When he was 15, my father was brought from Mexico over to this country, by my grandmother. They came over through legal channels and settled in the Rio Grande valley of South Texas.
Over the course of the next several decades, my father’s side of the family became as American as any Mexican could. We work, pay taxes, vote and even serve in the Armed Forces.
To any who ask, I declare myself an American of Mexican descent. As I was born here, to an American mother, it’s the most fitting way to describe me.
I freely admit, I’m too White for the Mexicans, and too Mexican for the Whites. I’m an Aztec surrounded by Euros, and I’ve come to like it that way.
There’s a certain amount of fun that comes from being the odd man out, especially when dealing with social situations. Thankfully, I’ve encountered very little discrimination, though I don’t really think I’d care if I did.
With all that being said, I’d like to address the Trump-shaped elephant in the room. It’s likely that it’s about time I did. After all, he is my new Commander-in-Chief.
Allow me to begin by stating that I stand directly opposed to illegal immigration. If you didn’t come here through legal channels, then you have no business being here. It’s that simple.
I fully understand why so many jump borders to get here. Between the crap economy in places like Mexico, the governments so corrupt they barely function and criminal elements like the Cartels and street gangs, it’s no wonder people desperately want to come here. I get it, I really do.
That doesn’t change the fact that every day spent within our borders is a criminal act, if one doesn’t enter through legal channels. It really doesn’t.
Let’s be real, here. Opposing illegal immigration isn’t an act of racism. It is the act of standing in opposition to criminal activity.
It is someone standing up and saying, “This is my country. You’re absolutely welcome to come here and become a part of this country, so long as you do it the right way.” How can anyone mistake that for racism?
Don’t get me wrong, the U.S. government is just as much to blame for this problem. With an arbitrarily low cap on immigration, there exists an absolutely mind-blowing bottleneck of applications for legal immigration.
As it stands, the waiting list is roughly a decade long, with many people becoming more desperate with each passing year. It’s an expensive, slow-moving hell that is inescapable, inexcusable and unnecessary.
I have what I think might be a workable solution to this problem. If, for some completely insane reason, we can’t raise that immigration cap to something more reasonable, why not make the wait more bearable?
I propose that, as part of the process of waiting in line to immigrate legally, applicants be granted work visas, conditional on the results of a full background check to ensure the applicant isn’t going to be a problem on the U.S. side of the border.
In this regard, they will have a period of time which will allow them to learn our laws, our language and our culture. They’ll be working legally, which means they’ll be paying taxes.
This has benefits for all involved. First, they’ll have the money they need to support their families, while they wait their turn. That will, by itself, cut down on the number of people jumping across the border. Why would they mess with a good thing?
How does this benefit the U.S.? First, increased tax revenue. As they’re waiting, they will be working and paying taxes. Who would argue against increased tax revenue?
Then there’s the effect it’ll have on the Cartels. They make a lot of money smuggling people across the border. Each Coyote they employ charges thousands of dollars to guide people across the border. It’s big business for them.
Imagine a situation that not only drains away the money they would have made smuggling people across the border, but also impacts their drug smuggling by making smugglers stand out all the more.
With fewer people going through Coyotes, our Border Patrol agents would have an easier time spotting smugglers. This, in turn, means they’d catch more of them. Win, win.
Truth be told, I find myself more and more perplexed by this situation. People arguing back and forth over what’s obviously a rather simple to understand problem. Our current immigration policies simply don’t work, and have contributed to a major problem for us.
Trump can build that wall, to his heart’s content, but it won’t solve the problem. As the old saying goes, “When you build a better mouse trap, someone builds a better mouse.” People will find a way passed it, unless something else is done alongside it. In this case, make the legal route more inviting, while allowing the wall to do its thing. So, why not try something that hasn’t been done, yet?