Relative to virtually all of the economies to our south, the United States economy seems vibrant and so it remains a powerful magnet, as America’s promise always has, to those seeking jobs and a better life for themselves and their families.
No matter our best efforts to stem the flow of immigrants entering illegally, that magnet will continue to draw legal immigrants as well as illegal ones and long-overdue reforms are needed in policies regarding both.
Tighter border security is largely a matter of resources – more spending and more personnel at the border – and shared political will. Presently, while the former can be found, the latter is lacking.
But even should the border become completely impenetrable illegally, that would not solve the country’s immigration challenge.
America needs more sensible policies governing legal immigration to:
- admit more high skilled workers;
- keep more U.S. trained foreign nationals here after graduation from U.S. colleges;
- permit ‘guest workers’ to fill jobs that go otherwise unfilled; and,
- effectively monitor – using bio-metrics or other advances – those temporarily admitted to the country to eliminate the problem of ‘visa-overstays’ which account for a substantial fraction of illegal immigration.
Modernize and upgrade the ‘e-verify’ system to enable employers to determine reliably the legal status of job applicants.