Steil: Build a wall first, then fix the ‘broken legal immigration system’ | Local News

ADAM ROGAN

Stop illegal immigration before securing legal immigration. This is the position of US Representative Bryan Steil, R-Wis.

“We have a broken legal immigration system and we have a broken illegal immigration system,” Steil, whose district includes all of Racine and Kenosha counties, said during a roundtable on fentanyl in Racine County on February 11.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that it recovers about 2,500 pounds of drugs each day, but drugs are still pouring into the United States by sea, air, and land, with most passing through by the southern border. Seizures of fentanyl and fentanyl-containing products are on the rise, said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, director of field operations for CBP’s Chicago office.

However, the majority of drugs are believed to arrive through legal ports of entry, not unguarded border areas. “According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, 90% of heroin seized along the border, 88% of cocaine, 87% of methamphetamine, and 80% of fentanyl in the past 11 first months of fiscal 2018 were caught being smuggled through legal crossings,” USA Today reported in January 2019.

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A reporter asked Steil if he was fixing the legal immigration system – where Mexicans have to wait on average between 8 and 20 years before being allowed to legally enter the United States while those from most other counties have to wait less than 5 years to get a green card – should come first as a way to weaken cartels.

Steil replied: “It is absolutely imperative that we tackle our illegal immigration system. I’ve been to the US-Mexico border. I saw how porous it is. I’ve seen people show up… I think that’s absolutely the first step.

An estimated 80% to 95% of undocumented immigrants pay traffickers to get them into the United States

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank funded by billionaire Charles Koch, has argued for breaking this system by allowing these same migrants to enter the United States for a fee.

Currently, the US system “(immigration) enriches criminals, hurts immigrants and undermines the security of the United States. There is a better way: the US government should charge a fee for a work permit. Peaceful immigrants who pass a background check could avoid the extortion racket and fly legally to US airports, going through security like everyone else,” said a 2019 commentary by Cato researcher David J. Bier .

“Not only would this system effectively eliminate border chaos, it would provide billions of dollars in revenue to the US government to further improve border security should Congress deem it still necessary. President (Donald) Trump has asked Congress for money for a border wall, but the immigrants themselves could easily give him far more than Congress ever will.

The effectiveness of the wall has been disputed.

Steil backed him up, saying that despite its vulnerabilities, a wall crossing the 1,954-mile southern border would send a “message” that the border is not open.

The Department of Homeland Security reported in the final months of Trump’s presidency that the costs of defending the walled-off parts of the border had dropped significantly, while illegal entries were also declining in those areas.

However, other studies have indicated that the wall is still porous and can be climbed over, and that although crossings may be reduced in walled areas, migrants only pass through unused parts. bricked up instead.