There’s a myriad of proposed solutions to the problem of illegal immigration, but solving the problem comes down to how realistic we’re going to be about it. Building a massive wall that another country is going to pay for, then rounding up 11 million people sounds like something out of an epic, but in the end, it’s pure fantasy. Another country is not going to pay for it, and the upkeep alone is going to cost taxpayers billions. Furthermore, rounding up 11 million people would be the same as trying to round up firearms. You’d have to go door to door searching for illegal immigrants, which you can’t do, and you’d never find them all.
To that end, Gary Johnson seems to have the best ideas when it comes to immigration, but in this day and age when the issue is so hot button, anything short of “kick them out and lock the door” sounds like weakness. In fact, the loudest accusation thrown at Johnson is that he’s for “open borders.”
That isn’t necessarily true. Johnson’s plan isn’t to allow illegals in, but to make it easier to get work visas, which is what they come here to do. This would not only register said immigrant, but it would free up law enforcement to focus on the real problem with illegal immigration – the criminals. When it comes to criminals, Johnson’s stance is very simple, and the same stance everyone takes.
They don’t belong here. You can see him explain this at length during an interview on Fox Business back in April.
Johnson also likes to point out that illegal immigration has become something of a political boogieman. In a way, he’s right. Illegal immigration is at a 12 year low, having decreased radically since 2007. So stepping out of the media hype around Trump’s presidency, you can see that there’s a more calm, and sensible plan to tackle immigration from the Libertarian side of things that makes tons of sense, and would likely work wonders…if you can get past the people screaming “he’s making it easier for them to get in!”
But where Johnson trips up is how personally invested he seems to be in the issue. He has these great, sensible ideas that are overshadowed by how un-sensibly he responds to the issue. Johnson was in the media pretty heavily when he exploded over someone simply saying the term “illegal immigrant,” which is pretty embarrassing to watch, especially when he had to begrudgingly admit the term was accurate when applied to people who come here illegally.
During an interview, Johnson even said that he would have reacted excitedly against Trump if he was on stage during the Republican primary when Trump made comments about Mexican immigrants.
Noting that 47 percent of New Mexico’s residents are Hispanic or Latino, the highest percentage of any state, Johnson said Trump has made “horrible” comments about immigrants entering the country illegally by suggesting that many of them are criminals and rapists.
“This stuff he’s saying is incendiary. And if I would have been on stage in that Republican primary, I’d have been yelling at him,” Johnson said.
For one, the term is accurate. If they come here illegally, they are here illegally. There is no way around that. In fact, the whole point of Johnson’s plan is to make them not illegal. The whole basis of having a solution is that their illegality is the problem.
Trying to paint them as “undocumented immigrants,” and blowing up whenever someone doesn’t use the term is something I and many others cannot stomach. That is behavior I spent a good many years now combating from the progressive social justice crowd that demands I use certain terms, and relay a certain level of respect. If Johnson should happen to achieve a spot on the debate stage, any point he made about his immigration policies would be overshadowed by his emotional responses to his opponents for stepping out of any politically correct line. The point would never get across to the public that there is a sensible solution out there.
If Johnson really wants to make inroad toward a better solution to immigration, he needs to stay technical, precise, and keep his language realistic. He does no favors to himself by yelling at reporters or fellow politicians. People are looking to him because they’ve had about enough of that from the other two.