By Rondell, Founder/Director, The immigration Project
The Government has been shutdown for almost twenty days, as it leaves 800,000 plus federal workers out of work and possibly pay. The biggest reason why this shutdown is lasting so long: The wall.
For more than thirty years, Immigration has been in need of reform, and every Presidential administration has failed to pass Immigration reform that shows compassion to Immigrants and respects the rule of law. Right now, President Trump refuses to reopen the Government over lack of funding for Border Security and wall the Democrats refuse to put into a spending bill. Democrats want Border security and no wall. Trump and the vast majority or Republicans want Border security and a wall. The American people, many of whom are Christian, are choosing sides: Either they want Border security and no wall or Border security and a wall. There’s a huge divide.
But does it have to be like this? I don’t think so. I believe there’s a better more balanced solution. Here are 7 ways to address the crisis at the Border.
- Invest In Resources. Invest resources to independent Immigration Judges who will consider claims for asylum fairly and accept or reject quickly. Invest in case workers to review and process visa and asylum petitions. 800,000 plus visa backlog.
- Increase U.S. Foreign Aid. Increase foreign aid to invest in the economic and social rebuilding of Central-American Countries. Establish Refugee processing centers so people are not forced to make the dangerous journey to apply for asylum.
- Foreign Aid Accountability. Public availability of information on programs, analytic methodologies and evaluations. The U.S. gives hundreds of millions of aid money to Latin-American countries.
- Border Security. Ensure that threats to our national security do not cross our borders is a priority. We must develop new Border security metrics, provide additional infrastructure and personnel at ports of entry, require additional training and oversight of CBP, augment the more than 600 miles of physical barriers (or a “wall”) we already have on the southern border with better infrastructure, and put a wall in needed places.
- Detention Alternatives. DHS reports family incarceration costs 60 times more than placing a family member in alternative to detention (ATD). ATDs would include GPS monitoring devices, in-person telephone check-ins, and case management which is 95% effective. ICE’s family case management program ensuring families appear in court had a 99% compliance rate.
- DACA Solution. Long term Solution to the DACA program for Dreamers. Give them legalization. They deserve it.
- TPS Solution. Long term solution for the hundreds of thousands who have Temporary Protective Status (TPS). 300,000 people from countries including El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti, who have lived and worked legally in the United States for decades thanks to TPS, face the very real possibility of deportation in 2019.
These 7 points seek to show compassion to Immigrants (Luke 10:25-37) while respecting the rule of law (Romans 13:1-4). They are balanced. They encompass border security and a wall in needed places–two things we as Conservative and Progressive Christians can come together on.
TiP exists to equip the Church to embrace a biblically balanced approach to immigration that shows compassion to Immigrants while respecting the rule of law.