March 18, 2019

Ranting and Raving (v3)

It's been interesting watching the president's minions deflect questions about the president not making a statement against anti-Muslim terrorism, or why white supremacists find Trump to be an ally, and instead turn the conversation to how hard the president is working to protect us from terrorists of all kinds via his emergency declaration at the southern border.

I've addressed the racism and hatred in several recent posts (here, here, and here) as well as multiple times in the past but today I want to talk about immigration - the wall, and immigration beyond the wall. 

First off, show us the detailed map where the proposed new wall is to be built, and what kind of wall it will be, along with the impact statements showing why those areas were chosen. Those impact statements would include information on illegal crossings that will be abated when the wall is built, the impact to local landowners, their crops and their animals; the impact to the environment (such as the kind of flooding that has been experienced in Arizona since parts of the wall was put up) and wildlife and the economic impact, if any, that will come from the wall being built. 

This information has to be available, and it should be shared with any interested party - meaning, any American who wants to read it. If it's not available, say, because no one has done this level of detailed study, shame on them. and shame on us. Cease work on the border wall unless and until the information is available. 

And why don't we spend the money Congress previously allocated that has not yet been spent, and the new money just authorized, and see how things are different after those sections of fencing are built? Show us the results from the actions taken, some of which should be immediate, if there is in fact a national emergency? 

Now, here comes the hard part. With the same level of enthusiasm as that being expressed by the president and his supporters, whether elected or otherwise, for building the wall: 
  • let's actively get to work finding a way to identify, track down and deal with the visa over-stayers, who make up a significant percentage of illegal immigrants in the US. This would include delivering them back to their home countries via a formal transfer, not just a "run along home, now" type of message.
  • let's make sure the immigration courts are fully funded, fully staffed and aggressively resolving the massive backlog of criminal cases first, and then immigration-only cases that has existed for years. 
  • let's solve DACA. That doesn't mean sending teens and twenty-somethings "back" to a country they've never lived in, either.  It means citizenship, plain and simple, barring a criminal record (other than that they were brought here illegally by their parents).
  • let's have a public discussion on 'merit' visas, such that we don't find the need to award special privileges to supermodels. 
  • let's figure out why we are so hungry for foreign parking valets and bartenders and housekeepers to work at golf clubs and wineries and resorts owned by the president- president's sons and other companies. Those jobs should go to Americans. If they need training, the properties can train them - on their own dime, not with taxpayer dollars.
  • let's figure out why we want foreign doctors and foreign engineers and so on, all those foreigners who want to love America (but who don't come from shithole countries, of course), instead of making sure that Americans can get an education and that there are funded positions for them to help solve our doctor shortage or engineer shortage or other highly-skilled position shortage.  
  • let's make sure that all border crossings are fully equipped with all of the tools and staff they need to effectively identify and interdict the drugs and the murders and rapists and all of those duct-taped women that are flooding our border. 
  • let's make sure we've got lots of Americans ready to do apprenticeships with migrant workers so they can learn how to pick crops, so that businesses won't be tempted to hire foreigners to help them put food on our tables. 
  • let's make sure that we're not allowing asylum seekers to become victimized at the holding centers we put them in, and let's make sure we're not 'losing' children who are taken into custody at the border. 
  • let's act like we at least understand what it is that draws people to America, the beacon of hope and justice - and then act with decency towards those who want a part of that. 
  • let's make sure that we are supplying adequate funding to the countries that are the main sources of illegal immigration, rather than threatening to cut it, so that they can build up their own countries and make it less appealing for people to make the journey to potential freedom in America. 
  • let's see the negotiator in chief shame American wall contractors the same way he shames Boeing and Lockheed Martin into giving us a better price. 
  • let's see if we can't come up with something on the border other than a simple wall, something that would, I don't know, produce energy, create permanent jobs (other than law enforcement), empower people on both sides of the border - and maybe let's see if we can partner with Mexico, instead of battling with them? 
None of what's written above says, in any way, that every person who shows up here needs to be allowed to stay. None of it says that we should get rid of ICE or have totally open borders or that walls are immoral or anything like that.

What it does suggest is that we cannot attack a complex problem with only the simplest of solutions, because we have seen time and time again that this does not work. And that's what the wall is - the simplest solution that solves only one part of the 'incoming' problem, it does nothing about any of the other issues that make up "immigration" in the United States.

I'm not pro-crime, pro-gangs, pro-drugs or any of that other happy horse poop we hear from the president all the time.  I am also not anti-immigration.

I'm all for legal immigration, and I am for treating people who are legitimately seeking asylum here with dignity and in accordance with international law.

Both parties, all leaders, all members of Congress - every last one of them, regardless of where they sit in relation to the proverbial aisle, must look beyond their next election, and stop feeding the beast. They need to do what we sent them there to do, and if they are unwilling - or unable - they must go.

It's that simple. It's as simple as building a wall. 

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