It’s no surprise that school attendance is down in Galveston County from this same time in 2019. Much has happened since then and is still happening.

COVID, of course, made 2020 such an anomalous year that we have to lift it out of the continuum altogether and go back to 2019 numbers on everything to see what affect the pandemic is having this year.

According to a story in a recent edition of the Daily News:

• Texas City Independent School District showed about 89 percent of high school students attending the first week of classes, compared with 95 percent during the same period in 2019. The district’s high schools enroll about 2,500 students, which means about 275 have been absent so far.

• By day 10 of the Hitchcock ISD school year, 264 of the 1,948 students — 13.6 percent — were counted absent, compared with 45 of 1,780 students — 2.5 percent — in 2019.

• Almost 98 percent of Clear Creek ISD students showed up the first week of school this year, compared with almost 99 percent in 2019. By the second week of school, 90 percent of elementary students were attending, compared with 96.8 percent in 2019.

• In Santa Fe, the district averaged 93 percent attendance in August, lower than the 95 percent to 96 percent it averaged during the first two weeks of 2019.

Gov. Greg Abbott has ensured that public schools at all levels aren’t allowed to require students, teachers or other staff to wear masks. And there’s little support like there was last year for parents who would prefer for their children to stay home and learn remotely.

So we, ostensibly, have more students in physical classrooms than we did last year, not all of them required to wear masks and many of them too young to be vaccinated. And even of those who are old enough to be inoculated against COVID-19, there’s nothing in place to require them to get the shots.

Add to that changes in state and Texas Education Association guidelines about quarantines and degrees of contact and toss in some confusion about guidelines overall, and it’s no wonder parents are keeping their children home.

It’s not a good situation. Thankfully, some school districts are doing what they can to make getting an education as safe as possible in the throes of a pandemic. Like those such as Galveston and Texas City that overruled Abbott’s no-mask-mandate and required students, teachers and other staff to wear masks. And others like Hitchcock and Clear Creek that are pulling together remote-learning options for students who must stay home because of illness or exposure.

So, we have parents making decisions that are in the best interests of their children and school districts doing the same — both as it should be. But where is the state in all of this?

Making it as hard as possible, it seems, for parents, teachers and school district leadership to do that. It would be so much easier to educate and protect Texas school children if the governor would put aside politics — and any aspirations he might have in that regard — and think about what’s best for the children of this state. We’re not advocating that he make any sweeping decrees one way or the other. Just:

• Sync up with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the TEA to provide clear, consistent recommendations for when to keep children home;

• Support school districts that think it best to offer remote-learning options;

• Advise parents to look to their school district leadership when it comes to keeping children safe in school; and, most importantly,

• Empower school districts, the people on the ground closest to the students, to call the shots.

We have no way of knowing how long it’s been since Abbott actually sat down face to face with a student, a parent, a teacher, a principal, a school district superintendent or a doctor, but it seems like it’s been a while. It sure would be good if he did.

• Margaret Battistelli Gardner

Margaret Battistelli Gardner: 409.683.5227; Margaret.Gardner@galvnews.com.

Locations

Deputy Managing Editor

Margaret joined The Daily New in December 2019, bringing more than 20 years of editorial experience to the team. A Philadelphia native, she lives in Galveston County with her husband, Steve, and their dog Nanook.

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(66) comments

Mason Schraufnagel

Masking children is abusive and anti-science. Abbott is right to protect the children from abusive policy.

Gary Scoggin

No, no, and no.

Mason Schraufnagel

This is China's fault. It would be great to see an OP-ED regarding the US Taxpayer getting compensation from China rather than yet another politically-biased hit piece.

Charles Douglas

Mr.Schraufnagel> You will never see an official rebuke of China for the massive lost of American lives and the peripheral damages they cost us with this "Red China Virus" being loosed on the world, because China has taken the time to buy off or compromise at least half of America's people! That includes movie actors, and big money producers in Hollywood, big time Schools of learning here, most of our rich sports stars, the leagues they play for, and of course the Radical LEFT politicians! The best you hope for are people like me who love this country and Who are NOT afraid to tell it like it is! Happy to say I am not the only one on this forum who will TELL IT LIKE IT IS! I'm deeply thankful for that!

Bailey Jones

Wait a minute, Charles... where's my China check? For that matter, where's my Soros check? Or my Big Pharma check?

I also take Paypal and bitcoin.

