Immigration Reform 2013: Here is Undeniable Proof Our Immigration System is Broken
If there is no other proof that illegal immigration is real, simply take a look at this tweet from Arizona's senior senator, John McCain:
The midday sprint to the promised land is a reminder of a few truths. One, America is a great place to be, at least it's better than Northern Mexico where this woman is coming from. Two, you're gonna get busted if you jump the fence. Three, we need to improve our methods of protecting this country, both preventively (border security) and proactively (improved immigration policy).
Look at the photo, and you'll see that an 18-foot fence is all that stands on the Southern border. I wouldn't see much of an issue with reinforcing that border with moats, crocodiles, and minefields if necessary. That said, there's a concerted effort on the part of smugglers and cartels to use extensive tunneling and engineering skills to illegally cross the border. Any solution must involve more boots on the ground, whether they be national guard troops armed to the teeth or border patrol on ATVs.
Secondly, though, we need to seriously examine our immigration policy to the United States. The Immigration Policy Center provides a good, but still confusing, overview of the United States' immigration policy. Something that really brought it home for me is a speaker I heard last night that represents part of Georgia in Congress. He highlighted that many immigrants who come to this country are gifted and exceptional folks, and simply starting a life in a new country with little roots to grow on immediately is a tough transition to make. The fact that it takes 21 years for Mexican immigrants, on average, to become legal United States citizens is a really bad thing.
Most importantly, no border security will have much teeth if there isn't a proactive reform element. Such reform efforts can take many forms, but must adhere to the following principles. First, the policy must be rational and predictable. That means a policy that can be easily understood what the obligations are of any applicant with clear explanations of what the process is to apply. Second, it must achieve our economic goals as a country. Employers must have access to the quality labor they need to produce their products. Additionally, we must not overwhelm our public benefit institutions in a substantial manner. Third, does it ensure that good citizens are immigrating to the United States? Criminal elements surely want access to the American public. That said, our immigration policy must make it clear that if you are here and break the law, you're not coming back.
Hopefully, whatever solution is found will help this woman shake hands with her new U.S. senator, as opposed to him tweeting about her arrest by border patrol later in the day.