Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

What is a solution to the crisis at the border?

Asked by Demosthenes (15044points) March 16th, 2021

There has been a significant rise in the number of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in the past few weeks, especially in the number of unaccompanied minors. What should be done about the situation?

It’s generating local controversy with a plan to use Moffett Field (a NASA facility in Mountain View, CA) to house some of these minors.

Have the Biden administration’s actions encouraged migrants to come to the U.S.? What should be done differently?

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56 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Sure it encourages immigrants to come when they are told that now there is a president and political party in charge that has spent 4 years saying they are against the wall and immigrants should be allowed to enter the country and to be treated better. The Democrats have themselves in a pickle, because they spent so much time criticizing Trump, that now they either will easily be called hypocrites or they need to open the border wide open.

Trump had worked some sort of deal with Mexico I thought to keep immigrants in Mexico, what happened to that? Maybe I misunderstood.

The best thing is to help countries improve their situation so people don’t want to make the pilgrimage. That won’t happen in one day though.

Another is make the process for legal immigration easier from their own countries. They would pay the US government the fees for applying for a work visa, and take a flight or bus to America legally. This would help curb money being paid to coyotes who bring people illegally over the border, and pay the US government rather than the US government taking the entire financial burden to process these people. This will help weed out true asylum seekers and people who are simply poor or looking for a better opportunity in life.

As far as children coming over without adult supervision, we need to figure this out. I wonder where the truth lies for why this is happening and the expectations. I have heard many stories. I don’t know how prevalent it is.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s safe to say that walls are not effective.

si3tech's avatar

@Demosthenes Finish the wall Deport illegals. Before it is too late. We have a constitutional right, indeed an obligation to our sovereign borders. Or cease to exist as a country! Walls do work.

ragingloli's avatar

We had a great solution in East Germany. Walls, wire fences, mine fields, bunkers, guard towers with guards that shot on sight, and a full detachment of border guards, secret police and KGB operatives included.
The Wall made East Germany Great Again, until those damn libruls decided to overthrow the government.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli I’m not sure your argument would change the minds of the wall supporters. The Berlin Wall worked at keeping Germany divided in two for many many years.

ragingloli's avatar

I know it would not.
The fact is, they would all get rock hard erections after reading this.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Like @JLeslie said, the Democrats talked themselves into this position post-Obama, we al know it, so I’m anticipating their solution anytime now to this recent surge. At least Obama gained my respect by being honest about it being a problem, we’ll see if this administration will do so.

It’s a real shame though, I read some are even taking turns sharing beds due to the lack of room. Too bad you can’t offer tax breaks to American families to take them in, that would seem the ideal solution to me. Kind of a foster parent situation.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I would assume people do get money for fostering children who came across the border like any other fostering. Are the majority of children without parents? I would think not, but I really don’t know. Are the children the biggest glut on the system? I haven’t looked into it. Isn’t there are a lot of adults trying to come in?

I think the government helps refugee families with some monetary assistance, but I don’t know if anyone coming in from south of the border qualifies. I wonder how many people coming in already have relatives here.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Be humane. House them until they can be heard in court.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There are only 2 solutions. You can eliminate whatever it is that drives them here or shoot them wholesale at the border. If people are sending their children here unaccompanied, I cannot think of a more convincing proof of absolute despair and desperation. Of course, if things become as desperate or worse here as they are for them at home, we will have “peace” at our borders. There was method in Trump’s effort to brutalize these people. We have some MAJOR decisions on deciding just what sort of people we want to be.

kritiper's avatar

This question seeks a perfect answer. @ragingloli got it, although not everybody likes it…

canidmajor's avatar

For those of you comparing, the Berlin Wall was less than 100 miles long, and the US-Mexico border is over1000 miles. Just sayin’.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor The only jellies who mentioned the Berlin Wall were either being sarcastic or pointing out wall supporters won’t be swayed because they compare apples and oranges. So, do you mean to point out the difference between the borders, or to criticize certain jellies who you might have misunderstood?

canidmajor's avatar

Gosh, @JLeslie, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to correct me. I so look forward to these little exchanges.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, now I understand why you do it; you look so forward to it. Thanks for clarifying.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@si3tech “Walls do work.”

