Governing from Behind an Eight Ball
President Donald Trump talks about a wall at our southern border with a big, beautiful door, and that puts him behind the eight ball.
We’ve always had a door on the southern border. I first learned about it 40 years ago from Mom.
We’ve kept that door propped open. It’s a giant turn-style. Hispanics and immigrants seeking opportunity were embraced. They brought skills, values, and a work ethic. Businesses rolled out the red carpet to welcome a people who value hard work. Y’All come!
Back then, we were living in Aurora, Illinois, and my mother managed an assembly line that built telephones at Western Electric in nearby Montgomery.
Mom knew businesses welcomed immigrants. She heard there were signs at the southern border with big letters, “Welcome! Come to Aurora!”
In the past 40 years, the evolving of immigration to illegal-immigration has become nothing more than a political debate thanks to a do-nothing congress clashing with a changing America that requires security.
Congress Fails to Act
Congress has made immigration a political game, tugged around by voters and special interests groups. They lack courage and creative thinking to put on the books an immigration act we can enforce and backed by the American people.
Our open door on the border that once served to welcome our neighboring country with whom we share a continent has become a turn-style entry as well for gangs, terrorists, and drug traffic.
We simply want a door on that wall — a door with a doorbell!
I dream of a big, beautiful door at the border wall
“My door,” said Alice, “would have lots of technology, cameras, scanners, printers, data systems, interpreters, procedures, processes, ID card printer— and a security force.”
Immigrants would enter through an identification process and crossover with a photo identification card with fingerprint identification and a status level that offered a staged option for a visa and citizenship. They would be charged a crossing fee. They would be assigned a social-security number with a prefix.
They would be documented. There would be levels of identification that would further validate their visa and citizenship application status at the point of entry.
- What is their declaration? Why do they want to come to the U.S.?
- Do they have identification from their home country – photo and birth identification and other official documents?
- *Do they have a sponsor – a host family or business that will mitigate their housing and work status.
- What is their native language? Are they bi-lingual?
- What is their schooling? What is there education? Are they literate? Do they have a trade?
- What is their health status?
- Who are their family members? Ages and birth dates?
- Have they paid their crossing fee?
Photograph and fingerprint them for an embossed U.S. Transit card that makes them legal to travel within the U.S.. , work, pay taxes, and live peacefully.
Many immigrants hold their home country dear. Not everyone who comes to America wants to become a citizen or even to hold dual citizenship. However, while in the United States, we need their allegiance on U.S. ground. Further, should they want a visa or citizenship in time, there should be a pathway.
I realize I am an optimist but I ask, Cannot government figure this out after working on the immigration and illegal border crossing after 40 years? It is important to get it down in writing, publish it in the books. Emboss it, notarize it. Vote on it.
Create legislation that will grow the diverse fabric of our country and strengthen the security of our nation.
Flashback to Immigration
In 1909, my grandfather Docke “Dewey” Braaksma immigrated to America at 17 with his family from the Netherlands. A family friend, Jesse Wiersma of Cambria, Wis., sponsored the family to work as farmers on the family farm and paid $244 for their passage.
In the 1900s, immigrants were documented as Aliens on the ship’s manifest . The Aliens Manifest included number of family members, age, level of education, health status, marital status, trade, and their destination in the U.S. city/state.
Back in the day, immigrants to the U.S. were termed Aliens
Although today Alien is not an acceptable terminology referring to someone coming to the U.S. seeking citizenship from another country, my Dutch father and grandparents and every other immigrant was listed as an Alien coming to the U.S.
U.S. Citizens are Prisoners in Our Own Country
U.S. Citizens cannot travel outside our border with permission of the U.S. government. We cannot cross our borders and leave without a U.S. Passport and photo identification. If you do not have a passport, you will have to sneak across our borders.
Should a U.S. citizen want to travel abroad by plane or any commercial vessel, their passport and photo identification must be up-to-date with matching information.
If you overlooked updating your passport with your new married name or address, or if your photo I.D. is not up-to-date, you will not be boarded. Sorry.
That passport costs $50. A photo I.D. will cost you as well. You cannot board a U.S. plane that crosses our border and is destined for a foreign country unless you have documents.
If you have a passport and wish to visit a foreign country you did not get a visa for, you will not be boarded on a plane leaving from U.S. and traveling to that country.
Yet, we are scorned as a nation for not allowing unidentified and undocumented travelers and migrants pouring into our homeland.
We want a door with a doorbell on our borders like in the good old days!
And I’ve been asking myself lately, what’s happening on our northern border.