Here are five steps to slowing the influx of illegal immigrants coming to our southern border, eventually stopping that flow in a humane way, while protecting our citizens.

First step: As soon as possible after an illegal is taken into custody at the border, adult or child, we should have a medical team give them a physical and do blood work to see if they qualify to immigrate. Do they have a disease to spread or a medical problem that requires extensive medical care? If they fail this test, which must be done within the first 20 days of custody, they should immediately be repatriated to their country of origin. Under our law, they do not qualify to immigrate here because they are a danger to our citizens and a burden to our already under-funded Medicaid system.

Second step: Immediately after an adult is taken into custody, their country of origin’s embassy must be contacted requesting a criminal history. If a clean criminal history is not provided within the 20 days allowed for incarceration, then they too must be repatriated to their country. This is the law to legally immigrate here; you must first prove that you have no criminal record in your country of origin.

Step three: The people that meet these two very important requirements are then allowed to apply for asylum and are released. With this procedure, the two most important vetting procedures will have taken place and we will have fulfilled our obligation to provide protection to our citizens.

Step four: We release our aide to these countries of origin to help them with the return of their citizens. We provide these returned individuals extensive information telling them the process to legally immigrate to our country from their country and maybe even help them complete it. We provide them, their country officials, and their health department (if they have one) a description of their health problems and refer them for treatment. We explain to the returnees how to obtain a criminal history in their country. We do what we can afford to do to help them.

Enforcing these laws as outlined will begin to stop the massive flow of people to our southern border and will eventually stop it because their country will not be able to provide reliable criminal histories within 20 days and most of them, if not all, will be returned. The word will get out quickly and these folks won’t want to take the horrible journey for nothing. Then, in a humanitarian way we will assist qualified ones in following proper procedures to immigrate to the United States. Immigration to America is not a right, it is a privilege.

Step five: We need good qualified immigrants in the U.S. to accomplish this one very important procedure that must be fixed is the process by which a legal immigrant, already a citizen, is allowed to petition a relative to the U.S. Currently, it takes 10 years for this process. It should be able to be done in one year. The product and result of a legalized citizen bringing a relative here is a good new law abiding and disease free person with a connection to and respect for America.

To solve our southern border problem we need just two documents: a clean report from a physical with blood work and a clean criminal history that is reliable from the country of origin and the enforcement of our current immigration laws that have served us well for many, many years.

As President Trump wrote in a May 14 letter, “If we continue to enforce our laws and protect our communities, families, and struggling workers, we will reduce our deficit, increase incomes, and make our communities safer for each and every American — both now and in the future.”

Matt Mays is a Sebring resident. Guest columns are the opinion of the writer, not necessarily that of the Highlands News-Sun.

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