History suggests otherwise.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Help make South America livable. So that people don’t need to flee.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Legalizing drugs would go a long way towards that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Annexing Mexico might help too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Mostly, they are coming from Central America now, south of Mexico. Not that Mexicans don’t still try to come across, but your suggestion won’t cure the current problem. I wonder if Mexicans would even want Mexico to be annexed. People with money in Mexico probably wouldn’t want to. The entire set up would change. They would have to pay higher taxes and live-in help would get more expensive. It would change a lot of things.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The thing I want to suggest to those prepared to dismiss this with a cavalier flip is that this is NOT an issue where “finish the wall” applies. These kids are TURNING THEMSELVES IN to get here. But for my money, far worse than any misguided assumption of a wall as a deterrent is the failure to actually consider for a moment on what this crisis says to and ABOUT us. When people are desperate to the point of giving away their kids, how the fk do you possibly NOT ask yourself “what would it take for me to give MY kid away?” People are sending their kids here, because they realize that Trump or no Trump, as much as we have slipped as a people, we WILL STILL stand the fk up and feed those kids. They’re depending on that, and the day they aren’t right, I believe I will want no more to do with this place. Geography has seen to it that these people have us by the shorts. None of us are happy about it, but that’s the way it is. We live in a land where we grow corn for gasoline and chickens. Our comparative abundance is all but disgraceful and goddamn it THIS IS AMERICA! Walling out kids is NOT WHAT WE DO! We have the wherewithall to overrun both Guatemala and Honduras, feed everyone in BOTH places and institute some process of order and regular government. And we could probably do it for a fraction of the expense of even 2 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re going to arrive at that solution ANYWAY, let’s get on with it.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly If we went down there and took over and fed everyone how would the world see that? We would still be seen as interfering and invaders probably.

mazingerz88's avatar

1. Legalize all qualified undocumenteds that had been here for many years with no serious criminal records.
2. US Congress could create policies to entice companies operating in China to move their businesses to countries in South America.
3. US Congress debate and compromise on how best to secure the border and then do it.
4. American people should not elect racist, corrupt and undocumented-demonizing TV celebrities as President.

5. American people should vote for Senators and Congress people who are willing to come up with solutions to the country’s present problems and future challenges.

Also this…

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I agree with those who have stated we need to help the countries where these people are coming from to combat the serious problems that are driving people to these desperate flights to come here.

Yellowdog's avatar

I am surprised at the number of jellies who responded favorably to @ragingloli ‘s comparison to his own country’s Berlin Wall.

The Berlin Wall was about as opposite as one can get with the U.S. / Mexican border wall. The Berlin Wall, with its landmines, barbed wire, and killing people on sight, was to keep people imprisoned in a tyrannical, bloodlusting evil nation of which they desired to flee and would do so in the very risk or cost of their lives. Contrariwise, the U.S. has freedom-seeking individuals risking and even sacrificing their lives to escape where they are from, travel with coyotes and drug cartels over thousands of miles, to reach the U.S. border, clambering to get in,

The U.S. houses the illegal immigrants, provides food, shelter, clothing, and medical care until these immigrants can be properly vetted. Because so many undocumented immigrants have not been vetted and cannot be released into this country, they were kept in Mexico.

Right now, our borders are being overrun and sacked because of Biden’s policies. Many drug cartels, terrorists, and other serious criminals have been found among the multitudes entering and those are only the ones that have been caught. We have a very serious problem at the border, and it has only just started.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie I believe we could get away with it under the guise of a UN peacekeeping mission. The way we screwed up and sent half the Middle East to invade Europe, it’s about time we take on something positive for a change. In more ways than you can count, our present predicament is the Monroe Doctrine coming home to roost. It’s about time we employ our muscle for something other than the enrichment of United Fruit or Standard Oil.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly That’s true that we could make it a peacekeeping mission. I think we still do drop food to places around the world, it is not like we have stopped helping the world altogether, not that I know of. In many of the countries in central America it is not just food and work though, there is also a safety issue, and I am not sure we are good at curing that type of situation. If we can figure a way to make it better, we should do it, but even still there will be people who want to come to America. Even people who don’t have it so bad want to come to America. We need to fix immigration policy even if we fix the situation in Guatemala and Nicaragua and other countries. It is not just Latin Americans either, people from all over the world still want to come to America.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Yellowdog You just will not get it. The crisis at the border has nothing to do with who is the fkn President. It hasn’t had JACK SHIT to do with who have been the last 10 fkn Presidents. Even Trump’s attempts to brutalize and persecute these people accomplished NOTHING toward stemming the pressures on our border, and nothing short of terrors equivalent to those they are fleeing will avail ANY brutality ANY President can devise. And you should pray to whatever god you believe applicable that it never comes to that; for at that point this will no longer be the United States of America. You do not understand, just as you STILL do not understand regarding Trump: This is more than about ragged snd starving people assaulting our borders. Just as with Trump, THIS is a test of EVERYTHING we are supposedly about—EVERYTHING.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Sincere question -

Hypothetically, let’s say this wall is fully completed to every degree that you and other conservatives want it to be. Do you believe that will keep the drugs and the dealers out?

stanleybmanly's avatar

You want to cut off the drugs? Destroy them at their SOURCE.

