Monday, August 22, 2005

South Border Thoughts


A couple days ago, I opened a discussion on the question of Border Security in the United States. I actually should have put up a different title, as the discussion, even with my own thoughts, reflected only the issues dealing with the border along Mexico’s frontier, and with the problems concerning illegal residency by Latins in the United States. The fact there have been verified attempts by terrorists to enter by Canada over the past few years is worth noting, indeed deserves its own post in the general question of border security apart from illegal residency.

There have been, as of noon Monday, 129 responses to the thread, but not much in the way of direct answers to my specific questions. To continue this important discussion then, I am presenting the questions again, along with the specific answers received, some comments on the issue worth considering and my own thoughts on these questions:

Question 1: Employers have faced increasingly strict measures for knowingly hiring illegals. However, the Congress has refused to pass some laws which would have put real teeth into the prevention of hiring illegal aliens. Why, do you think, has this been the case?

Knightowl77 said “I think it is because Business interests actually run the country. Not we the voters. Politicians of both parties including the president are more interested in what is good for business instead of what is good for the country”

Terrye suggests “I would say do a better job at the border and require ID here so that it will be harder to pass. And try to force them to become legal, so that if they come here they do it the right way”

Oak Leaf suggests “I would propose that every employer, right down to the family that wants a nanny, should be required to pay an annual “undocumented worker tax” in the amount of $10,000.00. For every worker that is “documented” this tax would not apply”

FreeKeys suggests: “Guest worker permits for 2 years; 3 years max. Every permit says: no welfare, no non-emergency health care, no food stamps, no schooling, no tuition, NO VOTING. At the end of the term: escort to the border.”

JINX suggested “Why shouldn’t the law enforcement agency that finds an illegal alien in the employ of someone not be entitled to the proceeds, a bit like the parking fine system. That would provide the most compelling public sector motivation known to man - easily earned and assesed public fines. Maybe this idea could even be pepped up, like in saying, that any asset used in the activity of employing undocumented workers could be seized/confiscated by the law enforcement agency that apprends the undocumented worker in question, where said asset would become the property of the apprehending agency, not unlike the procedure already in place for assets used in the commission of drug related crime. agency That would certainy sharpen the appetite of our without any doubt most idealistic officers of the law, and induce a vertiable frency of enforcement activity in this field of endeavour.”

Dtlc had a 3-part response: “(A) free markets : (i)
— Mexicans or (others) can travel to the USA and perform work (agricultural, construction, babysitting, etc);
—- Some Americans will lose their jobs. However, overall, this will cut down the costs of business and increase the standard of living for the majority.
(ii) abolishing the welfare state, OR
(iii) The illegal immigrants cannot get
— free education, whether elementary, secondary, college, etc. (i.e. taxpayer funded)
— free health care (i.e. taxpayer funded);
— free subsidies (through mortgages, which are insured through FDIC and our taxes)
(B) open, but regulated, borders :
— there is no need to sneak into the USA. Anyone can enter through checkpoints. However, anyone crossing the border illegally gets shot (or arrested and next time they can’t enter the country anymore);
—- the immigrants must pass a thorough background checks. For example, anyone who has criminal history or mental illness or some contagious disease does not come in. Anyone who is even suspected of having a terrorist link is turned away or is arrested. Anyone who does not cooperate, is sent back. Yes, yes, this creates logistical difficulties, but it could be worked out.
—- a security wall is build across the border (just like Israel is doing)
© Citizenship Must Be Earned
—– there is no automatic citizenship for illegal immigrants just because you were lucky enough to be born on this side of the border.
—- you live in the USA for 15 years and if say 5 or 10 neighbors and co-workers vouch for you, then you (and your family) become US resident (Green card) and after another 5 years you become a citizens
(I believe Switzerland does that)."

All interesting answers. I would suggest this for my own answer:

The Congress of the United States is more fragmented than the public mood, which is one large reason the Congress doesn’t often do what the public demands. Besides the divide between Republicans and Democrats, there is also the fact that the Senate continues to demand it be treated differently (which is to say, with greater deference) than the House of Representatives. Then there is the regional nature of the body, with each of the five major coasts (Gulf, South, Northeast, Northwest and West) and the three heartlands (Bread Belt, Rust Belt, and the ‘Midwest’) all voting by a regional consensus more than anything else. Add to that the unfortunate fact that Job One for anyone in Congress is to get re-elected, and it becomes apparent that unless and until Illegal Residency is a national priority, Congress is not going to do anything at all except vaguely promise some action in the future. You may recall that the top questions in the poll I sent to every member of Congress in January/February included the following:

1. Should photo ID cards be required in order to vote?
2. What will you do to secure our borders from illegal immigrants and/or terrorists

I would suggest we turn the heat up and keep it up, especially whenever a related event shows the danger.

Question 2: Mexico is not cooperating with the United States. Instead, they have taken such actions as to provide Consular Identification Cards for Mexican nationals in the U.S., without verifying that they are here legally. Also, there are indications that Mexico’s own borders are very porous, especially to anyone heading North into the U.S. What actions could the United States take to change this condition, bearing in mind that Mexico is a sovereign state, and in some years past hostility between the U.S. and Mexican governments over the border issue has led to additional conflict?

Gs suggested “One solution is a high level of legal immigration. Bring ‘em in, assimilate them as Americans (not as grievance-nursing multicultural victims), encourage their upward mobility, and let the future unfold”

Russ noticed “Yet there is something called, sanctuary cities which I’m guessing is most run by liberals”

I would suggest, for my answer, that the United States tie specific and significant incentives and penalties to border enforcement. I would further create a series of consular conferences between the United States and Mexico to discuss the welfare of Mexican nationals in the United States, as well as planned joint initiatives to curb border-running. This should include joint law enforcement exercises and missions of high visibility and value to the Mexican government. And the United States must have statements given by State Department employees in Spanish; the value of this action cannot be over-estimated.

Question 3: The greatest danger of illegal entry into the United States, is that someone practiced in border-running, often known as a “coyote”, will bring in terrorists. The law at present is relatively light against border-runners. What definition, legally, should be established to create a legal class for professional border-runners, and what legal actions should be taken against repeated border-runners to discourage the profession?

Repeated border-running must be made a felony, with mandatory sentences of 10+ years. The offense must be classed as a national security risk, which will allow for prisons to be created specifically for this class of offender. The cases must be highly publicized, and the practice made unappealing as a money-making scheme. Individuals might be pardoned as a means to improve diplomatic relations, but especially severe sentences must be handed down to anyone who transports a wanted felon or fugitive across a border.

The seizure of a business which has more than 5% undocumented workers would be a good start for improving attention to the simple need for valid I-9 forms, which any business manager can fill out and maintain. As for national ID’s, I would say we are not at that point, for the reason that the public still reacts poorly to the notion, but a national minimum standard for Driver’s Licenses and/or State Identification cards is long overdue. Also, there can be no question but that the Green Card system must be overhauled to class people into various categories, with a computerized warning for the last known location of anyone about to expire, and a Federal Law prohibiting anyone remaining at large whose residency has expired or been revoked.

That would be a good starting point for the needed reforms. That, and a lot of noise to let Congress know this is not going away, or a small issue.


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