A Practical Solution to the Immigration Problem
The immigration problem is one of the most divisive issues in the current political landscape. While I don’t presume to be an immigration expert, I believe that being married to an immigrant as well as thinking about how Jesus would handle the problem gives me some guidance to go by.
The question we should be asking initially is why do people want to come here illegally with all the risks and dangers that decision brings with it? From everything I have read or talked with people about, the main reasons are that people are fleeing from persecution or economic devastation. Think for a moment if you are a parent seeing your child starving or you and your family threatened with your life. In a heartbeat, you would do everything to flee from that horror and find refuge.
Knowing that fact should cause us to think soberly how we should “fix the problem.” My solutions are realistic, humane, cost effective, and honor our laws.
First, the dreamers should be given legal status and a path to citizenship. This is the only country most of them know, so why penalize people who are American in every way except legally.
Second, those individuals who have a dangerous criminal record should be arrested or deported immediately.
Third, and maybe key, is create a system of temporary work permits so people can come here legally. In the 1940s the government created the bracero program, where Mexican immigrants came on temporary work permits. These people worked mainly on farms and were paid low wages, but more than what they got back home. This might stop the wave of dangerous border crossings and lessen the burden of protecting our border. Every 6 months, every worker has to keep reapplying for another 6 months extension. If they fail to do so, then they are arrested. If these people then want to become citizens, they go to the end of the line.
Fourth, spend realistically on securing our southern border to stop criminal elements from entering. Candidly, a wall won’t be the solution, but doing more to protect us from unsavory individuals is absolutely essential.
We have to remember that we are a nation of immigrants and it usually takes upwards of 15 years plus to become a citizen. This length of time deincentivizes people from wanting to go through the process. If people are good, decent, hard working individuals, we as a nation should find a way to speed up the process.
Jesus loved the alien because the Jews were aliens in Egypt. He understood the love and compassion we should show others. The slogan on the Statue of Liberty embodies what Jesus taught.
While we understand the realities of evil cartels and terrorists trying to find ways into our country, we should never let this fear overshadow doing right by those yearning to breathe free.