Bailey Jones

Texas - with the nation's highest rate of uninsured children, a third-tier educational system, and its criminally negligent foster care system - is not the place to look for leaders to "put aside politics — and any aspirations" just for the sake of our children.

Unless you're a 6-week old pea-sized embryonic worm without eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, brain, or developed organs of any kind, the state of Texas has got nothing for you.

Hey, here's an idea - how about a law that allows some random yahoo to sue anyone who aids or abets sending a COVID positive kid to school? I'm thinking a $10,000 bounty would be about right.

Gary Scoggin

Yep. Let’s extend the bounty concept to all sorts of socially irresponsible behaviors.

Bailey Jones

How much can I get for reporting COVID misinformation? I need at least $1000 from Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey[thumbdown]

Bailey Jones

The next insurrection is planned for September 18th, as I understand it, Carlos. Will you be ready to honor your debt by then? Or shall I just wait 4 more months so we can all celebrate you and #worldsbiggestloser for being losers 365 days in a row?

Carlos Ponce

Bailey, the only Insurrection Day was November 3, 2020 when Liberals stole the election. Be patient and have your $1000 ready to pay.

Sep 18????? That's not the date of Trump's return to the office of presidency.

Bailey Jones

Carlos, what's it like waking up every morning and looking in the mirror at a publicly disgraced welsher? I can imagine what it's like for someone who can feel shame, but what is it like for you?

Mason Schraufnagel

Here's an idea - How about we defund public schools and give folks back their hard-earned tax money? I like that idea best.

Gary Scoggin

Here’s an idea. How about we do away with education all together?

Carlos Ponce

Let's start with eliminating the Department of Education.

Carlos Ponce

Lower attendance? Nothing New:

The Galveston Daily News TUESDAY MORNING. JANUARY 27, 1970 Page 6

HOUSTON ( A P ) - Schools throughout east and southeast Texas reopened Monday after closing most of last week because of heavy absenteeism rates caused by influenza.

Schools in Athens, Kountze, Silsbee, Vidor, China. Nome and Sour Lake reopened. All seven reported lower numbers of absences.

Jefferson, Hardin and Orange counties were the hardest hit last week with many schools reporting more than 25 per cent of their students missing from

classes.

Schools in Port A r t h u r , Orange, Bridge City. Beaumont, Nederland, Port Neches, Houston, Tyler and Corpus Christi also had unusually high absence rates from the flu last week but remained open.

And in this century

Galveston County Daily News February 1, 2003 Page 1

Officials suspect flu behind high number of absence:

By CARTER THOMPSON The Daily News

Two west end public schools are battling a persistent pathogen that's sending students home in droves.

On Friday, 137 students were absent at Weis Middle School and 91 from Parker Elementary. Weis' enrollment is 786; Parker's is 602.

Weis was missing 105 and Parker was missing 94 students on Thursday. The day before, 104 students were absent from Parker.

Some schools in nearby counties have actually been closed temporarily after a

stomach virus swept through the student body.

But in Galveston, school a headaches, upper respiratory infections and stomach discomfort, said Veronica Stanford, the school district's lead nurse.

Both the numbers of absentees and students showing up at the schools' infirmaries were higher than usual, she said.

"The nurses are seeing a significantly higher number of students visiting the clinics with flu-like symptoms over the past few days," Stanford said.

While the number of ill was greatest at Weis and Parker,a nurse at Scott Elementary also reported students were showing up at the clinic with symptoms, she said. Stan-ford, also the nurse at Ball High, said she had seen students with symptoms, including one girl who had bronchitis.

George Croix

I wonder what Texas rate of uninsured citizen and legal resident children is, and if Texas schools would move up a tier or two if so many of the students in them were not unable to speak English and/or some education years behind.

Just wondering, as we hear a lot about how bad Texas is but little about why, about contributing factors largely effecting both, usually blaming that on whoever is in the Governor's office....

Of course, as always, I could be wrong....

Bailey Jones

George, you should be able to test this theory - pull up educational ratings by school district (that's the A-F awarded by the state each year) and then look at the demographics of each district. I suspect that you will find that Texas' inability to educate its children is worse where there is a language barrier, but still not much better where there is not. I'd also be curious about how well football does in districts with and without large immigrant populations. We've always been able to excel in football. That's something Texas' tax payers care about.

Mason Schraufnagel

All the more reason to defund public schools. Public systems are not incentivized to be efficient and should be discarded in favor of private choice.

