Darrell Berkheimer: U.S. needs those migrants at our border | TheUnion.com

Darrell Berkheimer: U.S. needs those migrants at our border

Darrell Berkheimer
Columnist

It’s imperative that we apply a different attitude toward those migrants at our southern border — where the border patrol is stacking them into detention facilities so full that they haven’t even had space enough to lie down.

You know, they are the migrants from whom we are taking their children and putting those children into cage-like barracks.

The ironic part of that situation is our nation needs them!

And we will be needing immigrants more and more with each passing year.

Couldn’t the crisis at the border and the growing jobs crisis in many states both be used toward resolving each other?

Some states already are unable to fill many jobs that immigrants would be happy to have. Only many of those jobs are located far from our southern border.

The spreading need is detailed in a Washington Post article by Jeff Stein published on Aug. 14. It specifically cites the growing shortage of workers in Maine — and more than two dozen other states — as a result of our nation’s aging populations. Citing a report by the World Bank, Stein writes, “Last year, Maine crossed a crucial aging milestone: A fifth of its population is older than 65, which meets the definition of ‘super-aged.’

“By 2026, Maine will be joined by more than 15 other states …,” including Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. In addition, “More than a dozen more will meet that criteria by 2030,” Stein reports.

That means approximately 30 of our 50 states will be experiencing a growing shortage of workers, both skilled and unskilled.

One already-critical need is for elder-care workers. Stein noted Maine has cited a “severe shortage of workers that has crippled facilities for seniors across the state.” They are positions that family-oriented immigrants would be able to fill quickly with minimum training.

But the shortage also includes doctors, therapists and other health-care workers. In addition, fishermen and other small business operators reported their inability to find boat workers and day laborers.

On aging, Stein reported, “Across the country, the number of seniors will grow by more than 40 million, approximately doubling between 2015 and 2050, while the population older than 85 will come close to tripling.

“Experts say the nation will have to refashion its workforce, overhaul its old-age programs and learn how to care for tens of millions of elderly people without ruining their families’ financial lives,” Stein added.

The story continues by reporting there are “just not enough people” and “far too few younger people” in many of our states.

It appears to me, as those states facing unfilled jobs as a result of aging populations, that our federal government and the states should be cooperating to provide green cards, travel money and short-term housing allotments so immigrants can be moved to where unfilled jobs would be awaiting them.

We are spending untold millions, perhaps billions, of dollars to detain immigrants, and their children, to feed them and provide other necessary supplies. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to apply that money toward helping them move to where they will be needed — to fill those jobs?

Couldn’t the crisis at the border and the growing jobs crisis in many states both be used toward resolving each other?

Growing STD issues

Another nationwide story emphasizes the unintended consequences of stripping government funds from clinics that specialize in providing female and parenting services.

Most affected, of course, are Planned Parenthood clinics, which have reported losing as much as 25% of their budgets as a result of the latest restrictions initiated by the Trump administration.

One of the latest reports on a major consequence came from New Hampshire, where the Concord Monitor newspaper noted that state has experienced a 17% increase in chlamydia rates over the past five-year period, plus a 103% surge in syphilis and 352% explosion of gonorrhea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet issued a report this year, but the one announced at the end of August last year cited nearly 2.3 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases — the highest number ever reported in the U.S.

The report added that the rates for gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia were up 67%, 76% and 21%, respectively, over the 2013 statistics – marking the fourth year in a row of steep STD increases.

For years, Planned Parenthood has reported that only 3% of its nationwide budgeting goes toward funding abortions — while approximately 42% has been going toward STD testing and treatment, and another 34% to contraception services.

Planned Parenthood, of course, is not the only operator of clinics providing these services, and the CDC has estimated that 21 local health departments across the country have closed as a result of state and federal cuts.

Obviously, the latest steep cuts and restrictions can be expected to cause more grim consequences well beyond limiting access to abortions.

Darrell Berkheimer, who lives in Grass Valley, is a frequent contributor to The Union. He is the author of six books available through Amazon. His latest, “Essays from The Golden Throne”, also is available at Book Seller in Grass Valley. It includes many articles previously published by The Union. Contact him at mtmrnut@yahoo.com.


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