Tall Tales, Tall Walls, and Tall Orders to Fix the Border Problem

ALPERN AT LARGE--More likely than not, you're probably part of the problem with respect to border problems and immigration.

Maybe you'd sell your mother or other family member for cheaper labor to save a few bucks, maybe you're so woke you're happy to have others pay for your personal causes, or maybe you just don't give a damn because it's "not your problem". Either way, most of us are flat out guilty. 

The world does seem to be sliding into oblivion--either because we're more aware of the world (which really has been replete with historical trends of human misery, suffering, disease, and brutality) or because we're so busy pointing to other groups of people that we forget the guilt of that person staring at us in the mirror ... who is anything but innocent. 

I will put it out there that the anti-globalists on the left and the right (and even in the center) are all complaining of the same problems ... but aren't intellectually honest enough to respect each other's same complaints (and potential unity). 

1) Right or Left, Slave Labor is Just that--And It's Morally Unjustifiable: The Walton family and other "Christian" businesses underpaying their employees, and/or wanting more cheap immigrant (and often sub-minimum wage) labor, and the Silicon Valley tech companies wanting to import foreign IT and other forms of white or blue collar labor under the banner of being "woke" and "kind" just to save a boatload for their billionaire uber-rich overlords, are all the same. Same kind of awful, that is. 

Death to the middle class, financial extinction to those who play by the rules, and with a happy intent to make others pay for their violation of the law so they can save and/or make a few (maybe quite a few) bucks. They're all dreadful, and they all have too much influence over Congress, the media, and any other forces yanking our chains. 

This is all fixable: Demand E-Verify, make employers fear for their fiscal lives and/or risk massive fines or even jail time for knowingly hire those here illegally, and the wall debate vanishes. Ditto for requiring legal immigrants and foreign workers to have sponsors--no burden to the taxpayers, we each pay for our own charities and loved ones and respected workers, and everything above board. 

2) The World Really IS Going to Hades ... So What Do We Do About It? Slavery is alive and well, whether it's Africa (LINK: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/monicamark/slavery-nigeria-libya), foreign citizens from nations like the Philippines, sex slaves/trafficking, etc. it's all an abomination. 

I'm sure that very few people will care about what the last or current President did to address that (or didn't do, depending on their political leanings), but it's a problem. A crisis. An inexcusable condition. The caravans coming from Central America--some formed by leftist troublemakers, some filled with people fleeing for their economic and/or physical lives--have made even Mexico deal with a problem that we just can't ignore anymore. 

If Mexico and the United States are willing to spend tens of billions of dollars at that region... then we're ALL paying for "the wall", whether it's a metaphysical or physical sort of wall. 

Whether we're willing to admit it or not, relations between Mexico's new President and the Orange Man in the White House are actually pretty cooperative. Hate 'em or love 'em, we need them to succeed. But one thing IS for certain--we've moved away from colonialism, with the understanding that individual nations needed to fight and take care of their own problems. 

Foreign guest workers are just fine, but the outpouring of sentiment and sympathy is much more justified to women and children fleeing nations of misery than to men who need to clean up their own problems ... or it's time we asked foreign nations to consider arranging votes in Central America to ask themselves if they want to remain independent nations or be foreign territories of either Mexico or the United States or any nation they so wish to adhere to as a territory.  

Seriously. I'm not joking, and this is an awful but timely question for nations who have failed to provide for their own peoples. I'm tired of children dying and being used as human shields and pawns for any purpose, and I'm tired of our own youth being at risk for gang activity (whether that youth lives and dies in the U.S., Mexico, or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere). 

3) Income Inequality is Inexcusable and Horrible, and It's Our Future Unless We Come Together: Whether it's importing cheap labor, tolerating illegal/undocumented immigrants being paid sub-minimum wages, or importing white collar labor to slash the pay of positions which once paid better, we're entering a two-tiered society of the Haves and the Have Nots. 

"Free college" or "free health care" is NOT free--someone must pay for it. The more we smack "the rich" with a higher portion of taxes, the more we unwillingly empower them to tell our local, state, and national political elites that they will leave a given locality, or even our own nation, for a more hospitable state or locality ... and they'll get privileges galore. Like overdevelopment. Or breaking the law with respect to land use or employment practices or business taxes. 

Why the United States hasn't passed laws like we've seen in New Zealand or Canada to minimize or outlaw foreign citizens gobbling up 15% or more of our houses, and outpricing American taxpayers and citizens saving up the honest/legal way, is again a sign that the whole "globalism" concern isn't just some childish conspiracy theory. The problem is real. The problem is fixable. We just may not have it in our hearts, in our minds, and in our spines, to do the right thing and tell others (and ourselves) to say "NO!" to activities that hurt our neighbors just to save and/or make a few dollars. 

Or you could just blame Donald Trump. Or blame the Democrats. Or blame Mexico. Or whoever. But that blame will fix nothing and will continue to dance around a problem that threatens our own futures and sends our children and grandchildren straight to oblivion ... unless, of course, you plan to be part of the new uber-elite that will own the rest of us. Which means you really ARE the problem to our "border situation".


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of both its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure and Planning Committees. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at alpern@marvista.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)