Do we have a border problem?


I agree that we do have a border problem. But that problem should not be fixed with a wall. It needs to be fixed by spending what it takes to strengthen whatever processing that we call it, be it investigation, vetting, counselling, or something else, of those refugees that are seeking asylum in the United States. This would filter out the “undesirables”, be they malingerers, criminals, etc., to allow the truly needy to become a contributing part of our society.

By coming here these refugees are not “illegal.” They are made so by our inability to process them properly. We are the cause of the “problem”, not they. The system should also be sensitive to where labor is needed and relocate those admitted to those areas.

Look around Rome and see all the “help wanted” signs. Talk to any of the small businesses, and large ones, too, to find out the labor needs that are going unmet. International Wire recently had a billboard on Erie Boulevard in West Rome that was looking for a list of virtually any factory and office skill, all that they needed to be filled.

This labor problem is rampant throughout the country. With over 300 million residents we surely could absorb at least 500,000 immigrants each year. That is less than 2 tenths of one percent of our population. The Brookings Institution reports that there were about 240,000 refugees & asylum seekers in 2017. Certainly a significant percentage of that number could be vetted and admitted each year. The bureau of Labor Statistics’ January 8, 2019, report states that there were 6.9 million open jobs in November, 2018.

A wall would stand as a monument to failure, as have Hadrian’s Wall, the Great Chinese Wall, and the Berlin Wall. A wall would also dishonor all that the Statue of Liberty stands for. I say that we should spend money to fix the “border problem”, but do it in a productive way, not in a disruptive way. Properly done it could allow immigrants to enter and help us to solve the problems listed above.

— David N. Kobernuss, Taberg


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