The sight of thousands of children from Central America sitting in camps at the U.S. border should knock some sense into those members of Congress who are dragging their feet on comprehensive immigration reform. Overall, illegal border crossings are at their lowest level in many years (see chart below). Now is the time to get things straightened out before the illegal traffic starts building up again.
When the New York Times, “The Border Crisis,” and the Wall Street Journal, “A Better Border Solution,” agree on an issue, I tend to agree with them. Both newspapers say that the current crisis is the result of illegal immigrants in the U.S. trying to rescue their children from deplorable conditions back home. If they had legal status they would go home themselves and bring their children back to the U.S. but they can’t risk doing this without a visa.
As I pointed out in a recent blog, “Immigration Reform Will Benefit Nebraska,” it shouldn’t be that hard to achieve a comprehensive solution as follows:
- All businesses would compile a list of their current employees who are illegal. Everyone on this list, without a criminal record, would receive a guest worker visa as of a certain date. Visas would be transferable from one employer to another.
- Companies would be authorized to hire additional foreign workers in their home countries who would then receive a guest worker visa to enter the U.S.
- Once the system was set up and operational, all businesses would be required to periodically demonstrate the legal status of all workers.
- Guest workers would be eligible to apply for citizenship after a relatively lengthy period of time.
America needs immigrant labor to do the hard low skilled physical work such as in agriculture, meatpacking, and construction, which most Americans don’t want to do. An adequate guest worker system would virtually eliminate illegal immigration, thereby solving a huge current law enforcement problem. It would also give the U.S. economy a big boost by providing all businesses with an adequate source of labor.
We have got to get beyond our hang-up about amnesty to solve this incredibly serious problem!