The immigration debate exploded into the consciousness of most voters in the form of children terrified as they were separated from their parents under the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” for undocumented immigrants caught in the country. Although many are outraged, the immigration problem has been a tool used by politicos to garner political points as needed for decades. Both parties leverage immigration to attack the other. This is because immigrants are not a voting block and as such they cannot retaliate against the politicians. The immigrants are the perfect tool for national security, social welfare systems, taxes, constitutional law and labor issues. They are the perfect fodder because they can be used for most public policy issues without the fear of alienating a voting constituency.

As political tools, the immigrants are nothing more than tools to make a political point. No politician wants to solve the immigration problem because to do so will take away the politicos’ ability to use them as political fodder.

But, the noise from Congress and advocates will intensify in the coming weeks because of the crying children. There will be lots of rhetoric about all sorts of public policy and who is to blame but little intention to solve the problem. Add to the mix of the political toolbox is the amount of money that non-profits make from the immigration debacle. Juan Sánchez, who founded the non-profit Southwest Key agency warehousing undocumented immigrant children, makes about $1.7 million for his work. The County of El Paso recently acknowledged that it needs to warehouse undocumented immigrants in its jails to keep the jail open.

The immigration debacle, besides being the perfect fodder for political points is also a money-making operation. But to understand what the immigration reform issue is about requires piercing through decades of political rhetoric by delving into the factual weeds.

To do so, we will spend the rest of the week looking at the immigration debate, not through the lens of political rhetoric, but through the lens of what the facts are.

In today’s issue, we will define what the problem is by pointing out that the immigration issue is about two types of immigrants, the economic opportunity seekers and the refugees looking for security.

Tomorrow, we will look at how money ultimately drives the immigration debate from all sides, those pro-immigration and those opposed to it. The reader will get to see how the non-profits lining up in faux outrage about crying children are the same one reaping millions from public policy that makes it impossible to solve the immigration problem.

On Wednesday, we will delve into a Republican president that offered a well-thought-out solution to the immigration problem years ago. He tried, but ultimately his solutions were drowned out by those making millions from keeping the immigration problem unsolved and by politicos who find continued immigration strife beneficial to their political careers.

On Thursday we will look at a solution to the immigration problem that not only offers the security many demand, and the sovereignty many feel is necessary while giving America the tools it needs for economic prosperity while finally solving the immigration problem. It is actually a simple and elegant solution – once we peel away the decades of political rhetoric.

But before we can do that, we need to define why an undocumented immigrant comes to America.

To do so, we need to divide the immigration debate into two sectors – the economic immigrants, the ones looking for work and the refugee immigrants, the immigrants seeking relief from the horrors of their countries. For the purposes of this week’s look into the immigration debate, we will focus on the economic immigrants. That does not mean that the refugee immigrants aren’t important, but to fully understand the complexity of the immigration debacle we need to focus on the facts. The labor and refugee immigrants offer different realities that aren’t compatible to each other.

For example, the refugee immigrants, unlike the economic immigrant, seeks to establish a permanent home in the country. Economic immigrants want to work and then to return to their home countries. Most economic immigrants come from México, because of the proximity to the United States. These immigrants come to work with the hope of returning to their countries of origin, once they have completed their work.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...