Governing from Behind the Eight Ball
President Donald Trump talks about a wall at our southern border for immigrants, a wall with a big, beautiful door, and that puts him behind the eight ball.
We’ve always had a door on the southern border for immigration. I first learned about it 40 years ago from Mom.
We propped the door open. It was 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 current times, 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. Our leaders shrink from action and lack creative thinking.
It’s time to call for a bill rather than a recess. Put an immigration act on the books.
Our open door on the border once served to welcome our neighboring country with whom we share a continent. Today it’s a detour for immigrants and a loophole 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
My door, said Alice, would have technology, cameras, scanners, printers, data systems, interpreters, forms, processes, ID cards — and security.
Immigrants would enter through an identification process and crossover with a photo ID 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.
Document their arrival. Print an ID card to 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 about schooling? What is their level of education? Are they literate? Do they have a trade?
- What is their health status?
- Who are their family members? Ages and birth dates of family members?
- 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 states to work, pay taxes, and live peacefully.
America, Home or Destination
America is a great place to visit or to get an education. Universities are filled with international students.
Immigrants who want to hold dual citizenship end up paying taxes in both countries. Unless they want to pay dual taxes, they swear allegiance to one of the two companies or keep the payments streaming to both.
Immigration Should be Straightforward
Many immigrants hold their home country dear. Not everyone who comes to America wants to become a citizen or even to hold dual citizenship. Foremost, however, when in the United States, we ask for allegiance on U.S. ground.
And, if they seek a visa or citizen, we need to provide a process and a pathway.
How readily can you become an American Citizen? Do we need to re-visit and modernize the paperwork and process of citizenship?
Government Needs a Little Help
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 record it, 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.
U.S. Citizens are Confined within our Borders
As an American citizen, I cannot travel outside our border without permission of the U.S. government. I cannot cross our borders and leave without a U.S. Passport and photo identification. If you do not have a passport, you must sneak across our border to leave the U.S.
Americans Cannot Travel Abroad Without Documentation
Should a U.S. citizen want to fly out of the states or take an excursion beyond U.S. waters on any commercial vessel, their passport and photo identification must be up-to-date and match.
If you overlooked updating your passport with your new married name or address; or if your photo ID is not up-to-date, you will not be boarded. Sorry. No can leave.
That passport costs $50. A photo I.D. will cost you as well.
No Welcome Abroad without a Passport
An American citizen cannot board a cruise and go on a shore excursion in a foreign country without a U.S. passport.
If you have a passport and wish to visit a foreign country that requires a visa, you need to show that visa along with your passport before you board the plane. Otherwise, that country will not accept you You will not be boarded.
Further, it may be necessary for you to register with the foreign country as well once you arrive. They like to know who is in their country
My son failed to register within his first seven days in Minsk, and he has restricted re-entry.
Turnabout is fair play?
We cannot travel without documentation, yet our nation is ridiculed for not having open borders and allowing unidentified and undocumented travelers and migrants pouring into our homeland.
At our borders we want a door with a doorbell to welcome and to document!
And I’ve been asking myself lately, what’s happening on our northern border. Is there a door with a doorbell?
Flashback to Our Family 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 his family farm and paid $244 for the Braaksma family 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. However, in the 1900s, my Dutch father and grandparents and every other immigrant were documented as an Alien when they embarked on American soil.