The border between the US and Mexico has been on my mind for some time now. The issues of illegal immigration and the border loom ominously ahead of us. Why is it that this border is so different from the others?
Immigrants are the heartbeat of America. We are all children of people who came here from someplace. I am a first generation offspring of parents who immigrated to the US in the nineteen twenties. Both Mom and Dad told us their stories of how they got here and who sponsored them. They needed visas and a passport, before leaving their home country. Both of them had to travel hundreds of miles to a harbor in northern Europe, board a boat, and endure weeks of sea sickness while crossing the “border” into the United States.
Once they crossed the invisible line called a border somewhere in New York Harbor their boat docked. It didn’t dock at the mainland, it docked at Ellis Island. There, they disembarked and stood in long lines until they came before a magistrate of some kind who officially registered them in the books of immigrants. I assume they were given papers to allow them entry.
Not all folks off the boat were lucky. Some, who carried disease or some undesirable malady returned home. How in the hell they accomplished that is not clear. Many of the folks who came from Slavic countries carried some weird names. At least they were weird to the magistrates who could not pronounce a string of consonants. Often the magistrate registered the alien with a new name spelled as he heard it said. So some of them came to America and immediately had a new identity as well as a new home. Well, not yet. There was the matter of getting from Ellis Island to where ever you were going to wind up.
That is the Eastern border, the Western is not much different. Contractors building railroads, dams and bridges conscripted Chinese and Japanese laborers by the thousand to help build railroads across the country. Many of these contracted laborers never made it back home. At first, they came by boat and entered harbors in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Later, after air flight became the norm, seating capacity limited how many could come on Boeing airplanes. Airplanes land in controlled spaces such as airports. They disembark the plane and herded to the immigration terminal where a nasty looking man in a uniform verifies their credentials. They must have passports and a visa to continue to customs. Eventually, they enter the mainland to a new home. In review, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans present a unique border that limits immigration to discreet entry points.
Let’s look at the northern border next. Canada is a country much like the United States. Canada’s make-up is from immigrants who enter the country from the East (Atlantic) or from the West (Pacific). Their northern border is the arctic circle and most likely is not breached nor has it been breached since the last ice age when the Bering Sea froze over and immigrants from Asia walked across to North America. There was also a brief time in the seventeen hundreds when Russian adventurers sailed across the Bering Sea and settled in what is now Alaska. In any case this migration limited entry to very few souls.
Most of Canada’s immigrants come to Canada the same way as they do to the USA from the East and West.
The Northern border of the USA is with Canada. Canadians bent on migrating to the USA are already documented and familiar with the process. They apply for visas and passports and cross into the states at designated border crossings. The standard of living in Canada is like that in the USA so there is not the huge wish on their part to leave one good thing for something else.
America’s southern border presents a different perspective. At one time, the native population of Mexico stretched into North America into the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Then the Spanish came and invaded Mexico in search of gold. They proceeded to bastardize the Indian population with Spanish blood to the extent they creates a new referred to as Hispanic. The Spanish brought with them Jesuit priests to convert the pagan natives to Christianity. Many of the Jesuits were successful in establishing missions to do their work. In a sense the missions were mini countries ruled as theocracies. When the Spanish decided the missions were too successful they began secularization and order evolved into chaos under Spanish rule.
We all know that Spain did not hold its grip on Mexico and the now Hispanic native population came to be ruled by the very wealthy aristocracy. It is the same to this day. Mexico is a dirt poor country because the leaders want it dirt poor.
In eighteen hundred and thirty-seven, the Republic of Texas became a reality by seceding from Mexico. Texas later became a state.
Mexico ceded New Mexico, Arizona and California to the United States during the Mexican-American war of 1848 under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848). The US also paid Mexico $15,000,000.00 dollars for the land.
The western border states quickly became agricultural and needed labor. Mexicans living on the land did much of the work. Others who lived across the border would simply walk or ride across to their jobs and return home at night. The culture of free passage has prevailed for centuries.
The Mexican people come to America for the same reasons my parents did, to make a better life for themselves. Yes, we have laws on the books defining requirements for entry, but our government choses to ignore them. We brag about the number of immigrants we lawfully allow into the states every year, but sweep the number of illegals under the carpet.
Why is this the case? Our low-cost labor requirements are greater than the number of immigrants we can process yearly. We lack a valid worker pass program that allows true migrants the ability to cross into the USA for legitimate reasons, i.e. to work. The result is they enter the country illegally and make themselves legitimate with stolen social security cards. This not only allows them to get drivers licenses, but they now qualify for benefits even though they had no intention of asking for benefits when they got here.
Many of us argue that our generous social programs draw these people here. I contend that this is wrong. Most come only to get a job that pays more than they can make in Mexico. We as a country insist they get the same rights as our legal immigrants and valid citizens. Our insatiable desire to offer equal outcome for all is eating us alive. Guest workers do not deserve any benefits, they are here to make a wage and to go home.
What is the answer here? Control! The same type of control we have on the East, and west borders. On the South, it means a fence, moat, or a deterrent system as effective as three thousand miles of ocean. Control will allow us to assimilate and integrate new people at a pace we can all be happy with. Classify guest-workers as that, guest-workers. Why insist they be given all social benefits allotted to legal citizens, even when the guest-worker does not demand it.
Define the guest worker with a contract describing his salary, duties and daily time on the job with a three years limit. When their contract time is up, they go home.
Singapore brags about 110% employment. How can they meet that demand? They have a generous guest worker program. They do not have guest workers who over stay visas and get lost in the system, and Singapore follows its laws.
The immigration debate is simple to fix, we do not need another 1220 page bill loaded with muck to fill the days of our Congress with endless arguments about how to fix it. What we need is some common sense, and a President who loves America as it is, and one who is not fixated on transforming America into a Socialist State. Couple that with a Congress that cares about the country more than keeping their jobs. The kind of President and Congress we have is up to us. We are the only ones who can fix that problem by paying attention to what our government is up to and electing candidates with character, integrity, and genuine love for the country.
Here is my proposal:
- Implement a Vigorous Border Control
- Initiate a formal Guest-Worker Program
- Differentiate guest worker benefits from immigrant benefits.
- Define the number of immigrants allowed
- Define the number of guest-workers we need, and will allow.
- Expand and improve border crossing stations to increase the flow of guest workers.
- Define the length of time a guest worker may stay before returning to his home country.
Your comments are welcome.
Filed under: Cartoons, Conservative, Government | Tagged: Bering Sea, Canada, Ellis Island, Mexico, Mexico City, New Mexico, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, United States | 2 Comments »