@JLeslie Everybody wants to come to America. THAT isn’t the issue. The issue is that LATIN AMERICA CAN WALK TO America. THAT is the ONY reason why we can ignore those Africans, Middle Easterners, Asians, etc.(at least temporarily) seeking a decent existence. The great bulk of THEM are Europe’s immediate problem. Ours is Central
America and it is threatening to reduce us to the betrayal of everything we profess to believe regarding the value of the individual and the rule of law. We are going to have to deal with this. We will either have to make these people’s lives tolerable in their own lands or systematically exterminate them. They are NOT going to give us another choice.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Of course being able to walk or even float 90 miles to America is different, but my only point is there are people desperate in other places. Right now we have an urgent need to address our southern border, but we need to address our policies overall.

Not everyone trying to cross meets the requirements of asylum. Not everyone is in the same desperate situation. Having said that, if I wanted to go to another country because my situation was bad and I saw opportunity somewhere else, I would want to be let in and able to work legally. I can never get away from putting myself in the other person’s shoes. In my soul I feel like there but for the grace of God go I, and so I want to do something. I want America to do something to help. I want to do something but also be realistic about the affects on America.

I don’t know how many people are at the border, I haven’t kept up with it. I also wonder what about other countries? Other countries in Central America also have better situations than Guatemala.

I think many Americans are so far removed from the idea of emigrating to another country that they see immigrants as different from themselves. I don’t understand that. It could be any of us.

stanleybmanly's avatar

But again, THIS crisis at our border is AT OUR BORDER NOW, and we haven’t the luxury to hem and haw over who is legally entitled to live here. Hungry kids have and WILL show up by the tens of thousands. They are HERE and the question is immediate. It is IN FACT about who is ENTITLED to starve and whether WE are entitled to allow it. Do we feed them, and ship them back on the theory they won’t be hungry again? Clearly, they will simply come back. Even the truth, that the odds are that they will eventually perish due to the dangers involved with coming here—even the death of of them won’t help us, because the supply of them is endless and hunger is not a one time proposition. This is one of those moments in our history of which we are almost certainly destined to be ashamed. It’s right up there with our refusal to accept the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany or the internment of Japanese Americans during the war.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly I don’t want anyone to die. I agree it is similar to refusing Jews, I used that example myself in a previous Q. I would be really curious for more reporting out of their countries. I wonder why that isn’t being done? Or, is it, and I missed it. That could help. You make it sound like everyone is due for certain death in their country, but that’s not the case. I think it is true for some of them that their lives are in danger, just not all. The Republicans pick out one that it isn’t true and exploit it. The Democrats want to completely ignore that some people are just attaching themselves to a movement of people who are in real danger.

What are the numbers? How many people are trying to come across? We have an entire half a continent, or some would say an entire continent south of us that is the developing world, we obviously can’t absorb everyone. I think there is going to be some dramatic changes over the next ten years.

hello321's avatar

This is merely the expected result of US foreign policy, which has been to destroy Latin America. You break it, you own it. And by “own it”, I mean that you have absolutely no moral authority to reject anyone who arrives at the border and wants citizenship. None.

janbb's avatar

The Administration is not calling it a crisis; the right wing media is. Perhaps it is an opportunity to finally address the issues around immigration and amnesty.

Before World War 2, many Jewish people sent their children to England on trains that were called the kindertransporte. They were fed and cared for and then housed with volunteers in the countryside. I don’t believe at any time it reached the volume of children that we are seeing at our borders but I do believe it is a humanitarian issue that needs addressing humanely.

The fact that the Administration is sending FEMA people in to help rather than more ICE is a positive start. However, it is a complex problem that will take some working on.

I am glad that we have a Mexican-American as headof Homeland Security now.

hello321's avatar

^ Cuban-American. And not a newcomer. He’s was involved in this mess with Obama.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb I relate it to the Jewish children also, but Democrats seemed furious that children were being fostered here at all. I realize some children had been forcibly separated from their parents, which is an abomination, but some had come without their parents. Both political sides make it seem like all or none. All are criminals, all were separated from their parents, all all all. This doesn’t help. Hopefully, the people actually dealing with the situation aren’t so extreme in their thinking.

Many people coming across are single young men. Or, were during Trump anyway.

I agree having FEMA there is a really good start. ICE is fine too as long as their orders are to help, but that didn’t seem to be the orders previously.

