Border Security Proposal
The following is an adaptation of a Proposal for Border Security, sent February 6, 2007, to Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, Congressman Phil Gingrey, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and several Presidential Candidates, both Declared and Undeclared.
What I am proposing for Border Security is dramatic and sweeping, and includes a Great Wall (of China) like physical structure, with high tech components, as well as a guest worker program, similar to the 1935 WPA, which will provide the work force to build this structure. Enlistment in the program would consist of a 2-4 year commitment, during which time English and United States Civics and History would be taught to enlistees.
I. Wall Structure - Imagine, if you will, that everyone who wanted to attend this past weekend’s Super Bowl, was told to just come on in, and that crowd control and ticket sales would be taken care of once everyone was inside. Insanity? Of course it is.Walls can be used to exclude, or to include, to contain, protect, and to regulate. A. Facility - The structure, in addition to being as contiguous as geography allows, should be high enough and wide enough, to allow for housing Border Security Agents, (and any other entity deemed appropriate), storage, offices and classrooms, and allow for inside travel of small vehicles like jeeps and the like. The top of the wall would be sturdy enough to allow for vehicles also, for patrol, with occasional helicopter landingpads.1. Barracks to house Border Security
2. Offices for I.C.E.
3. Classrooms for teaching English and U.S. Civics/History
4. Medical Clinics
5. Transportation inside as well as on top
6. High Tech Security
B. Outpost Spacing - Every 100 miles, or perhaps at the boundaries of counties and states, (again whatever geography and privately owned land allows), the wall would be enlarged to include a compound, where Guest Workers would be housed in dormitories, and where special Processing Centers would be run by trained Customs Officials who would process new immigrants, (criminal back ground checks, finger and palm printing, etc), as well as aid in processing the mountains of paper work necessary to becoming a citizen. (My husband is a legal immigrant from South Africa, and you cannot imagine what daunting paperwork is necessary to become legal). And of course, English Language classes must be taught here, and attendance required until proficiency is achieved.
Any of these outposts can also be used as regular border crossings, too.
1. Guest Worker Dorms 2. Medical Clinics and Commissaries
3. Dual Processing Centers and Border Crossings
4. English Language Classes
II. Earned Citizenship Worker Program - While the country does not seem to be divided about the need to secure our borders, there is great debate about how to accomplish it. Amnesty, or Earned Citizenship, depending on which side of the proverbial fence you stand on, is at issue. But I think that those of us opposed to amnesty would be happy with decent, honest, and hardworking new blood coming in to the country, if we do not see them getting a free pass.A. Enlistment and Participation - A program could be developed which allows workers to “enlist”, much in the way military recruits enlist, and go to work on the Wall, for board, medical aid and a small stipend. However, and this is critical, finger printing and background checks must be the first course of enlistment, and NO ONE comes across without going through this process, not even conditionally. In this day and age, it is criminally negligent for the federal government not to be up to speed on technology which could facilitate a National Data base for Crime and Immigration. If a lending institution can get me answer on a loan in minutes, a Border Agent should be able to determine if a man or woman has a criminal background, or if he/she is a citizen.If a Program Enlistee commits a crime while he/she is in the program, (all felonies as well as drug related misdemeanors), and is convicted, he/she will be immediately deported, and permanently banned, not only from the program, but from future entry in to these United States.
During an enlistee’s tenure, he/she will be meet regularly to complete citizenship paperwork, if this is what they desire. He/she will attend mandatory English classes until he/she is proficient in English, and a Passing Grade on an Civics Test, (in English).
1. Criminal Back Ground Check, finger printing etc…
2. Immigration Processing during tenure
3. Mandatory English Proficiency and Civics Classes
4. Permanent Expulsion from program and U.S. for criminal conviction of all felonies and any drug related misdemeanors.
B. Work - After a basic enrolment, orientation, assessment and training period, enlistees will be assigned to specific units and stations, much as they are in the military. Most of this work will of course be construction related, but if an enlistee has special skills outside of construction labor, he/she should be utilized in their speciality.
The work week will be a forty hour week, and English classes will be provided for free, BUT ARE MANDATORY until proficiency is attained. Failure to attend English Proficiency classes, without an excuse, will result in permanent expulsion from the program.
1. Basic Enrolment, orientation, and training period
2. Assignment to Outpost
3. 40 - Hour Work weeks
4. Mandatory English Proficiency and Civics Class Attendance
C. Remuneration - This is simple: Free Boarding, Food, Medical Care, and a simple wage of $2.00 per hour. I waited tables many times, at various points in my college career, always fully supporting myself. I had no free room, no free food, and absolutely no free or even reduced cost medical aid. I think that $2.00 per hour to use for sundries and to send home is generous, but I am sure that will be of great debate.
1. Free Room and Board 2. Free Medical Attention
3. Free English Proficiency Classes, Civics Classes, and any other
job related training necessary, and for which enlistee shows an aptitude
4. $2.00 per hour wage, and paid Leave (similar to Military)
5. The Greatest Opportunity in the World - A chance at United States Citizenship for simply showing up, working and
staying out of trouble.
III. Implementation - Gentleman, this is a Herculean task. I have no experience in government office, and I hate bureaucracies. I think that Homeland Security could possibly oversee this. Or perhaps, it could be a new agency, but I do not want to see another FEMA disaster. Since this would be similar in structure to the military, I would draw on those who have a hard working knowledge in military administration.I would also suggest studying the work programs of the early twentieth century. After all, we are the United States, and we built the Hoover Dam, and the Panama Canal. We conceived of an Appalachian Region free from poverty and ignorance, and harnessed the Tennessee River and the Southern Spirit to accomplish it. We have built the greatest roadway system in the history of mankind, and landed men on the Moon. I believe with the vision of the American people, and with the passion of those longing to be American Citizens, we can accomplish this, and more. And I cannot imagine it costing any more than our current efforts in Iraq, while Securing Our Borders From Terrorism and Crime.Teresa Watson