by lyle e davis
It seems to me we’ve been going about this problem with illegal immigration all wrong.
There has to be a better, more efficient way to both run and protect our country and, at the same time, extend a warm welcome and a helping hand to those qualified individuals who want to become part of our country, even if ony temporarily.
Barack Obama, George W. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and those presidents who preceded them, were not the first president to face a full-blown immigration crisis on the US-Mexican border.
What if we turned our policies around and worked at welcoming immigrants to America? Legal immigrants, of course. Immigrants who have been checked by our Immigration and Naturalization Service and found to be fit to permit entry into our nation. Chances are, if we diverted a lot of our ICE personnel to a task of vetting and welcoming new, qualified immigrants, we could do a whole lot more with the budget than is presently being done.
What if we had a large, nationwide organization called “Welcome to America?” Or, “Bienvenidos a America?”
And what if we helped legal immigrants enter our country? Immigrants who had gone through the formal process and waiting period? Immigrants, perhaps, that had talents our nation needs? Or labor skills we need? Or strong bodies to work in the fields and manufacturing plants?
Well, there already is an organization that is designed and equipped to do just that. We just need to make more use of it. It is called Welcome toUSA.gov and is found on the Internet at: http://www.welcometousa.gov/
This program is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.
We’ll come back to this program later in this commentary. How would we deal with those illegal immigrants who are already here?
President Dwight David Eisenhower handled that task quite decisively and quickly 55 years ago when the newly elected president moved into the White House. America's southern frontier was as porous as a spaghetti sieve. As many as 3 million illegal migrants had walked and waded northward over a period of several years for jobs in California, Arizona, Texas, and points beyond.
President Eisenhower cut off this illegal traffic. He did it quickly and decisively with only 1,075 United States Border Patrol agents – less than one-tenth of today's force. The operation is still highly praised among veterans of the Border Patrol.
Bill Chambers, who worked for a combined 33 years for the Border Patrol and the then-called US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), says politically powerful people are still fueling the flow of illegals. During the 1950s, however, this "Good Old Boy" system changed under Eisenhower – if only for about 10 years.
Eisenhower was a man of decisive action. He had just led the successful prosecution of a major world war in Europe. He was used to giving orders and then delegating the responsibility for enforcing those orders to people who he needed to get the job done. He saw a problem, developed a strategy to solve it, then executed the strategy.
In 1954, Ike appointed retired Gen. Joseph "Jumpin' Joe" Swing, a former West Point classmate and veteran of the 101st Airborne, as the new INS commissioner.
Learn what "Ike" and General "Jumpin' Joe" Swing did to solve the illegal immigration problem then - and perhaps consider that policy as a guide for the problems we face today.
It's all outlined in this week's cover story of The Paper. Just go here: