put it, “criminals and rapists”. This article will primarily focus on the latter as I have written extensively on the gun issue already.
So with the vetting issue being said, how then can America really control who can come into the country?
You don’t. Or rather, you let them in partially.
What if the American government set up small border communities exclusively for people fleeing from other countries? Places where they could live, learn English, get jobs and work towards full integration into American life. Stay for a certain length of time, maybe a year or two, commit no crimes, be a productive member of society, and voila! Instant American citizenship with free reign to relocate anywhere in the country.
The cost to build these communities may be steep at first, but through new technologies, such as 3D printing, it may not be as expensive as one may think. No one is suggesting anything luxurious here, just the most basic amenities. Educational, healthcare, certain business facilities, all staffed at the lower level by those who seek access to America. Ideally using skills they already have or are willing to learn. With everyone living here expected to work and thus earn some form of wages, there could then be a tax system in place for them to earn their keep. Such a system could even be used to pay back the American taxpayers’ investment over time. So while it wouldn’t be a wall, quite the contrary, Mexicans (and other refugees) would indeed end up paying for it in the long run.
Since most illegal immigrants enter the country through other means, such as visa overstays, another system would have to be in place in tandem for that issue. Perhaps even integrate it so that those already in the country illegally — and have caused no problems — could also use it to expedite their road to citizenship.
There would be no excuse for anybody to enter America anywhere else illegally. A fully legal pathway to citizenship would be right there at the border. The only ones who would try would be those who know they wouldn’t get past vetting. The ones who are the real problem. Since immigration enforcement wouldn’t be as bogged down with everyone else, they’d have much more resources to focus on these actual criminals.
Think about it, you could have refugees from all over the world here. Living and working together, being part of a multi-cultural community. Just like America. Nobody being killed, separated from their children, nobody being detained for just trying to seek a better life. No bans from any Muslim majority countries. At the same time, there can be thorough vetting so Americans know all who make it through to their side are the ones who will help to Make America Great.