Border and Port Security
A primary responsibility of the federal government is to secure our borders, and our borders are clearly not currently secure. Every effort should be made to secure them so that it would be virtually impossible to enter our country illegally. Our borders need not necessarily have a literal fence. Rather, we may be able to use technology in conjunction with the border patrol and/or military to monitor our borders.
Our ports should be secured using the troops that we bring home from overseas. In particular, incoming cargo should be checked for nuclear devices or other weapons that pose threats to our national security.
1) Immigration is very important to the U.S. Our immigration policy should welcome many of the best people from all over the world who wish to immigrate to the United States.
Each potential immigrant should be subject to a background check and a medical exam, and we should attempt to discern whether or not the potential immigrant has abilities that are needed by our country. We should also attempt to discern whether this individual believes in the value of properly raising and educating his or her children, as well as his or her belief in the brotherhood of mankind. Also, knowledge of the English language should be required before an immigrant becomes a permanent resident or a citizen. (A person in the U.S. that does not speak English is a considerable disadvantage to himself and to our country.)
Our goal should be to allow into our country only those immigrants who will become exemplary U.S. citizens.
2) There are many illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.; it would be untenable to deport all of these illegal immigrants. Thus, the first priority should be to secure our borders, before attempting to deal with those illegal immigrants already here.
While we are doing this, we can start issuing tamper-proof ID cards with biometric information to all of our current and future immigrants, as well as our citizens. These IDs would be used as we now use driver’s licenses, which are now the de facto ID cards. This would make it easier for the government to keep track of our immigrants. One secondary benefit is that it would make life easier for our legal immigrants. For example, individuals here on a student visa could use their ID card to easily prove their legal status to a university. Also, having such IDs gives the U.S. a better way to determine who is eligible for certain benefits, such as educational subsidies, health-care subsidies, and the previously-mentioned Natural-Resource Tax Dividend, as well as such things as improving airport security. Congress should pass laws that are explicit about when such IDs may be used, and that also state that these IDs cannot be used for any other purpose.
3) Current illegal immigrants who substantially violate our laws should be deported, after serving any incarceration time.
4) Once our borders are secure and the ID cards are in place, those illegal immigrants that have been here a reasonable amount of time, and have beneficially contributed to our country, may be granted a legal status and eventually a permanent status (such as by being given a green card). However, they should not be granted citizenship, since this would be unfair to those immigrants who came or will come here legally. This would serve as an additional disincentive to coming here illegally. It would also make politicians less likely to quickly legalize illegal immigrants in order to get more votes.
The current wave of illegal immigrants has its most harmful effects on our schools and on our public health care resources. Our schools must now deal with large numbers of students who do not speak English. This is very stressful to our educational system and expensive for our schools to deal with.
Illegal immigration has put a tremendous strain on our health care resources. For instance, in the first three months of 2006 at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, 70% of all births were babies born to illegal immigrants, and Parkland now has more than 16,000 births recorded there each year. Furthermore, the out-of-wedlock birthrate among illegal immigrants is substantially higher than that of our citizens and our legal immigrants.
Securing our borders will do much to decrease the number of individuals who enter our country illegally.
Tim Farage is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Dallas. You are welcome to comment upon this blog entry and/or to contact him at email@example.com.