Jim Forsythe

Mason, who is going to pay?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics and Educationdata.org, the average cost of one year of private elementary school is $12,350 (in 2020).  One year of private high school is $16,040 (in 2020).

Mason Schraufnagel

Hey Jim, I'm in favor of vouchers, at least as a transition away from the Public dependency. Competition tends to lead to lower cost, more innovation.

Keep in mind that with the madness schools are doing right now is leading to more parents seeking alternatives, including private schools, home-schooling, etc. It won't be long before BIG TECH has real A.I. alternatives.

Ironically, so many great teachers are devaluing their labor by agreeing to all this and will be wiped out by the same BIG TECH companies that currently bankroll their lobby.

Jim Forsythe

Mason, who is going to pay for the vouchers? If you are thinking of moving the funds from public school funds to private, you will still pay school taxes. How are the private schools going to pay for all the new buildings needed?

One of the reasons the cost per child is not higher then it is now in private schools, is because some of the services the public school offer are not offered in private schools, in most cases. When our youngest went to private school, and needed speech, public school system sent a speech therapist to the private school. We also supplemented it with outside help.

Who who is going to pay for Special Education in the private schools for the parents' that can not afford the cost of the extra help, if we do away with public schools?

If you have a child with learning and thinking differences, there are extra considerations to be aware of .

Kids with disabilities have certain rights in public school, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Among other things, the law says they must have: A free and appropriate public education (FAPE) The right to an Individualized Education Program (IEP)

But IDEA doesn’t apply to private schools . They don’t have to provide FAPE, IEPs or evaluations for your child. The services and supports outlined in an IEP your child might have in public school don’t “travel” with him to private school. Who is going to pay for this in private schools?

The Difference Between Supports and Services in School :If your child needs an evaluation, then it’s likely you will have to pay for it on your own, because the private school may not provide that service.

Also, if your child receives additional services in school—like speech therapy or occupational therapy—private schools do not have to provide these services. These supports may have to be purchased outside of school.

They don’t have to provide data on how well their students are doing, either. They don’t have to give standardized tests.

Mason, one can not say the cost is less in private school unless the private school offers the same level of service. If your idea is to away with services offered by public schools, which services would you do away with?

Paula Flinn

I agree with Jim Forsythe.

Private schools would not know what to do with all of the children with learning disabilities: physical, mental, and emotional. When my next door neighbors, of long ago, enrolled their child in a private school here, the Administrators asked them to take her out of their school and enroll her in a public school that could offer her special services. This was when she was in first grade.

I have seen ESL students in a public high school eager to learn English, even if their parents are not. The children will learn willingly because they want to “fit in” all social situations, such as playing sports, singing in choir, playing in the band, taking art, or being on an academic team.

Private lschools cannot offer the amount of electives that public schools do. These electives are sometimes the prime reasons youngsters like school.

Carlos Ponce

"Private schools would not know what to do with all of the children with learning disabilities"

Some private schools are designed to handle special needs, Paula. Type "Learning Disabilities Schools in Galveston Island, TX" into your web search. Some are better than others.

Carlos Ponce

"I suspect that you will find that Texas' inability to educate its children is worse where there is a language barrier... " Correct, despite the billions spent on ESL classes.

I grew up in a family where Spanish was the norm. Television was in English back in the 50s, 60s (with the exception of Rick Ricardo [I love Lucy] and Pepino [The Real McCoys] ). School was in English. Immersion in English language led to school success.

The current influx into this state has more than Spanish in it. That won't help.

Growing up, Catholics used Latin in church, English outside the church.

Jews used Hebrew in Temple but spoke English outside.

I'm not saying ignore your native language. But in the United States let's all speak American Standard English.

When telephone solicitors start the conversation in Spanish I ask them to speak in English - this is the United States. Then they hang up.[beam]

George Croix

Only got about, what, 1200 + school districts in this state, so, no, I’ll leave that chore to the same numbers crunchers who come up with stats like “Texas children” or “ uninsured” without ever mentioning that any child in the state is a Texas child and anyone in the state might be uninsured, whether an actual citizen or not….should they ever decide to crunch that a little more. Lies, dam_ed lies, and statistics…..never outdated…..

Education takes resources, physical and personal. Just like a back yard BBQ does. Keep pouring in more students/guests and the end product of either suffers in quantity and/or quality. Worse if unable to communicate effectively.

