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Immigration solution          Send a link to a friend

From Michael Fjetland, a counterterrorism adviser who predicted 9/11

[MARCH 30, 2006]  "If a man be gracious to strangers, it shows that he is a citizen of the world, and his heart is no island, cut off from other islands, but a continent that joins them." Francis Bacon wrote these words. In the past few days over 500,000 people have protested the proposed new law that would make millions of people felons for being illegally in the U.S.

Different international smuggling gangs are making raids on other gangs' houses in Houston -- where they "stashed" people instead of cocaine. Human trafficking is more profitable than drug trafficking, and smugglers are giving up the drugs to smuggle people. Which is the worst of the two events?

Women have also been the target of international traffickers. Both issues require creative solutions in Congress.

Making people felons won't solve the problem. If it is a choice between feeding the family and getting a felony, most people will choose the latter. Congress should know it as well. Right now, border agents can't tell economic refugees from potential terrorists, when thousands are crossing illegally every day.

Our present system encourages massive numbers of people to circumvent our border crossings, overwhelming border security despite all the walls you build. Even the Berlin Wall failed to keep people from crossing -- and it was small compared to our Mexico-U.S. border that stretches thousands of miles.

The only solution is a radical one -- ENCOURAGE people to go through our border checkpoints so we have a "biometric fingerprint" on everyone, which can be checked against our watch lists. A work permit is that lure. The only way to do that is to take a serious look at President Bush's guest worker plan. [President's proposal]

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Let's face it, I don't see any of these people taking over as chief executive officer of Wal-Mart; nor do I see regular Americans willing to cut grass and do a lot of nasty work these people do every day.

If we change our system to bring people THROUGH our system instead of forcing them to go AROUND it, then that leaves only the terrorists or people smugglers crossing illegally to avoid giving up their identity. Our agents could focus on them. They will no longer be able to hide among the swarms of people coming across looking for a job instead of a target. It's a win-win.

Final thought: If we REALLY want to fix this problem, we need to help generate economic growth in places like Mexico so that the jobs develop there. THAT will reduce the desire of people to cross the border for work HERE.

Francis Bacon had it right. We need to do the same.

[Michael Fjetland; Global American newsletter]

Michael Fjetland is an international attorney, negotiator and counterterrorism adviser. For more information and to sign up for future newsletters, visit or

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