There is an uproar about the crisis on the border, with individuals crossing to the U.S. side without U.S. citizenship. I have been hearing about this crisis every year since I was an adult. The solution has been for the U.S. government to blame Democrats or Republicans.
The current crisis is the influx of unaccompanied minors coming over to our country. This is problematic due to the danger of such a trip from their home countries. It is disheartening to see these young children travel alone, but America does them a disservice by keeping them on the U.S. side, because the children now become the responsibility of the government. If the U.S. were to take a collaborative approach to working with Mexico to extend areas of the border to be patrolled by a Mexican/U.S. coalition, that could serve both countries better.
The U.S. must be willing to try to hit Mexico where it hurts if that country does not help stem the board crossings - and that is trade. The approach by the U.S. government to help limit migration to our borders is to give money to the countries with the most people fleeing to the U.S. The problem, in my eyes, is that countries are already unwilling to help. More money is not going to help. We should use our negotiation leverage to sanction those countries that do not comply with our immigration policies.
I am a believer of legal immigration and providing a pathway to citizenship - for individuals who are already in America - that does not take 20 years. A main reason in my mind to have a general location for individuals who want to come to our country is the danger of entering outside of ports of entry. A president can be tough on the border, but still be compassionate for the reasons people want to immigrate to this great country. We have to increase our presence and influence in these other countries to ensure we help guide those who want to come to our country by showing them how to do it through our current legal system.
Our immigration policies are written by those whose families may have illegally immigrated here, as well. It is time to build a coalition with our allies to help strengthen all borders of the allied nations. There is nothing wrong with sharing best practices to use leadership, rather than blaming others. Instead of getting in front of cameras and complaining and blaming others, we should set up meetings to effectively address the issue.
Some people are for building walls, some are for using more technology to identify people crossing the border, and some want brute force used to address the issue. I believe barriers work, but are not a solution. If we do not address the root of the issue in the base countries, we will continue to have this problem.
Those who are willing to risk their lives to live in a better place should be commended for what they are willing to lose to get to the promised land. With that being said, it is inhumane to send children by themselves to risk their lives. It is sad to see children subjected to the cruelty of being kept in camps for weeks, but we must remember if the U.S. government is willing to let these individuals come into the country and stay in the country, they now own what happens to these individuals.
We need a pipeline to send those captured not coming through ports of entry back across the border with documentation and information for someone in the U.S. who can help them navigate the legal immigration process.
Corey Carolina is an NSU graduate, North Tulsa entrepreneur and activist, and owner of Carolina Food Co.
He is also an author, his first book being "The Absent Father."