By Rodger Harrison
Because I live and work in Honduras, Central American, I often get asked what I think about the problem/crisis we are experiencing in the USA at the Southern border, as well as what can be done to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the USA and turn this tide to start receiving qualified legal merit-based immigrants. In this post, I will talk about my plan for a workable solution to the problem.
After 24 years of living here in Honduras running an international children’s charity, I believe that if you are going to take people in, you must be prepared to accept them. The USA is not able to receive all the people that will come if they open the borders. Every country has “physical limits” on its population. Even the neighborhood cat lady understands that when her yard is full of cats, and she has no money to feed them, she has a problem.
VETTING THE IMMIGRANTS, WE NEED
The USA needs LEGAL MERIT BASED IMMIGRANTS that we can put into our workforce. If they cannot speak our Language, how can we help, assimilate, or work with them? If they do not have useful training and don’t understand rules, regulations, US Civics, and our Language, what job can we provide for them?
In other words, how can the USA know what kind of immigrant they want if they can’t define them?
They (the immigrant) should also be willing to assimilate into our culture, which is not a problem with Latin American immigrants because of the culture, work ethics, and family values they have. Add to this that they are closer to us, sharing the same land mass, most ready, and willing to work. The only thing that holds them back is Language, skills, and training.
With this said here is the solution I propose:
First and foremost, the USA must gain control of its border. Second, once the ebb and the flow of illegal immigrants stop, we go to work opening individual schools located in Central American which accept top students as they graduate from the high schools and offer them a three-year legal immigration preparation program. I call the Central American Assimilation Program. (CAAP)
HOW THE PROGRAM WOULD WORK
Build individual schools outside of the USA in the countries that have immigrants who want to come to the USA and accept only the brightest and the best and then start producing a crop of highly vetted English-speaking drug-free, young Latins who are trained to have a specific targeted skill set.
A THREE COMPONENT APPROACH
The first component of the program is specialized English-speaking teachers, (think Peace Corps) for strong Language and civics training.
The second component is industrial and business teachers with the skills required in partnership with business and industry from the host country to come to the schools and teach.
The third component is the host county Immigration services endorsing the students after they graduate from the program with supplying them the needed work visas.
Here is an example of an expandable pilot program:
Suppose that a business in the USA or Canada that builds and assembles air conditioners is looking for a crop of bright, ambitious, drug-free and able-bodied workers to come work in their building and assembly plants. Now suppose that they are asked to sponsor a class of highly vetted students from Central America that have already spent the time to learn English who are already qualified for a work visa. Provided that the company will send a team of their own to train people to train these students in specific aspects of their business.
The program starts with an extensive and intensive English language/civics study. Once a student finishes this part of the program and based on their merit scores, they can be accepted to move ahead into a contract to work program with a host country needing legal immigrants with a specific term work visa issued to them before they enter the host country. Upon arrival, the applicant stays bound by contract to the company that hires them for a specific period and then voluntarily return to their home country when their work contract and visa expires. To ensure compliance, a portion of their income will be held in trust at a bank in their home country. This money can only be reclaimed by the applicant in person when they return, thus assuring, that if the applicant breaks the contract or over-stays their visa, they forfeit the escrowed funds.
Once a student applicant returns to their home country they will have money in the bank and the skills they have learned in their heads. At this point, they can start a business of their own or apply for legal immigration into the country of their choice with a recommendation by the school, past employers, and the immigration department of the host country. Contacts made and skills learned will not only help the student but their home country will develop better citizens.
Of course, this is just an outline of this specific solution to the problem, but who is to say it will not work? The cost of the program is affordable if done by the private sector in the applicant’s home country and will provide work for the locals as well as boost the local economy. The costs of the program would be paid for partly by the applicants in tuition fees and by the sponsoring business interests who seek high-quality workers.
It is going to take a caring community village working with both the industrial sector of the host country as well as those in charge of immigration. It is going to require teachers, builders, volunteers, and competent legal consultants, as well as leaders of the industry to make it work.
We have a plan; the question now is who wants to join us as we hammer out the details, and make it happen? Contact me.