Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Cyclops’ solution to immigration reform

Oct 07, 2022 12:26PM ● By Bryan Gray

The move by Republican governors in Florida and Texas to ship hundreds of undocumented men, women, and children to so-called sanctuary cities (including the front porch of the Vice President’s house) has inflamed the voices behind the immigration debate.

No one argues that the transport was done for political purposes, sharpening the partisan lines months before the November election. Some say it was shrewd, other scholars say it was potentially illegal. Even the conservative Deseret News editorialized that it was cruel using human beings as pawns for pure political gain. On the other hand, it’s hypocritical for some Democrats to moan about the action while dismissing the similar hardship unchecked immigration has on border communities. 

If Chicago has difficulty feeding and sheltering the immigrants, so does El Paso, and Congress has generally turned a blind eye to the problem. Both the GOP and the Democrats shrug off any mention for a compromise.

So I have a plan. It’s easy.

President Biden should issue an executive order. Every member of Congress would be placed on a bus and sent to a secure facility. Each senator and representative would have to give up their cell phones; they would have no access to petitions from their partisan supporters or any talk radio and TV news program.

They could bathe daily, but food would be restricted. No more fancy sushi for Nancy Pelosi. Ted Cruz would have to go vegan. Their diet would consist of the food offerings and calories common to Americans on food stamps.

In this austere environment, the elected officials would be instructed to work with each other and come up with rational and fair legislation to solve the broken immigration system. This would entail leadership instead of demagoguery. They would have to put their cards on the table with the knowledge that they couldn’t get 100% of their wishes.  It would be a session of “I’ll give up this if you’ll give up that” – and they couldn’t leave until a workable plan was agreed upon.

Oh, and one other thing: neither the senators nor representatives would receive a paycheck until the legislation was approved. Of course, they would squawk. Chuck Schumer would miss his cigars and Mitch McConnell would have to go “on the wagon” without Kentucky bourbon shots. But finally, after years and years of admitting something has to be done at the border to welcome newcomers and ship out the bad guys, we would force Congress to do its duty.

The eventual plan wouldn’t come cheap. Government funding would be needed to offer English lessons, provide temporary housing and food, and entry into the workforce which badly needs newcomers to fill available jobs. You can’t expect a poor Spanish-speaking immigrant to walk across the border, fly to Spokane, and open up an accounting office.  But the “seed money” for an eventual plan would pay future dividends – and think of the money saved by not paying the congressmen while they fumed and belched during their confinement.  

Many readers might think this is extreme. But here’s the extreme: There are more than two million people attempting to cross our borders so far this year. Neither Presidents Bush, Obama, Trump, or Biden have had the willpower or congressional backing to solve it. 

The misery for the immigrants has continued. Maybe a little misery for Congress will do the trick. 

Bryan Gray, a longtime Davis County resident, is a former school teacher and has been a columnist for more than 26 years in newspapers along the Wasatch Front.λ