Do you spend much time thinking about the border crisis or do you push it out of your mind? Does it grate on your nerves or are you confident that someone else is taking care of it? Maybe you are just too busy earning a living to think about it. Perhaps you have a personal crisis of your own going on right now. Rather than letting this becoming “one more thing,” let’s apply some Common Sense Civics and Citizenship to this important issue. Here are four ways:
First, the issue is HUGE. Instead of listening to radio or television commentators, I looked up a few sites that gave statistics and information without a lot of hype. Remember, some people make a lot of money off of our emotions. If you are stressed about the kids or the job, if you are too tired from working to care, or if you are just fed up, the last thing you need is more stress. It’s wise to take the emotion out of an issue and look for the facts. I chose one foreign source (Canada Free Press) because sometimes we have to read our news from another country’s perspective. Next, I went to a site that deals with migration policy and one that looks at the issue from a problem-solving perspective (Center for Immigration Studies).
Second, put the immigration issue in perspective. Currently, it is being handled by a variety of means. Ankle bracelets, detention facilities, cooperation stricter enforcement by the government of Mexico for their southern border all work in the short term. However, the United States must have “staying power” with the immigration issue and not relax when the numbers go down. Keep in mind that coyotes run a sale on their operations to keep business going north. Don’t assume because the news about immigration dies down that all is well. Stick with it as you listen to candidates and communicate with your congressmen.
Third, support a change in asylum laws that would screen out ineligible people. For example, foreign nationals who have criminal records would immediately be disqualified and returned to their home countries. We would need more judges, more detention centers, and yes, a Wall. Also, detention centers suited for children would need to be built. On the other hand, we also could reinstate a program to screen immigrants within Latin America. This would stem the flow of immigrants northward. Common Sense citizens communicate with their Senators and Representatives. As always choose respect over a rant, as the people reading your emails or listening to your calls are often young, low-paid staffers who are there to serve their country. You don’t need more stress. You just need to be heard. And, they DO hear you.
Fourth, support training and development programs in Latin America that help our country long-term. If we benefit, they will as well. Common sense says that these countries are corrupt and it’s a waste of money. Common sense also says that if we don’t address the problem with long-term solutions, we will still have the problem.
That’s Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.