Donald Trump’s much-talked-about visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto didn’t change much.
Sure, Trump looked Presidential, giving a firm, masculine handshake to a foreign leader. (In fact, despite the small hands controversy, Trump might even be winning over the Handshake Voters who decided the 2000 election.)
But any benefit to his campaign flew right out the window when the bombastic billionaire returned north of the border and delivered yet another fiery speech, slurring undocumented immigrants as violent murderers and rapists, and reiterating his pledge to deport millions of people and build a wall along the border.
And Trump’s immigration rhetoric isn’t just dangerous; it’s flat-out untrue.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people immigrate to the United States — some legally, some illegally — seeking a better life. They come to escape corruption, poverty, partisanship, and ballooning budget deficits in their home countries. These huddled masses yearn for Simpson-Bowles-style entitlement reform, NATO expansion, and charter schools. These are basic human needs that everyone, citizen and noncitizen, agrees on.
Mr. Trump, we don’t need a wall. We need a window.
Too many Americans are cooped up in little houses, called “Democrat” and “Republican,” unable to see eye-to-eye with their fellow American because of those opaque walls called Partisanship. The Trump voter sits in his house and yells about the dilution of the white race. Across the wall, the Hillary voter sits in her house and yells back about how we shouldn’t deport anyone, unless we can send them to a country with a sensible, middle-of-the-road regime, like Honduras or Chile under Pinochet. The Jill Stein voter sits in his house and yells to the both about the healing properties of Chakra stones. And on and on it goes, everyone yelling, and nobody listening.
Mr. Trump, you ought to heed the advice of a certain member of your party and tear down those partisan walls and replace them with windows.
Put yourself in the shoes of your average immigrant: they arrive here with just the shirts on their backs and the shoes on their feet, if that. They use public bathrooms to wash up, and start in the mailroom. Using gumption and sticktoitiveness, they impress a higher up in the company, take a series of tests, and become partners.
These aren’t people who want to dilute our culture. No, they want to contribute to it. But in their pursuit of happiness, they’ve been caught in the crossfire of the very same partisanship they’re seeking to escape.
As someone who interacts with both immigrants as well as people who hate immigrants (my conservative friends The Billiards Fool and Mengele de Pinochet), I have a solution that would make everyone happy, and show these poor souls seeking respite from the two party blame game that we are better than this:
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, borders would not be enforced. Immigrants who make it inside the country in this time will fill unskilled labor pools. We can put the money we save on border enforcement into skill centers where they are taught how to make apps. According to my calculations, if just one out of every 500,000 immigrants in this grouping go from field worker to Elon Musk, we have the potential to balance the budget by 2025.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, we send A-10 Warthogs, AC-130 Gunships, the 1st Marine Division, and portable landmines all up and down every defensible border point. The only people allowed in on these days are people already able to make apps, or political asylum seekers (a la Ahmed Chalabi). This second group of immigrants will take monthly town hall sessions with the first group, where they will teach each other how to adjust to this country across class lines.
For Democrats, this allows the flow of people to continue. For Republicans, it calms fears about “the destruction of white civilization,” which my intellectual conservative friends non-racistly fret about. And best of all, it makes these huddled mass’ first experience in this nation one of compromise.
That, my friends, is how you show the world what our values are.
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years and is the host of the Digcast, a weekly podcast on iTunes and Soundcloud. Got a question for the Dig? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet to @carl_diggler.