After further thought, I have come to realize that the United States is dealing with symptoms of a larger problem. The root of the immigration problem that the United States is having with illegal immigration, specifically from Mexico, are the economic and political problems in Mexico. If there were more economic opportunity in Mexico, I doubt if there would be the mass illegal immigration problem with illegal entry across the U.S./ Mexican board from Mexico to the United States. It seems clear that most of the illegal immigrants coming from Mexico are fleeing for economic reasons, principally to work and economic upward mobility.
The United States government should encourage the Mexican government to expand their economy to include better opportunities for their citizens. I have to conclude that the U.S. will continue to have a significant illegal immigration problem, as it relates to Mexico, until the Mexican government improves and expands it’s economy to provide better economic opportunities for the citizen, and until the political system is reformed to be more responsive to it’s citizens.
In the U.S., we need to control our board and enforce an orderly immigration system, where we account for the orderly entry and exit of the country. Additionally, we can not, and should not, incentivise poor political and economic policies promoted by the Mexican government. In fact, to reiterate, we want to encourage stronger economic policies and a more responsive political system. At the same time we do wish to discourage the violation of our immigration laws.
Now that we are at the crisis stage, we need to come up with a comprehensive answer to the current state of affairs, with over 11,000,000 illegal, undocumented immigrants in the country. I would suggest a staggered system providing a path to legal residency to long-time illegal immigrants, and deportation of recent violators. To reiterate, long-term illegal immigration should be provide a mechanism to become legal residence, and recent arrivals should be deported.
I know it may be controversial to say, but I think that immigrants, who have entered the country illegally, should be able to stay if they have been in the country for a prolonged period of time. If an immigrants, who has entered the country illegally, or who has entered legally on a tourist visa, and has not committed a felonious crime in America, or their country of origin, then they should be able to go thru a background check, pay a fine for the illegal entry into the country and be able to apply for a legal residency status. If after going through a background check, they have found to have committed a felonious crime in America, or their country of origin, then they should due jail time here, then deported. The jail time here, in the United States, before deportation, would be so that they do not escape punishment for being an illegal immigrant who has committed a felony.
Those people, i.e. illegal immigrants, should be encouraged to come in for a background check and receive a legal residency ID card. If they are validated as a law abiding resident, then, also, they will be subject to resident taxes, laws and regulations. This would be a tremendous benefit for America and the immigrant community in America, as well as other American citizens and society at large.
Opinion, by Warren Thompson