The Logistics of the Immigration Problem

During the big debate on the subject, I stuck “immigration” in the back of my mind, running as a background task. It never did go “Ding!” like background tasks do when they complete. When I unloaded it and looked at it just now I was not surprised to see it all wrapped up in little circles. Not only is there no easy answer and no good answer, I don’t even think that there is an acceptable answer.

This is yet another way in which all of the people that are currently inside our national boundaries can be placed into one of two categories: they are either here legally or they are here illegally. It stands to reason that if they are here illegally, maybe they should be somewhere else. The only alternatives are to live with the extremely awkward situation that we have today or somehow legislate that all of the current illegals are suddenly legal.

If we do the latter, do we finally close the borders, so there won’t be another batch of the dreaded illegals to make legal at a later date? If we decide that they should all be somewhere else, how do we accomplish getting them back to where they “belong.” There are millions and millions of them. A million is a lot of people. Twenty million people, which is the popular median estimate of the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S., is nothing short of a gigantic number. Roughly estimated, that is approximately 3,000,000,000 pounds of people. Weight Watchers would have a fit!

Were we to take all of the people out of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont, we would only have a little over 25% of our target number of illegal immigrants. Adding Rhode Island, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Nebraska, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Nevada still leaves us a little short, so we’ll have to throw in a little more than half of Salt Lake City. In essence, we have take the equivalent of every man, woman, and child from our 17 smallest states in order to equal the number of illegal immigrants.

The Federal government says that there are about 8.7 million unemployed people in the U.S. Some of those people are unemployable for one reason or another. Let’s say that we have five million citizens that could go to work tomorrow if the jobs were there. One of the biggest gripe about illegal immigrants is that they are taking our jobs, so a lot of them must be employed, one way. Let’s say five million of them are just sitting around. After our five million able-bodied American unemployed go back to work, where do we find the other ten million people to take the jobs previously held by the deported illegals?

Or, you may say, they are filling up our school systems! A lot of them are children! So let’s take half of the ten million people out of the above calculation and make them children. That still leaves us with a shortfall of five million people to fill the jobs they would have to abandon. Then let us consider that a teacher, on average, teaches 40 children a day. When five million children go to some other country, where are we going to employ the 125,000 American teachers that have been teaching them? Even if they wanted to be fruit pickers and busboys, we are still left with 4.875 million jobs that need filling. Maybe we can fill them with the nurses that are currently providing the illegals with health care. Because all twenty million illegals both provide and purchase services, these replacements could go on for a long time and still not come out even.

I’m not saying that it is going to be impossible to put them all on trains, take them to Arizona, push them across the border, and slam the door shut. But I don’t think that the people that are making the most noise about the issue have even begun to consider the logistics. This is an immense and difficult problem. Simply saying blithely, “Send them all home!” is not going to work.

I think it is possible that the people who shout out the answer the loudest are the same people who never gave the problem much thought.

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