We don’t need anything other than common sense to define a big part of the problem, but it would be nice to get some depoliticized factual figures using relevant denominators (like, citizen or legal resident so we’re not compared with states who have little or no such issues)….

Nowadays, generic, non-specific data can be assumed with little to no risk to benefit the provider of it in whatever they’re trying to sell or claim or hammer someone with.

HS Football in Texas is a religion for some. The money spent on it is the offering….

Immigrants are welcome in Texas and the USA….legal ones….

Gary Scoggin

So is the solution to deny an education to all kids here illegally? Unless we deport them all, along with their families, they will be here for a long time. And I’d rather have all children here educated rather than not.

We could deport everyone I suppose. If we deported all 12 million illegal residents over a two year period, that’s only about 115,000 people per week. Or 16,000 per day.

Carlos Ponce

"So is the solution to deny an education to all kids here illegally? "

Make staying in this country merit based. Get in trouble and you get a one way ticket back to you once belonged.

Get back, get back

Get back to where you once belonged

Get back, get back

Get back to where you once belonged

Get back

Go home

George Croix

C’mooonnnn Maaannn, Gary…the solution is to eliminate illegal entry to the country in general and in the spirit of this conversation from this state in particular.

That ain’t gonna happen ever as a 100%, and especially not at all with the current Admin. welcome mat out. The recently departed President was on the right track as to first line method but underestimated the capacity for his political opposites to WANT illegal entry, and fight tooth and nail to enable it….by any and all means…

The law says we have to provide education opportunity to any child in the states

regardless of legal status. The law also states that illegal entry into the country is, well, illegal….

Sounds like a Kerry conundrum, for it AND against it…..

I just wish the folks caring so much about getting as many illegal aliens into the country as they can cared half as much about the negative impact of that on the folks legally here…..

Wish in one hand….etc….

George Croix

ps:

You figures assume that the number of illegals goes static….chance of that is about the same as either of us ever agreeing w it’s the other on this subject.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos. Glad to see you now support DACA. Let it be.

Gary Scoggin

Sure George, I get it. But those kids are here now and complaining about them doesn’t change the calculus on the ground. I agree on getting better control of the border - probably not in the fashion and extent you do - but we do need much better control.

Anyway, this whole discussion started as one about Abbott mucking up our schools and I guess we’ve wandered far off course.

Gary Scoggin

Oh, and I realize my numbers were static, I was just trying to illustrate the scale of the problem. If I’m off by 90% it’s still a lot of people.

Carlos Ponce

Follow the Court's decision not to add to the DACA list. The "kids" on the DACA list are now adults in their mid 20s to early 30s. Membership in gangs like MS-13 should be grounds for deportation.

George Croix

I wonder how many of us would settle for leaving trespassers in our homes/on our properties. If there were a thousand of them, would we just throw our hands up and adopt them all……maybe some would, if they could force their neighbors to foot the costs…..

A bit disingenuous to complain about how big a problem is that we turn a blind eye to the making of, or actively encourage it to get worse….

Too many people leave places that are bad and go to other places, then repeat the same things that made them leave in the first place, as we now are all ‘racists’ for expecting assimilation. Some do, some don’t….the a little bit pregnant syndrome….

No different from the California to Texas exodus, where people leave a Democrat trashed state then come here and vote the same way….

Can’t fix either of these futile efforts to keep doing the same things hoping fora different outcome…

Jim Forsythe

As I have said before, nothing will change until all parties involved (D and R), come together and agreed on one policy for the USA on immigration. Changing the course every time a new President comes into office, is not working!

This discussion will continue until then.

We are talking about two different parts, when we include education.

Unless Plyler vs. Doe is changed, talking about, should a child should be educated in USA schools is is a useless discussion, because all children in USA must be educated. If they continue the live in the USA, for the rest of their lives, do you want these children to become a adult with a education?

The discussion should be, how can the schools provide a better education for all. If a student does not speak English, how long should it take for a student to be up to speed and able to work at the same level, as the rest of the students?

Should we provide classes, for all that want to speak English? It easier for adults to help their children with home work if they speak, read the language that the lessons are in. If we set a student up for failure, they will fail.

Under a U.S. Supreme Court case called Plyler vs. Doe (457 U.S. 202 (1982)), undocumented children have the same right to attend U.S. public primary and secondary schools as do U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. In fact, they (along with all children) may be obligated by the law of the state in which they live to attend school.

