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  • Writer's picturedawn jeronowitz

U.S. Immigration and Border Control: F-

Growing up in New Jersey, we took class trips to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We learned about U.S. history and immigration. We learned how the United States is a melting pot comprised of people from all around the world who come to America seeking opportunity and a better life. It is the only country in the world filled with such a diverse array of people and cultures all coming together to create one grand, unique American culture.

In the early 2000’s, illegal immigration was becoming quite a problem. Many people were crossing our U.S./Mexico border by illegal means. Not only was it putting a strain on U.S. resources and taxpayer funds, it was also unfair to the citizens of the United States, as well as all the immigrants who arrived in the country by legal means; some waiting years to do so.

By 2006 I was frustrated that our political leaders were failing in the task of managing legal immigration. Seemingly our ancestors had done it well. When contacting my elected representatives about the issue and recognizing their apathy on the subject, I finally decided to create an immigration and border control policy myself. I hoped to share it with members of Congress with the goal of fixing the ever-growing illegal immigration crisis.

In a short nutshell, I developed a three-page outline building a plan based on the historical and successful U.S. blueprint: Ellis Island. Considering there is no island at the U.S/Mexico border, I aimed to create Border Cities. I designed a series of ten immigration “Border Cities,” each spaced two-hundred miles apart along the 2200 miles of southern border. Each immigration entry point, Border City, would be comprised of a registrar, administration complex, security command, medical center, dormitory, dining hall and more. Each would be aimed at ensuring every immigrant was fully vetted, documented, registered, legal, and void of any dangerous diseases.

Even more, my plan was self-funding. Each Border City would be accompanied by a Cultural Arts Center with arts, music, food, and shopping to help build community relations, create job opportunities and generate revenue that would help fund the Border City immigration complex. Of course, in recognition of the Statue of Liberty, a grand statue and pillar of light would be commissioned as a centerpiece to each Border City.

Also, each immigrant permitted entry into the United States would do so on a three-year probation plan that would include a 3% immigration tax. The immigration tax would also help fund the immigration processing centers for future immigrants. I even planned for repurposing Border Cities into science centers, entertainment complexes, hospitals and such when immigration rates eventually diminished and such processing centers would no longer be in need.

By 2008 I had sent my three-page Border City outline to numerous elected representatives and every candidate running for President that year. Any response I received seemed positive, but still, nothing was done about the illegal immigration crisis.

By 2014 I sent my Border City plan to my U.S. Senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez. Senator Menendez replied to me: “I believe that our bipartisan bill, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, represents a significant milestone in our nation’s effort to fix our broken immigration system.”

Has it?

This is Senator Menendez’s letter responding to my immigration inquiry and Border Cities plan:

"I am happy to include your voice in the conversation," my senator said to me. Perhaps had the senator included my voice in the conversation in 2014, the United States wouldn't be in the border crisis it finds itself in today.

By the time Donald J. Trump came onto the political scene as a candidate for U.S. President, the illegal immigration problem still was not resolved. Trump planned to build a wall. I thought that was already approved with the Secure Border Fence Act of 2006. Trump changed a word, from a fence to a wall, and half the nation lost their mind. Still, a wall (or fence) is not a solution; it is a barrier to opportunity. It does not fix the problem. I did receive a response from Donald Trump, and I was delighted when I noticed an actual postal stamp on the envelope, as opposed to a metered mark. Nice touch. Still, illegal immigration crisis lurks.

April 30, 2017, I submitted a Letter-to-the-Editor in my local Burlington County Times newspaper, and geared toward President Trump, “There are better things to build.” You can view that published piece here:

Since Joe Biden has become President, the illegal immigration crisis has exploded into a sex and drug trafficking gateway. The border is wide open for any terrorist, sex trafficker, or drug dealer to cross. Millions of illegal entries have taken place during Joe Biden’s time in the Oval Office; and his term still has another two years to go! U.S. cities are being turned upside down with immigrants; homeless tent cities exist on the sidewalks, in the airports, parks and roadways. This has created an unsustainable burden on the U.S. taxpayer. It is a devastating and dangerous crisis on a grand scale. Biden took bad to a whole new level of disaster.

I can’t help but think, if only my patriotic immigration plan was implemented in 2006, when I first began my outreach on the problem, I am confident we would not be in the dire crisis we face today. Safe to say, Senator Menendez got it wrong. For decades now, they all have. Our ancestors would be ashamed of the mess our political leaders have made today. I know I am.


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