One of the better ideas on a way out of the immigration mess was written by Mike Krauss, a former senior executive of a North American railroad based in Mexico City.
He believes walling off the whole border is offensive and so do I. Read my blog of 6/30/07, titled "Immigration Bill Defeated". Mr. Krauss would like to see direct flow of Mexicans through a series of modern-day Ellis Islands (my father came through Ellis Island) staffed and fully funded to serve as welcome centers that will identify the newcomers, find out where they are heading, match them up with legal employers in the U.S. In the new process a determination can be made if these are temporary workers or people who want to be U.S. citizens, They can then be monitored and assisted appropriately.
When these two steps, securing our borders and establishing Immigration Identification, Security and Control Centers, then it will be possible to revisit the legalization process for those already illegally in this country."
Mr. Krauss continues, "But for the long term, only raising the living standards of the Mexican people will staunch the flow. The U.S. and Canada together, but chiefly the U.S., need to invest in Mexico on the scale of the Marshall plan. Huge disparities in the living standards of societies living in close proximity inevitably invite migration to the more prosperous society. The wider the gap, the greater the flow. This investment can be structured to create opportunities for American businesses and expand the market for U.S. goods and services. And it will give the Mexican government an incentive to fix a policy that effectively exports its unemployment to the U.S."
Lost in this presidential debate is serious debate over the serious problem of illegal immigration. When the financial mess is somewhat under control and the majority of expenses that support our presence in Iraq is borne by Iraq, we may or may not have enough money left to finance some of the other large problems such as our ageing highway and roads and bridges reconstruction.
Tjhe full context of Mr. Krauss's plan can be found in the WSJ dated 7/21/07.