Did I Happen to Mention the Idea of a Border Kibbutz?
Updated: Mar 8
For the last couple years, I’ve been watching and reading the drama about a border wall and the reasons the US should pay for one. I just don’t get it at all. I do understand that we cannot have an uncontrolled border, but I don’t understand all the fury about resolving the problem with increased military presence and a wall. After all, more than 90+% of us who have established the culture in this country are descendants of immigrants. So, here’s a big idea. Do not get hung up on the details yet – that’s for later.
Let’s start with a few simple assumptions. The immigrants are people like any of us who happened to born on the wrong side of the tracks. They are seeking safety and better financial opportunities for their families. There is little difference between the immigrants from the past and present. They believe that life will be better in either the US or Mexico than their countries of origin.
What we have never had, is an effective, controlled process for integrating newcomers into the US. So, here’s a thought on how to do that.
Let’s borrow the kibbutz idea from Israel and make a few adjustments. A kibbutz in its simplest form, originated as an Israeli concept of a farm-residence. The basic principle is that anyone can come in, stay and be fed, as long as they work towards the upkeep of the kibbutz.
Suppose, the US and Mexico secure land along the border and each country makes plans to build either agricultural communities or manufacturing plants owned by the respective governments. Instead of refugee tent communities, simple housing is built and for those without legal passage into either country, individuals commit to a couple of years to live, work, get paid, pay taxes, send their children to school, receive medical care (and learn English if in the US) in the community. At the end of this predetermined amount of time, they secure a first job and can enter the country of choice with legitimate papers.
From a societal standpoint, this does not interfere with the current process but does create an opportunity to sort out the people who want to live in the US, become American and help fast track a deeper understand how our country functions. It helps jump-start teaching English to both the children and adults in the community and creates a safe place to stabilize, temporarily work and live while learning about good citizenship. We never had this kind of option in the past and it took 1-2 generations for new immigrants to fully blend. For those who are coming with nefarious intentions, they fall out quickly.
From an economic standpoint, this reaps much greater benefits than a wall. Over time, the communities become economically self-supporting as they build internal economies that pay for the services needed. It provides an impressive example to other counties grappling with unchecked immigration issues and supports a global perspective on humanity and the values of ingenuity, opportunity and sanctuary that has made America great for such a long time.
Please share your thoughts on the blog site!