E. Eugene Webb PhD
In Search of Robin
Instead of building walls and putting up barriers it's time we open the gates of opportunity. I have watched with interest as global troubles everywhere from Afghanistan to Guatemala have increased the number of refugees and immigrants trying to gain entrance into the United States.
At the same time, I have been amazed at the large number of jobs that are currently available in the American economy that are going unfilled.
It seems to me, we may be staring the solution to our inability to fill open jobs right in the face and not fully recognizing it.
If all of these jobs are available, and many if not most of these immigrants are looking to enter the US in search of a better life and opportunity, then are we missing the opportunity to marry these two sets of circumstances together?
Maybe it's time to rethink our approach to immigration both from overseas and at the southern US border.
Let's start down South at the border.
Let's begin by giving everyone over 18 years of age a three-year work visa with an automatic 3-year renewal barring any serious law enforcement infractions.
Let's include with that three-year visa, work training, English training, and training to help reach full citizenship.
This package would include an absolute guarantee of U.S. citizenship if the recipient of the work visa meets these criteria:
Six years of continued employment in US workforce.
No criminal activity.
Fluid in English
A simple non complicated 10 or 20 question test along with a statement of loyalty to the United States of America would result in full US citizenship for the individual, his or her spouse, and their children.
US domestic employers, would employ these individuals on their work visa, reporting quarterly on the status of all their work visa employees. The same employers would be responsible for providing training for the workforce, English language training,
Let's look, for example, at the number of refugees who are available and looking for entry into the United States of America.
A similar program to the one above would be established for European immigrants who would include in addition, full vetting of any political activity and deep background checks.
These Afghanistan refugees and immigrants would be granted the same three-year work visa with an automatic 3-year extension if there is no criminal activity, and a guaranteed simplified path to citizenship at the end of that sixth year, for the individual, their spouse and their immediate children.
It just seems foolish to me to be turning people away from our shores and from our borders who are willing to come to the United States and work. If participants in this program failed to seek employment, they should be deported. If applicants for this program failed to meet the study requirements, they should be deported following due process.
It's time to quit looking at the borders and the immigrants who want to come here as a threat, and start looking at them as an asset that we can bring into our workforce, which will improve not only our economy but also our society.
Not a lot of people will agree with this approach; they think the United States is for people that are special. Well, here's a new way of looking at it.
These people are special, at least most of them. They are fleeing tyranny, political oppression, totalitarian governments, devastated economies, and all most of them are asking for is an opportunity to work and participate in an economy and a society that will allow them to raise their children educate them and give them a better life then they have fled from.
Will there be those that fail? There certainly will.
But I suspect, if given the chance, and the training, and the support, many of these people will go on to be highly successful themselves and raise children who will be even better educated and more successful than they are.
It's time we take a proactive look at immigration and what it can do for us rather than focusing on what it might do to us.
If you agree with this idea or would at least like to see it explored a bit more, repost on social media and like it so that all your friends can have an opportunity to weigh in.
It's time we rekindle the fire under the melting pot and turn the US into something even more special than the last few centuries.
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