Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
These words adorn the Statue of Liberty. I’ve been giving them a lot of thought lately. I thought about what they mean in today’s United States. I thought they meant a lot. I thought they meant we were a beacon of light, an open and accepting country. I thought they meant something. But it’s pretty clear, now, that in today’s republican’t border states that these words mean absolutely nothing. The Statue of Liberty, the shining icon of what our country is supposed to be representative of, means nothing to conservative citizens anymore. If it did they would read these words and they would understand that the way forward for this country is to open our doors.
The biggest complaint I hear from conservatives is that they don’t want undocumented people receiving services that their tax dollars pay for. The easiest way to fix that is to allow everyone to become documented. I’m not talking in the scary 1984 way that many people’s minds would automatically jump to. I’m suggesting that we allow anyone who wants to come here and work and live in our fine country should be allowed to. As they come across the border we set them up, for a fee, with a government ID, a tax income number, and collect any copies of personally identifiable information (PII) necessary to verify that they are who they say they are.
This isn’t the same, but it would be similar to the green card process. In addition to this created legal status we then follow our normal path to citizenship. Stay in the U.S. Apply for naturalization. Take a test, etc. Here’s the beauty part. While working, and presumably getting and education, you would pay a higher tax rate than current U.S. citizens. Naturally there would be some exceptions. Those with a criminal history would still not be allowed. If you became a criminal before you became a citizen you could then be deported and not allowed back in.
This would drastically reduce the amount of money spent on guarding our borders and probably even generate quite a bit of revenue. At least more than enough money to pay for those whose job it would be to document the incoming emigrant. (Look at that, it creates jobs too, a lot of jobs) We would also reduce the amount of money spent on trying to track down and deport illegal immigrants already residing in our country if we allowed blanket clemency for those who registered, again for a fee, under the new system. It would make a lot fewer criminals of people already living here. It would also immediately resolve situations like this.
I’m not saying that this solution would be without complications. Any solution would have complications. But this makes it a whole lot easier to maintain the influx of those who wish to come here. It also makes it a whole lot more humane than the current solution, which is akin to Hitler’s final solution. Sending them back or refusing them entry is a death sentence that no one should be subjected to. I get that this opinion won’t be popular or appreciated by some and I’m okay with that. Because it’s clear to me that this type of thinking is what we need to get our county back on track. It’s what we need to become the example that we claim to be. This is right.