In recent years the influx in children from Central America -- particularly Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador has increased beyond the governments anticipation. Back in 2011, roughly 4,059 children entered the United States unaccompanied. By 2013, that number had risen to 21,537 children.
The Obama administration has asked congress for an additional $3.7 Billion dollars to send them back. What if there was a way to turn the $3.7 Billion in taxpayer dollars and 50,000 immigrant children into the most useful US asset in history?
The Obama administration claims that 47,017 children, from all countries, were apprehended in the first eight months of 2014. Many of those children were Mexican migrants who were turned away at the border, rather than being allowed to stay in the US. It is nearly double the number of children that Border Patrol agents had found this time last year.
Instead of using the $3.7 Billion to send them back, we should keep them here and treat them as "special guests", give them health care, nutrition and high-level accelerated education. We can offer them accelerated education classes and subsequently make them the most intelligent assets to the US ever.
If we spend $3.7 Billion a year on developing 50,000 children, it will give us exactly $80,000 per child, per year, to allocate to education, nutrition, medicine, accelerated learning and housing.
I know it is a radical plan that many will think is expensive. However, the US spends 820 billion on defense each year alone. I won't go into detail, but if you look at US history you will find that, historically, immigrants were the most lucrative thing to happen to the US economy in the long term.
If people are sending us their most valuable asset, which is their children, we should utilize them to make this great country even greater and to improve the lives of other human beings. That, to me, is the spirit that this country was founded on and the original intention of the founding fathers.
Collect the $3.7 billion from congress and use it to create and foster programs here in the US for housing, health care, nutrition and education of our "special guests". If part of the budget is directly allocated to troubled states like Michigan and Ohio, this can be a way to repopulate those states and bring additional revenue and population back to those areas.
Create special schools where we can teach accelerated ESL and other accelerated learning classes in the sciences, arts and medicine.
Create a protected "special guest" status for the children.
The children would hold a special protected status as "special guests of the USA", but not full citizenship, until they turn 18. After the age of 18, they will have the option to move back to their home countries or to stay in the US and apply for full citizenship.
The way I see it, 50,000 children a year is an amazing gift that will translate into 50,000 amazing citizens of the USA. Of course, it carries its own risks and challenges, which I am sure I will hear in the comments. However, is sending them back at a cost of $3.7 Billion dollars a year really without cost or risk?
What would happen if for a moment we were to think outside of the box and come up with a radical new plan that allows us to benefit from the unprecedented rise in immigration? Instead of reactionary and emotionally charged politics, what if we took a long-term approach to immigration and developed a process for rethinking the way we interact with those who wish to come to this country in search of the very freedom that this country was built upon?