Recent figures indicate there are internationally 258 million immigrants over the Earth. There always have been immigrants for one reason or another through the history of mankind.
The Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals immigrated over thousands of years, looking for food sources mainly. In the late middle ages the discovery of America by Western Europeans triggered immigration for two main reasons, free land and to escape the yoke of oppressive governments.
So strong was the desire for free land the Iroquois tribes, Cherokees, Seminoles and later the western tribes didn’t have a chance of stopping the immigrants. Today’s immigrants mostly seek safety and a chance to earn a living. Their desire is no less powerful than their land-seeking predecessors, and that requires us not only to recognize the problem but to own it.
Our government can set up a systematic means of regulating migrant workers in a manner that over years assimilates them on a permanent basis, spreading over a period of time the shock of sheer numbers seeking permanent residence. One idea I suggest studying is to set up a Bureau of Migrant Workers as part of the Department of Labor, organized into four categories, Labor Base, Labor Supply, Labor Assignments and Labor Dismissal.
As that last category indicates, they don’t get permanent residency until they have been in the system for a period of time.
Labor Base: The system starts here inventorying employers in agriculture, construction, domestic service and other employers who always are crying for cheap labor. Once every employer is registered, they define the type and number of labor units they need and over what period of time.
Labor Supply: Our Central American neighbors can help us register migrant workers, determining labor by quantity and by type. Once registered they can enter the U.S.
Labor Assignments: This division of the Bureau will be most active in the field as well as in Washington. Field representatives will determine that the right workers arrive where assigned, that if they transfer to a different location they are tracked and that employers provide adequate, hygienic quarters, particularly for families. Since 1999, the influx of families has increased 60 percent. Their deportment will be tracked to assure domestic tranquility and adjustment to a new society. Employers also will be evaluated for fair pay, cheating and suppression of scams to deprive the migrants of their earnings.
Labor Dismissal: This division tracks workers (and families) from crop to crop or seasonal activity in areas such as construction. Once labor requirements dwindle, the migrants go back to their country of origin until the following year. It is not the purpose of the Bureau to permanently settle the migrants. But, once a migrant and family have served in the Bureau’s care for a statutory period without violations, they can be recommended by the Bureau to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization for permanent residence in a location of their choice.
Complex? Yes. Expensive? Yes. Humane? Yes, because it provides another way of ending the fear of discovery by immigrants entering into the country illegally.
What you have just read has a lot of organizational work to accomplish its goal of owning the problem of uncontrolled immigration. In our country there are extremes of opinions ranging from clamping shut all immigration to throwing open all ports of entry and our borders. The ideal is somewhere in between. That requires a reasonable decision by our Congress which for the last two years concentrates on factional disputes instead of working on the real problems facing our nation. All it takes to arrive at some kind of plan is to convince our legislators to do something. I haven’t heard of a single idea in front of any congressional committees trying to get a grip on the problem.
Congress, do something, anything beyond building a wall that can be breached at will. Real people are suffering real pain and heartbreak and we sit supinely by and let it happen. What does it take to get Congress to own the problem and work on solutions?
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