Until the visa overstay problem is fixed, it will cotinine to be the majority of people here illegality, and stay the same, or become a larger percent of those here undocumented. We also need to increase the reporting requirements for employers' and collages.

Carlos Ponce

Jim Forsythe posts, "As I have said before, nothing will change until all parties involved (D and R), come together and agreed on one policy for the USA on immigration." That happened. There is an immigration policy in place voted on by Congress and signed by a President. Problem is... the current administration refuses to enforce it.

Jim Forsythe

As I said, until all agree, nothing will change. We have had a problem for how long and it has not gotten better. Voted on by Congress and signed by a President, does not mean that all agree. After Biden leaves office will the way we approach all immigration change? Of course it will, just it will when the next President after that, leaves office.

Did all agree with Reagan and how he handled it. Did all agree with the Bush's, Obama, Trump and now Biden. The answer is no and until the answer becomes yes, for all concerned, nothing will change. One of the reason for not changing our policies is because of cheap labor.

Cheaper labor domed the the U.S. Mexican Farm Labor Program.

In 1942, the U.S. Mexican Farm Labor Program, also known as Operation Bracero after the Spanish term for “manual laborer,” began. However, not all employers wanted to follow the guidelines or pay the thirty-cent-an-hour guaranteed wage (about $4.51 in modern dollars).

In 1953, South Texas farmers essentially received their labor for less money than farmers who complied.

The Bracero Program continued until 1964, when Congress terminated it against farmers’ complaints in an attempt to preserve jobs for American citizens. By then, the program had created an ongoing thirst for cheap farm labor and cheap food—and a corresponding thirst for Mexican nationals to seek out their fortunes in the United States. Ironically, the program bred even more illegal immigration.

1954, the government introduced Operation Wetback, which used Border Patrol resources.

Has the problem become better or worse since the Bracero Program and Operation Wetback?

If your answer is worse, we have not solved anything. If your answer better, how?

Carlos Ponce

There is nothing wrong with what is already on the books. What the Liberals in charge want is open borders.

Jim Forsythe

How is what is on the books, worked out. The reason it has not worked out, is because not everyone agrees with, what is on the books. Until all the D and R's decided to work together about what needs to be done, and all are onboard, nothing will change.

What President has fixed the immigration problem? My answer is not one has done so. Our track record indicates, unless we try something else, we will fail.

George Croix

WHAT immigration problem, Jim?

Do you mean the ILLEGAL immigration problem, because no matter how much the daily talking points say otherwise they are not the same.

It's not a problem when attempts at illegal immigration law enforcement are willfully and purposely hamstrung, and the law breakers encouraged and aided. It's lawbreaking itself, and makes a mockery of any oath of office.

It's a total pipe dream to ever expect 'coming together' when one side is opposed to illegal alien trespassing and the other encourages it in hopes of future amnesty bolstering their voter base.

My personal opinion is we're screwed totally until that southern wall is finished, at which time a trickle becomes easier to manage than a flood.

Why not finish it now while hundreds of thousands invade and anyone with eyes can see a need? See paragraph before this one....

Gotta love it, we've spent more money in 7 months paying wall contractors to NOT build it and to remove or preserve materials than we'd have spent to keep McAllen from being overrun....

I just hope that nothing worse than a flood of illiterate dependents happens, but, if it does, I certainly hope it's not to anyone who knows better than to open a b order and try to have a country.....

Carlos Ponce

I believe the border agents - ICE and CBP. I believe the County Sheriffs. With Democrats in charge, the rules are ignored. The Border patrol liked President Trump because he not only listened to them but followed through on their recommendations.

Jim Forsythe

George, my point is no President has fixed the problem. Unless they have bipartisan support, the problem will never be fixed. Building a wall ,Operation Wetback which may have sent 1,000,000 people back, and the other programs that have been tried, all failed because because enough people were against them and it caused them to fail. If one thinks these programs did not fail, then why do we still have a problem?

How many new miles of wall was built? The reasons the wall failed, are many. Funding, if it was not a problem, money would have been in place. Rights to private land, caused many miles not to be built. Environmental regulations causes delays. Until all buy into projects like this, they will fail.

We have legal immigration which we have a problem with, and we have illegal immigration, which we have had a problem with for many years. Some may say we do not have a problem with legal immigration, but we do when people overstay their legal visas, they then become a problem that we have fail to address, in the manor needed. Also legal immigration has a problem, when we set a number that can come to the USA each year. This number changes and can cause some people to have to wait many, many years and cause some people to try and come here without the wait. Unless the people in other countries, no longer have a reason to leave their homeland, we will will continue to have a problem, in the USA.

