Recently Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, declared his state is going to build a border wall on its own hook (Post Star, NBC; June 11). I wish him well, and it may be useful, but it’s hardly a solution unto itself.
The problem on the border has nothing to do with the wall. The wall is a tool. To declare that it’s a magical solution is to display a complete lack of understanding of the current crisis and of history. Walls have been tried before to keep migrants out. They’ve inevitably all failed. To weather, or even prosper with this crisis, we need both force and understanding. To begin, this isn’t a migrant crisis, it’s a refugee crisis.
Those coming aren’t going to be deterred by a wall. It may slow them down, but it’s not going to stop them. They are either fleeing poverty and crime, war, or political persecution. When the choice is dealing with a wall or facing certain death for you and your family, that wall isn’t going to deter you.
What we must do in response isn’t finding a way to force them to stop coming, but find a way to take advantage of the fact that they are. They are desperate, determined, and willing to do anything to secure their families’ future. That ought to make them willing and hard workers. We have an aging population; they are providing fresh blood. We have a burgeoning debt crisis; they could be tens of millions of new taxpayers.
Yes, there will be difficulties in assimilating them, but the same was said of Russians, Swedes, Irish and Italians, too. How many now boast such heritage? Our focus should be integrating them and streamlining our immigration process. Treated properly this isn’t a crisis, it’s an opportunity.
David Sherwood, Fort Ann