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I travel quite a bit from Canada to the US. After 9/11 this VISIT program was started, involving taking pictures and fingerprinting all foreign visitors. At first that made me a bit mad and uneasy, but I quickly concluded that it’s within their rights. It’s also within my rights to not travel there if I have an issue with it. The practice has had some consequences around the world. A country in South America started fingerprinting US travelers in their country. Some in the US freaked out, which was wonderfully hypocritical, but what could they do? In the end I don’t think it mattered either way.
Perhaps I don’t mind border controls because I had to go through a lot of time and effort to get into the US legally. In any case, I don’t think it’s an issue. If the US decides they want to build a big wall along the Mexican and Canadian borders, great – hey, they can do whatever they want on their land. It may be a stupid idea, but that’s never stopped big money-sucking projects before.
I think the real issue, the difficult one, is what to do with the illegal immigrants already in the US. Kicking them out isn’t desirable or feasible because the US economy would take a huge hit, at least in southern areas. But, letting them stay also has repurcusions in terms of implying there’s rewards to illegally entering the country.
I think the only real answer isn’t feasible: grant those already in the US temporary work visas if they qualify and prevent future illegal immigration. Unfortunately those are 2 enormous tasks, with the money to complete it possibly better spent elsewhere.