The Migrant Crisis

More than 4.5 million people have migrated to the United States since Joe Biden took office – most of them via illegal immigration. The upheaval in our cities is dramatic. Who is at fault and what can we do about it?

Mass Migration – A Problem as Big as an Elephant

Whether this is part of some grand scheme or just an astounding level of incompetence by the Biden administration, America’s illegal immigration crisis will have disastrous effects on our country for years to come. In the short term – of course – the people hurt worst are working-class and poor American citizens. The federal government must close the border to illegal immigrants and stop allowing the asylum process to be abused by bad actors.

Some people on the left like to say, “Oh, you are just anti-immigrant. Or racist. Or xenophobic.” This is a bald-faced lie. It is an attempt to use emotions to obscure truth. Most Americans have an immigrant story in their own family. Polls consistently show that a large majority of Americans think legal immigration benefits our country. These same citizens understand that the dramatic surge in border crossings is due to illegal immigration.

Southwest Border encounters by year.President, Congress or Both?

Across the last three decades, Congress and both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed to enact meaningful and effective immigration reform. This is an embarrassing failure but it is not the root cause of today’s crisis. Anyone who can read a graph can see something dramatically changed in 2021. In its anti-Trump fervor, the Biden administration canceled effective policies and sent a clear message to the world: America’s border is open! Indeed, through its policies, the Biden administration effectively aids and abets horrific human trafficking and fentanyl smuggling by cruel Mexican cartels.

Most of us make a distinction between the cartels –a clear and present danger to American life– and the migrants who hope to change their fortunes in America. However, let’s be honest. The migrants are not just innocent victims in this tragedy. They know they are breaking the law.

Migrants: Poor and Illegal

I’m 60 years old. If I go to a movie theater, flash my gray hair, and ask for the senior citizen discount then I may save a few bucks with a lie. However, I’m also stealing from the movie theater. Similarly, when a migrant crosses into America and claims asylum –knowing that they have no legitimate claim– they are stealing. They are stealing opportunity from legal immigrants by overwhelming our systems. They are stealing resources from poor Americans as government funds and private charity are diverted to deal with the crisis. They are stealing health and public safety from taxpaying citizens who are seeing services slashed here in New York City. (Note: Filing a false asylum claim is in itself a crime.)

This isn’t some trivial cost. We are talking many billions of dollars and undeserved pain for American citizens.

What should we do to end the crisis?

  1. Only allow asylum claims at official border crossings. If you wade across the Rio Grande with 50 other migrants, you are getting kicked out and banned for at least five years. If requested by border states, use the National Guard to round up these illegal immigrants and the smugglers who exploit them. Add additional resources at official border crossings to evaluate asylum claims more quickly.
  2. Reinstate “Remain in Mexico” for any migrant who is not from Mexico. (This policy worked under Trump.) If you traveled from Venezuela or China or the Ivory Coast, then you have no urgent need for asylum. If Mexico wants to allow itself to be the on ramp for the illegal immigration highway, then they can bear some of the burden. That includes protecting the migrant they allowed into their country.
  3.  Require E-Verify for all employers. Everyone employed in the US must either be a citizen, a green card holder or a guest worker. (We need to expand/improve our guestworker programs.) Impose stiff fines on employers that utilize illegal labor. This is a win-win. It will greatly reduce the exploitation of low-skill foreign laborers and reduce the incentive for coming to America illegally.
  4. Provide funding to lessen the municipal budget shortfalls caused by migrant expenses. Sanctuary city or not, no American city is responsible for the mass migrations they’ve experienced. That is the fault of the Federal government, with an assist from NGOs.
  5. Since most of the migrants that have been bussed or flown around the country will not qualify for asylum, create a plan for removing them from northern cities and from our country.

And then what?

The above actions will end the current crisis, even though it will be years before cities like New York fully recover from Federal negligence and City Council foolishness. However, if we leave the current immigration system in place, America will face similar crises in years to come.

That’s why comprehensive immigration reform is essential. This debate has been held hostage by people on one extreme who yell “Amnesty!!!” when any compromise is proposed and people on the other extreme who insist that any common-sense safeguard at the border is racist, xenophobic and un-American.

My skills in business negotiation and systemic problem solving will enable me to facilitate a solution that honors America’s legacy of legal immigration and provide the protections our citizens deserve.