Wisconsin’s US Senator Ron Johnson is a co-sponsor of a GOP Senate Bill to keep migrant families together when they are detained at the US Mexican border. So he’s taken a stand on the correct side of the issue (albeit under pressure from the public). But like more than a few other issues he’s commented on, I don’t think he’s quite got a handle on the issue:
“This bill would protect children and ensure families are not separated while their cases are being adjudicated in court, and would end catch and release of families at the border,” Johnson said in a statement. “But, the real issue at hand is a broader immigration issue. We need to stop incentivizing people to come to this country illegally.
Incentivizing people? You mean with relative peace? Better paying jobs than they can get at home? Better places to live? A better all around life for their children? Those incentives? Because they are going to work very hard to have those things here. And they are willing to do that all the while hiding from the federales’.
But if Senator Johnson wants to know how to stop incentivizing migrant families from coming to the United States, there are three straight forward things the US needs to do. They are simple ideas but very complicated in execution.
First: help our neighbors in Latin American develop flourishing economies. I know that NAFTA is currently a dirty word in Washington, but it has in fact improved trade relations with Mexico and that is not a bad thing. Living wage jobs in Nicaragua or Colombia or Guatemala won’t make the US look as attractive to most citizens of those countries. I don’t get why Washington doesn’t understand just how difficult it is to pick up a few possessions and spend weeks crossing Central America and Mexico to get to the US border. It is not a trip taken lightly. There is more than just a little desperation involved. Good paying, living wage jobs, spurred by US investment and US trade in their home countries is what they really would prefer!
Second: clean and safe neighborhoods. I haven’t heard diddly about the Organization of American States in years and the GOP probably doesn’t find it any more popular than NATO right now. But help via an unified organization with training and dollars and trans-continental co-operation to insure safe and clean living conditions across the region will be another consideration. And this with the first item is probably a chicken/egg situation and both things need to happen simultaneously. But a safe home and neighborhood to come home to after working at a living wage job would certainly allow our neighbors to relax and enjoy their home nations.
Third: And this is totally on the United States and the GOP leadership in Congress in Washington. Why the flock are you allowing the president to pull out of the United Nations Human Rights Council? Now more than ever the United States should be active in the HRC and using the full power and authority of the United Nations to push Latin American governments to incorporate human rights in their nations…so their citizens can have safe neighborhoods and companies feel safe investing in businesses that provide living wage job opportunities.
Incentivize immigrants? Yes, we do that by being America. A perceived safe haven with clean safe housing, jobs that can support a family, and where human beings are afforded the rights to which they are entitled. If they have those things in their home countries they’d have little interest in the long difficult trek to the United States.
Instead Senator Johnson talks like it’s some kind of game show…