Immigration Border Control by Norm Gottlieb
SeniorsCAN recognize the need for border control. It is necessary not only to minimize future illegal entrants into the U.S. but also to focus on what appears to be the most contentious issue preventing comprehensive immigration reform.
Past and current efforts to seal the border between Mexico and the U.S. have not been sufficiently effective. In fact, it is practically impossible to keep determined individuals from entering the country. Erecting fences, blocking tunnels, deploying border patrols and taking surveillance measures have offered some deterrence. But entry into the U.S. is relatively open via Canada, the sea and air; coyotes evade and corrupt law enforcement; and many over-stay legitimate entries to continue visitation (VISAs) and working here (guestworker programs).
In spite of the reality that it is virtually impossible to totally “fix” the border control problem, many members of the House of Representatives have taken a firm position blocking any immigration legislation until after border control is achieved. This polarization mainly for political reasons by congresspersons from states with few undocumented workers, has stymied action. Continuing to not resolve immigration reform is giving de facto permanent residency to millions of the undocumented; inaction exacerbates the problem.
SeniorsCAN believe that solving the “border control” problem requires new thinking and multifaceted approaches, and that considering each part of the overall problem separately will facilitate deliberative debate and consensual agreement. Attempts to achieve Comprehensive Immigration Reform require too many compromises not agreeable to many legislators.
One possible solution would be to provide national identification cards to every person living in the U.S. White cards could be issued to citizens, green cards to qualified undocumented workers, and tan cards (with bold expiration dates) to guestworkers and visitors.
Producing these I.D. cards would be a massive, expensive undertaking but would solve numerous problems related not only to immigration but also to voting; jury duty; law enforcement; access to education, health care, welfare and social security; etc. The cards could be made tamper proof, possibly by embedding them with finger-print recognition.
Other approaches or regulations would be needed to solve related immigration problems such as: controlling businesses’ hiring persons with no identification or false documents, control of hiring services by homeowners, re-consideration of the law granting birthright citizenship, guest-worker and specialized hiring programs, et. al.