Illegal Immigration: Our National Shame

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By Dr. Tony Beam, Christian Post Guest Columnist
July 13, 2010|10:44 am

Americans are the most creative and resourceful people on the planet. It was American generosity after World War II that rebuilt Europe. It was American ingenuity that created the free market system, the greatest and the fairest economic engine in the world. It was American technology that put man on the moon and a robot on Mars. Every time there has been a crisis to solve, an evil to defeat, or an obstacle to overcome Americans have risen to the challenge.

So, will someone please tell me why we can’t solve the illegal immigration problem?

Compared to other challenges Americans have faced this one should be a walk in the park. Granted, the solution will be both logistically difficult and politically divisive but it is so maddeningly simple. Three simple steps will so the trick.

First, we must immediately secure the border. Even the world’s worst plumber knows when he is summoned to a house that is flooded the first thing he has to do is turn off the water. You can’t patch a pipe while water is gushing out and you can’t clean up the mess the water has made until you are sure the water has stopped flowing. By the same token, it makes no sense to come up with a new guest worker program or to try and sort out the twelve to twenty million illegals who are here until we are relatively certain the flow of illegal aliens has at least been slowed to a trickle.

 We should stop arguing about whether the solution calls for more manpower, more fencing, or more electronic surveillance and simply employ all three. Where it is practical, build a fence as high and as imposing as necessary to deter would be country crashers. Don’t listen to the naysayers who spout ridiculous rhetoric about the people who will climb over or tunnel under the fence, just build the fence. A physical barrier will not stop the flow of illegal aliens completely but it will turn a flood into a trickle and it will send a strong message to Mexico and the rest of the world that we are serious about defending our border.

Once the fence and electronic measures are in place, we should hire and train as many border agents as necessary, equip them with the latest and best equipment, and give them a reasonably free hand to do their jobs. If we need fifty or even one hundred thousand border agents then let’s hire and train whatever it takes to get the job done. That would be a better solution than using the U.S. military and it would create jobs. The bottom line is embarrassingly simple. A strong barrier plus modern technology plus sufficient manpower will equal a secure border.

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Next, we should, in the words of Commander Geordi LaForge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, “sour the milk.” There is a reason so many people want to come to America. It is truly a land flowing with milk and honey. The problem is both the milk and the honey is being provided with other people’s money. If we sour the milk by cutting off state and federal benefits and we spoil the honey seriously and consistently cracking down on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers, we will create a “reverse immigration flow.” If the gravy train ever leaves the tracks the passengers will look for another train. Right now on the border we have a no trespassing sign right next to a “workers needed” sign. The workers needed sign needs to come down and the no trespassing sign enforced.

Finally, we should come up with a reasonable but strict policy to deal with the millions of illegal aliens who are here…. well, illegally. First and foremost every illegal alien with a criminal record should be deported immediately…. period. The rest should have to pay a significant fine, pay all of their estimated back taxes, learn the English language, and be sent to the very back of the legal immigration line, where they will have to wait there turn to change their status from illegal to legal. A timetable for the completion of the legalization process should be implemented and enforced to make sure people don’t believe they can stay by simply waiting out the process.

Before you crumple this article or throw your computer across the room and run into the street screaming “amnesty” please stop and consider that amnesty is “a general pardon for offenses, especially political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction.” Paying a fine, back taxes, and going to the back of the immigration line means a penalty has been imposed for the commission of a crime. If you are caught doing eighty miles an hour in a fifty-mile an hour speed zone the prescribed penalty is likely the loss of your driving privileges. If the judge decides to slap you with a fine and take four points off your license you haven’t received amnesty…you have received mercy. And mercy is exactly what the Christian worldview demands when we deal with each other.

The illegal immigration problem can be fixed. We do not lack the knowledge, resources, or the means to solve the problem. We simply lack the courage to act and that makes illegal immigration our national shame.

Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.
 

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