Saturday, January 19, 2008

Round ‘em up and send ‘em home.

Get Real About Immigration

OK, first of all let me make the standard declaration: We need to control our borders and we need to know who is in our country.

Now: In almost any conversation about the issue of illegal immigration someone says we ought to round them up and send them home. OK, what would that entail?

First of all, how many are we talking about? Estimates range from a low of 12 million to a high of 20 million. If we split the difference we are talking about 16 million breathing living human being. That is more people than the combined population of Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. That is a hell of a lot of people.

So, let us assume we will assemble a convoy of buses to send them home. The usual seating capacity of a passenger coach is 47 to 62 passengers with a maximum length of 40 ft or 45 ft. Assume we put 62 passengers to the bus that will require 258,064 buses. Assume our convoy of buses allows one bus length between each bus. The convoy will contain 58 busses per mile and stretch for 4449 miles. So, as the first bus reaches El Paso, the convoy will stretch to Nashville, but that is only 1280 miles, so we will stretch it to Washington DC, which adds another 660 miles. We are just getting started. If the convoy stretches from DC to Chicago, that adds another 710 miles. It the convoy stretches from Chicago to Seattle that is another 1733 miles, which would still be 66 miles up the road from the last bus. Can you see that convoy of buses in your mind?

OK, that is not practical so let us put them all on jumbo jets and fly them home. A Boeing 747 can hold 416 people. If we have one an hour taking off, we could do it in 38,461 trips. If a fully loaded jet per hour takes off, 24 hours a day, that will take 1602 days or 4 and a half years.

I doubt we can be so efficient as to dispatch a plane per hour. Anyway, we would have to hold them until their scheduled flight. So, we will have to build concentration camps to hold them. If we build some really big camps that hold, say, 2500 people each, then we will need 6400 concentration camps. How many guards will we have to hire? How much will it cost to build 6400 concentration camps? How much will it cost to feed, cloth, and care for 16 million people?

Now, keep in mind that these concentration camps are for people who committed the misdemeanor crime of illegally entering the country. That would certainly be bad PR. How would that look on the evening news in the rest of the world?

Now, where are we going to send them? Back where they came from, you say. Well, most of them, but not all of them, came from Mexico. If they can’t prove they are Mexican, Mexico may not take them. I would be surprised it Mexico wants to accept 16 million displaced persons. Mexico would certainly have to plan for the repatriation. Sixteen million unhappy unemployed people being dumped in Mexico and the sudden loss of the money they have been sending home could cause a crisis and a revolution in Mexico. That could create more refugees trying to enter our country.

What are we going to do about those who are married to Americans? Are we going to forcibly separate families? What about the children who were born here and are American citizens? Are we going to build a lot of orphanages to house them?

Any solution to the problem of illegal immigration must include a guest worker program and some sort of path to citizenship for people who are already here without a requirement that they go home and reapply. The eventual solution will not look that much different from the plan proposed by President Bush. It is time our gutless politicians stop pandering and get real about a solution to the immigration problem.

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1 comment:

  1. I agree that there is no way we could ever get rid of the 12-20 million illegal immigrants who are are currently residing in this country. A guest worker program and amnesty for the majority of them would be the best solution to this current situation. However, there are some crazy people who think that the border should be open so people can "come one, come all" whenever they please. Unfortunately, there are some very dangerous people (ie drug cartels, los zetas, and gangs) that are terrorizing innocent people, both mexican and american.