By Dennis E. Nixon
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas — The border still faces illegal immigration with individuals coming to the U.S. in hopes of participating in the American dream — a chance to succeed.
There are two things U.S. Border Patrol seeks along the Texas-Mexico Border. Both can be easily achieved by simply cleaning up the riverbank along the Rio Grande:
- One is Visibility of the River, and
- The other is Access to the River.
Clean Up the Salt Cedar & Carrizo Cane to Give Border Patrol Visibility, Access the Rio Grande
The Salt Cedar and Carrizo Cane are non-native, invasive plants that need to be eradicated. Its density becomes a hiding place for immigrants and criminals who illegally enter the U.S. In the process, they make Border Patrol and other law enforcement more vulnerable.
These plants need to be eradicated and the riverbanks should be re-populated with native prairie grasses that have limited growth potential and can be easily and economically maintained. The cane and cedar plants consume water resources (which is killing the river) that serve as the primary drinking and irrigation source for Texas border communities.
Eradication will protect all of the border water supply. Once these invasive plants have been eradicated, an all-weather river road should be built to provide U.S. Border Patrol access to the riverbank.
Furthermore, Mexico should be convinced to eradicate the plants on their side of the river to create a larger buffer zone that will discourage immigrants and criminals from crossing. The new open zone with a clean field of view can be further enhanced with modern technology: motion detectors, cameras, infrared sensors, etc.
This natural buffer zone (think of it as a linear park enhancing the border,) is a far more effective barrier to entry than any man-made barriers. This approach is a faster, cheaper, and more effective way to patrol and control the river, and allows Border Patrol Officers to do what they do best: protect the border.
Under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, some border fencing was installed on the Rio Grande that gave Americans a false sense of security. Only when we provide Border Patrol with a clean river, can we expect to see real results.
We Need an Immigration Policy that Addresses America’s Need for Workers
Another largely overlooked, but crucial issue, is also a worldwide fact — the rapid decline in birth rates in areas including the United States, Mexico and Central America is at a crisis point.
- The U.S. fertility rate is currently 1.77 births per female — below replacement level.
- In 1960, Mexico’s fertility rate was 7.0 — today it stands at 2.0 with most of the country’s population concentrated in its major metropolitan areas.
- Demographers say no country in the history of the world has declined in fertility rates as rapidly as Mexico.
- Europe & Asia are in trouble with fertility rates below both replacement and sustainability levels.
- 46% of the world’s population lives in countries with below replacement level fertility rates.
The demographic winter has hit these countries just as it has the rest of the world. It is unlikely that these countries can recover from such low fertility rates, and the numbers suggest that countries will experience high reductions in population over the next couple of decades.
- Japan & Russia are experiencing actual population loss.
- With the U.S.’s current 1.77 births per female — below replacement level and with 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day — the outlook is bleak.
- Without population growth and the prospect of new workers, economic growth is threatened.
Future GDP growth above 2% on a sustained basis will be an enormous challenge facing the demographic winter that will have a huge impact on the world over the course of the next several decades — no people equals no economic growth!
The entire point of this section is to clearly point out that we need an immigration policy that addresses America’s need for workers. We need about 600,000 to 650,000 low-skilled workers every year to keep our economy growing.
We do not produce that type of worker in America. In fact, the largest part of the workforce is now the millennial generation. This group of workers is not committed to this work, so where are we going to get people to do the so-called basic jobs which some have called the “dirty jobs”?
We better wake up and understand the need to reform our immigration policy in America or we will continue to starve this country’s economy due to the lack of human capital that do the basic work required in a growing economy.
This should be a fact-based discussion with the political and emotional elements pushed aside for the simple sake of reason.
Dennis E. Nixon is the principal architect behind, the Chief Exec. Officer, and Chairman of International Bancshares Corporation & the International Bank of Commerce — the largest minority-owned bank in the United States. Overseeing $11.8 billion in assets, with hundreds of full-service branches, Nixon is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading bank authorities & executives. Instrumental in the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA,) Nixon has long been involved in the economic relations and financial growth between the United States & Mexico. A Past President of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Laredo Development Foundation, Nixon currently serves as a senior member on the Board of Visitors of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
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Source: Texas Politics