I’m not sure that it follows that good neighbors make fences. There must be something seriously wrong in Mexico if people are willing to die in the desert trying to come to the US.
Imagine for a moment that the US economy is failing (which much easier to do now than last year). Imagine that you could not get a job or make your mortgage, or feed your family. Imaging further that Mexico is prospering, and there are plenty of jobs and plenty of inexpensive food. Would a border fence keep you from going down there and getting what you needed to survive? I think not.
It is possible to secure our borders if we create a mile plus wide deforested area along the border with fences on both sides and a deep ditch in the center. Then all we would need to do is continuously over-fly this area with our National Guard aircraft and destroy anything that moved in the no-mans-zone. That’s real border security.
But I don’t think that is what we should be doing. Firstly, it’s very expensive. Secondly, I believe that it is wrong to think that because someone is born south of an imaginary line in the sand that they are somehow less entitled to the bounty of our planet. OK, you might argue that we have built a strong economy here, and that we should reap the benefits of that. But on whose back was this economy built? It was built on immigrant workers, some from Europe, some from Africa and some from South America. Now we should turn our backs on these workers and fence them out?
The fact remains that we need inexpensive labor. It seems to me we have 3 choices: 1) we can manufacture goods here in the US with American labor, which will make the good non-competitive on the international market, or 2) we can do what we are doing now and buy our products from the lowest bidder, usually China, or 3) we can build plants here in the US and import inexpensive labor to work in them. The third option has the advantages of allowing us to tax the factories, tax the workers, control the factories and control any technology produced. It’s the way to go.
To make this work we need a good Guest Worker program. It’s untenable to me that Congress is sitting on this idea for so long. The program should not have anything to do with US citizenship, it should have to do with giving foreign workers in this country a legal status so that they can be traced and taxed. Only after this is done can we legitimately deport people who continue to be here illegally. If we make the program attractive enough, we probably won’t have to deport may people, which is an expensive proposition when you looking at numbers like 12 million folks!
Of course the workers need to do their part too. They need to be proficient in English. They need to respect our laws and customs. And they need to pay their taxes.
I believe that a lot of the animosity against migrant workers stems from the language problem. One thing that has made this county safe and strong is its homogeneity. The melting pot tends to break down cultural barriers and unites us. And I believe that having a common language is a big part of that. It is much easier to dislike and distrust someone you can’t understand. So I think that we need to have one common, official language, and right now that is English.
So, in summary I believe that we do not need a border fence. That it is a waste of money. Look at what is happening in the Gaza strip. Palestinians are blowing holes in the boarder fence so they can get food to feed their families. Of course we need to monitor for drug traffic, explosives, etc, but not more than what we have been doing.
We also need to work with the Mexican government to find improve to the situation in our neighboring country.
We need to encourage good workers to come to America. They should be given a reasonable time in which to secure employment (maybe 60 days) and then as long as they continue to have an income which can support themselves and any family they bring along, plus pay their taxes, they should be allowed to stay. At least a portion of there tax money should go to education and training for American workers so at to elevate the level of pay and performance.
But most of all we need to get beyond fear and distrust to friendship and cooperation. The migrant workers mean us no harm. They just want to feed their families and have the opportunities that we all enjoy. God has granted this country abundance, but there is plenty of work to be done…I think we should all do it together.
Filed under: Chuck See |