I heard Biden is doing something about getting more judges hired to process people. That was really lacking under Trump.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I heard that some previously used facilities are being remodeled now for additional immigrant housing in our state, around Monett, MO. One is the old VA hospital, that recently moved locations.

ragingloli's avatar

I can not help but notice how your only objection to my example is who the wall is targeted against.
No qualms about the actual violent, inhumane, outright evil methods employed.
But plenty of slanderous demonisation of the victims thereof, and mischaracterisation of the situation at hand. They are not mere refugees or migrants to you. No. They are “drug lords”, “terrorists”, “serious criminals”. The border is somehow “overrun” by hordes, as if the migrants were literally Hannibal ante Portas.
It is not unlike the propaganda released by the East German government to justify the wall.
See, officially, the wall was not built to keep people in, but to keep the western Fascists .
out. A bulwark against western imperialism.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@stanleybmanly…well said. During the Holocaust people were giving their kids away. That’s how horrible it must be there.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yes. The right is correct. This IS a crisis. But it has ALWAYS been a crisis. The ONLY difference that matters between Biden and Trump is that Trump has demonstrated that we WILL NOT brutalize our way out of this. The truly insidious thing is that being human we can adjust and become habituated to suffering. We were justified in criticism of Trump for DELIBERATELY seeking to separate children from their parents and DELIBERATELY ignoring any process for reunification. It was obviously a terror tactic. NOW the parents THEMSELVES have CHOSEN to abandon their kids to us rather than subjecting them to existence at home. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m convinced that walls will NEVER eliminate this reflex. I am also convinced that unless we address what drives them here, we will eventually find ourselves adapted to the idea of literally eliminating these people.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Have you seen statistics on how many children are coming without their parents?

Regarding immediate danger in their country, Mexico gets them out of that before they even hit America. Mexico tends to turn away people also, Mexico usually has fairly strict immigration policy. Although, they are dealing with these people coming across their country and not shipping them back immediately, because I think Mexico knows the people are mainly headed for America.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Interestingly, the US (92k applications in 2020) has triple the asylum seekers as the UK (35k applications in 2020) and this article shows they are also at a loss.
I would think two of the greatest countries in the world could put their brilliant minds together for a solution.

hello321's avatar

I hate when people post links to videos – especially lengthy ones. But this video does a fairly good job at breaking down the issue in a simple way, without getting bogged down in the details.

ragingloli's avatar

Still less than Germany had in 2020 @ 120k. And that is the lowest it has been in years. It peaked in 2016 with 745k.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s only going to get worse with weather pattern changes added in.

The only solution I see is the world truly has to become a better place where borders mean much less. Strengthening borders is the wrong effort from a long term view, even though I have posted many times I do think we need to tighten our border while make application processes better and faster and give more working papers to people.

In Europe some of the countries that take in refugees don’t allow them to have jobs so fast, I saw a show about it. I don’t even know how that works in America. I would assume people granted asylum do get permission to work.

I asked about how many children coming without parents, because I was just wondering if the news makes it sound like hundreds of thousands when it’s only a few thousand and of course we can feed and house the children.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli Yes, and to think it’s your industrial economy who wants the immigrant labor, and seemingly your government’s welcoming nature. I don’t say this often, but it looks like we could learn something from your country on this subject.

This could easily be translated to South Americans for the US:
“For Syrians specifically, German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month changed the country’s rules so that Syrians can stay in the country while applying for asylum, rather than being turned back to the EU country where they first arrived.”

JLeslie's avatar

From what I understand Germany was not allowing refugees an easy path to staying in the country let alone a path to citizenship. I found this clip from a report I saw several years ago. In the beginning the sound is muffled, but then it clears up.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Awww, poor child.

Here’s an interesting paper supporting open borders and why we should.
(Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and
Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center)

KRD's avatar

Finnish building the wall.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL She was already fluent in German and some of her formative years were in Germany, how can you tell young people they have to go back to their scary country? Even if their original country is better, for them they were children in a horrible situation in that country. I bet some of them wind up going to another part of Europe or come to America.

The show I saw about refugees coming into Europe, many of the European countries had agreed to take a certain amount of refugees to spread the burden around, but most of the refugees were intent on going to Germany. They were offered other countries, but I guess among themselves they believed Germany was the best place. Probably part of the problem was they had no idea what other countries were like, like Luxembourg was one of the examples. I think it’s similar regarding America, everyone wants to come to America because they are under the impression it is the best place to go.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve never been in that situation, so I couldn’t imagine how horrible it must be.

All I know is that I’d much rather be in a country legally that wants and appreciates me, than illegally cross borders and risk my life, to be in a country that doesn’t appreciate me and sees me as a criminal rather than a refugee.

hello321's avatar

@KRD: “Finnish building the wall.”


janbb's avatar

@hello321 That’s a thought – maybe the Finns will pay for it!

Yellowdog's avatar

Norway has a wall with Russia. Why not Finland?

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