The Republican Candidates are making a mistake of over-emphasizing the fence. What matters most at this junction in the immigration debate is internal enforcement of immigration laws.
Visa violations are as problematic as illegal border crossings.
America wants to have an open visa system that accommodates as much world travel as is possible.
When a large number of people violate their visa, the visa system breaks down and it erodes the ability for people to travel abroad and see the world.
The key to winning the immigration debate is to bring it up visa violations in the larger context of world travel.
The number of people who grossly overstay their visa is a small part of the population engaged in world travel. There is a small number of people making complications for the many.
Republicans should emphasize world travel because everyone dreams of seeing the world.
The issue of deportation should be discussed in the context of visas and world travel. A visa is a contract between the traveler and host country. A visa usually has fixed dates and other restrictions. Deportation is the expected response to a person who violates their contract by not returning as they said they would.
Taken out of context, deportation seems like a harsh and inhumane. But, within the context of a visa, it is the correct action. Failure to enforce visas puts a strain on the visa system. This strain impedes the ability of others to travel.
The number of Latinos wishing to engage in world travel outstrips the number seeking to engage in illegal immigration. Debating visa enforcement of world traffic might reduce ill feelings in the Latino community towards Republicans.
One might actually build support for law enforcement by bringing up the ugly topic of human trafficking.
A very large part of the immigration borders on the edge of human trafficking.
There is a massive machine build around illegal immigration in the United States. This machine includes coyotes and unscrupulous businesses who abuse foreign national workers to gain advantage in the market.
The massive machine built around illegal immigration in the United States feeds the problem of human trafficking.
The left has framed the debate to make it appear that immigration is about free individuals moving about completely on their own volition.
But this mass movement is not taken place in isolation. Much of the underground movement in illegal immigration involves people being pushed around and abused in very ugly ways.
This constant yammering about the fence makes conservatives look petty and cruel. They could win friends simply by addressing more compelling issues like the desire for world travel and the scourge of human trafficking.
The massive violation of visas makes world travel more difficult. The correct response to a visa violation is deportation as is written in the contract. The big machine built around illegal immigration has the negative effect of increasing problems with human trafficking.
The answer to both problems is aggressive law enforcement.
America is a nation that holds free movement of people in high esteem. I believe that aggressive enforcement of immigration laws will put our nation into a position that will allow us to develop more liberal immigration and visa laws in the future.