Steps toward a resolution of the problem of the flood of young adults (and others) slipping across the border into the US from the south in the hope of a better life here are easy to come up with. Few have a "well-founded fear of persecution," and I personally know many of them. Fleeing violence is another matter. There are far far more cases of this in the Middle East and Africa than in Latin America. Should we take in them all? The underlying problem lies where they come from, not with what to do with them after they get here.
First, they have gotten the message that once they get across the border they will, for the most part, be here to stay, encouraging more and more to do so. Even the most politically correct among us should by now should be able to recognize that the current system is not only not working, but is counter-productive. Instead, let it be widely known that those clearly caught trying to sneak in will be immediately returned to their home country, and do so. If undocumented family members here want to be re-united with family members there, create a special, limited, passport enabling them to return home to visit, yet still return to the US, other documentation notwithstanding.
Then, instead of wasting many million dollars on courts,lawyers and detention, use that money (and more as necessary) to create jobs and opportunity for them where they come from, including loans and micro-loans establishing worker-owned businesses, large and small. Vast sums could also be freed up for this purpose by eliminating billions spent subsidizing violence in Israel and elsewhere, to say nothing of the runaway US military spending in general.
It is instructive to note that the country where the US has long had the greatest presence in Central America, is Honduras, the one that is the source of the highest rate of young adult influx. The roots of the current problem can be seen in the US, especially Hillary Clinton's support of the right wing coup that ousted the democratically elected president Zelaya, whose proposed changes threatened US hegemony.
The country where the US has, at least recently, been the least involved, is Nicaragua. Although at least equally poor, it is the source of the smallest number of new refugees, reminding me of Ecuador's President Correa's comment that the main reason conditions in South America have been improving so much is because the US has been so busy in the Middle East.
A greatly expanded Peace Corp role would be a convenient way to start as they already have an organized presence. At the same time the 'instant return' of those sneaking across the border is announced, announce an openness to proposals for economic development, with commensurate funding available promptly. Start creating new jobs right away!
Of course, the elephant in the room is how to deal with the grossly incompetent and corrupt governments we continue to support, along with the high level of violent crime of which it is a part, but I will leave that to your imagination and for another time except to add that without serious regime change in the US - most unlikely with the prospect of a populace seriously supporting the likes of Hillary the Horrible.
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I am 75 with several children and grandchildren. After 3 army years when I worked indirectly for the NSA I became a Berkeley teacher and peace activist and fought the system for education reform. In 1971 I formed a remote CA cooperative community (more...)