Here is a summary of the illegal alien situation in a nutshell: Currently, between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens live somewhere in the United States. Our borders are virtually open to anyone who wishes to cross, and a million or more do so each year. How this impacts life in America is not the subject of this essay. How to solve the problem is.
Americans appear divided into two camps on this matter. One group wants to grant amnesty to everyone who is already here, and to set up some kind of control for future immigration, or not. The other group wants to “throw the bastards out,” and close the borders so no one else can get in.
Since we’re not going to grant amnesty to 20 million illegals, and were also not going to stop immigration entirely, the answer has to lie somewhere else.
Realistically, is it possible to pack up 20 million people and send them off to wherever they came from? Let’s do some math. Assume for argument that a bus holds 50 people. Let’s assume that we have created a really efficient operation, filling and dispatching 500 buses each day, which gives us 25 thousand illegals shipped out each day. That’s 750 thousand in a month. So in 28 months we can ship out 20 million people. But during this period another 2 and a half million or more illegals will have entered the country, which will take another four months to ship out, while 300 thousand more come in, requiring another half month, and so on. If you allow some slack in your calculations, you can actually get rid of the entire lot, including the new arrivals, in about three years.
This is assuming, of course, that you can find and round up all the illegals in the first place. And that you can handle all the lawsuits that the ACLU will file. And all this after you get appropriate court orders for the initial round-up – at best, some kind of collective “group order,” and at worst, 20 million individual orders, obtained one-by-one as the individuals are identified. And don’t forget the buses, and the fuel, and the drivers, and the guards, and the obvious arrangements with the Mexican government…but I think you are getting the point. If you are one of those who want to ship them all out – you may have to rethink your position.
In a phrase, it’s not possible – not in the real world.
So what is possible?
In order to limit the problem, it might be a good idea to stop the flow. So, the initial element of a realistic solution is to close the southern border. This means constructing a working fence the entire length of the border as soon, and as fast, as possible. I leave the details of this to the experts, but every day counts. Get it up first, and then reinforce it with additional fencing and appropriate electronics. It’s already authorized by Congress, and funds have been appropriated. We just have to do it – for real. This effectively limits the new arrivals.
Second, set up a national database that lists every person entering and leaving the country, using whatever means possible for identification. We have fingerprints, DNA, iris prints, face images – we use whatever is available, and follow it up with a completely foolproof ID card – a national ID card. We issue it to everyone – and I mean everyone – as soon as practicable. At a minimum, since the ACLU will immediately commence filing lawsuits, we identify and record non-citizens entering and leaving, keeping track of them in the national database.
Third, we begin the process of identifying the illegals inside the country. Since there is no way we can realistically ship out everyone we discover, as we discussed earlier, we must devise a method that will get rid of the bad guys when we find them, and give the other folks a path to citizenship or other legitimacy. We legitimize the people who are here, not because we want to, or because it is the “proper” thing to do, but solely because we really have no other choice.
A peripheral problem that may actually be central to the overall situation is the companies that hire the illegals. As with the deport-them-all solution, suddenly enforcing the law across the board with respect to these companies is entirely unrealistic. But enlisting these companies in the task of identifying the illegals who are here is realistic and doable. If the firms can participate in the identification process without fear of prosecution, the illegal identification process will happen much faster. And this will significantly speed up the completion of the national database of people in the country, which will materially assist in solving the overall problem.
The solution presented here is realistic, is legal, will withstand legal challenge, and is doable in a relatively short time. If we implement it, within a couple of years, we will have completely stopped the flow of illegals, will have identified many of the illegals already here, and will have deported or otherwise dealt with many of those whose crimes are more than illegal entry.