We can end illegal immigration with 5 difficult but worthwhile steps. These are not solutions from the moment. These are what have be gleaned from years of research from all sides of the political spectrum. But, be careful, we will need to support these solutions with a functioning budget of people, time and money.
1) Enact a national identification program that is real and tough for everyone. Until we are sure who is here legally we can’t expect anyone to up hold the law. That means that every one that lives in the country must have documents that prove they are a legal worker or a citizen. This has received very strong opposition from all sides. There is the fear of the government intruding on our lives and a severe loss of privacy. But, that is the cost that must be paid.
2) Enforce the law about employing the undocumented worker. This must be done on the national level, not the local or state level. Unless every employer understands very clearly what they need to do to make sure their work force is legal, they will make mistakes at the very least and ignore on the most flagrant level. If each state has different rules, employers will have a huge bureaucratic problem.
Employers, small and large, must also believe that I.C.E. (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) could arrive at any moment for an employee audit. Employers must be obligated to document that each employee is legally employable in this country. If they can’t, they must pay a fine that is far greater than the risk of being caught.
Now comes the hard part, but these solution must also be developed otherwise the first two will not work.
3) Manage the border, not control it. Let them in if they can prove who they are. After all, we let thousands if not millions in everyday so they can vacation in this wonderful country. This will mean the United States must work with other countries to insure that all parties are properly documenting everyone. If they can’t get a job because of point two, what will they do? They will spend money, see relatives and go home.
This also means that those that are already here will be able to return to their host country with the knowledge that they can return. Right now, the illegal worker doesn’t go home occasionally or at the end of the work season because they may not be able to return. So, instead they stay.
Additionally, the people who now patrol the border trying to control it, will be able to do the real work of keeping the bad guys out.
4) Provide a path to legalizations. Every generation since the turn of the last century has done this. The only way the illegal’s will come out of the shadows of black market employment is by the security of knowing that they will be able continue to live and work in America. With other measures that are enacted, they will receive pressure from their employers to turn legal. This will be in the best interest of companies to help their employees since enforcement from I.C.E. will mean heavy fines if they don’t.
5) Finally, build the economies of the host countries. People don’t leave their families, their communities and their countries unless they have to. Some do leave for wonder lust or political reasons, but for the most part people want to be successful at home, not somewhere else. People from poor countries will always want to migrate to rich countries for work. Migration will not be stopped until they feel they can provide for their families where they are.
None of this will be easy. It will cost money that some people in this country will not be willing to support. They will continue to believe that they are easier solutions, such as just through the bums out. Then, to keep them out will take a far greater investment by controlling the border then by managing it.
Success at anything doesn’t come easy. We have to invest and work hard to be successful. If we make the investment in these solutions there is no reason to believe that the pay off will not be a much better community for everyone.