If some think the laws we have in place are all we need, nothing will change. We need a bipartisan review of all laws and do away with the ones that are not working. If one says that can never happen, it may be true unless the people in DC put the USAs needs first, over party.

George Croix

I’m just a simple old guy, Jim.

I see what’s been happening since my new President got elected and compare that to what was going on before that. Maybe I’m just seeing triple or quadruple and the CBP people are lying but it sure looks like current policy magnifies existing problem.

I suggest the trespassers be bussed to Joe, Chuck, and Nancy’s street and dropped by their houses and then we won’t have to wait for bipartisanship which is exactly as common as hens teeth…..and as likely to be found as currently the effort is to ‘change America’ per our fearless leaders so why would anyone demanding that bargain with the status quo….

C’mon, maaaan, why not just wish for world peace by this Saturday….got exactly the same chance….

A 7 year old knows why we shut our house doors….

Maybe that’s what is needed in DC….more maturity……

Jim Forsythe

George, nowhere in my post did I say Biden was doing a good or bad job. My point is that no President has fixed the problem. I pointed to two programs that failed, because they did not have bipartisan support. All the Presidents have had a increase in visa's overstays, as this way has more people being here illegal, than any other way they come, and it needs to addressed. Most Presidents do not want to address this in a manor that it needs, as it is not a hot button issues, like people crossing into USA by walking. Until a President has bipartisan support, illegal immigration will not be slowed to a acceptable level.

Until we have bipartisan measures in place, that makes employers and employees report employees status, and have stiff penalty's for employers and employees that do not do so, nothing will change. I have outlined this in the past, but it requires employers to take a much greater hands on way of doing things.

People are still being hired that should not be here. Why, because the penalty is not enough to keep them from being hired. Without jobs, how many people would go to the measures they do, to come to the USA.

George, it's estimated at least 7 million illegal alien are in the U.S. work force. If we take these jobs away from people that should not be in the USA, how many would stay in the USA?

George Croix

Probably all, Jim, as there are other benefits in America besides actual work, and laws ignored at the border can also be ignored internally, when not directly aided and encouraged….

The illegal alien issue becomes less of an uninvited visitor issue than a squatter issue as time and distance post border crossing increase….

Oh, and a welcome to the brass ring issue depending on who benefits, now or later,

Didn’t put any words in your mouth about Biden, Jim. Just pointing out the obvious that the current extra massive influx is directly on him and his, so it’s tilting at windmills to speak of reform for another three plus years…..

Eager enablers in this country don’t help.

That includes businesses…

Jim Forsythe

You and I are looking at two different things, as far as immigration is concern. What I'm look at has nothing to do with the person that is President now, but the long term failures of our immigration laws and policies. I have also offered some ways that they need to change.

Look at the 2000's. Obama's approach was different then Bush's and Trumps was different than Obama's. Biden's approach is different than Trump's and the next President will do something different. Change will happen with each new President , until it become important enough to come up with a solution that all can agree on.

And to me, that may be the underlying problem, some do not want to fix our immigration policies and it has nothing to do with being a D or a R. It may be people making money from this, is the problem. I worked for someone, that this was the case. He opened a contractor company that hired people, that he himself went to Mexico and transported to this area. He housed them, which numbered over 30 men, in a large house in T.C, and promised them pay. When he could no longer put off not paying them, he would call and have them deported, so he would not have to pay them. He would then do it all over again. These men work with me in Amoco, when I worked as a contractor. I was the supervisor at 18, over them, because I spoke English.

As far as laws being ignored internally, the pain for not complying must be greater then the gain.

One of the changes I would do.

A requirement for years in jail, if someone does follow the law. Also a requirement that they must report each week, on the worker hours. If someone quits, they must report it at they time that person quits. If they did not do this, they would be looking a jail time. If a employer is willing to risk years in jail for not following a law, then so be it.

A book I read about raising kids said, you can not stop a child from do something, if they are willing to accept the punishment. They went on to say, the adult must make the punishment bad enough, that they do not want to do it. The same applies in this case.

George, reform will not happen, until all involved, agree on it. Band-Aids may be put in place, but a long term solution takes all agreeing.

George Croix

Jim, 'ol buddy...

The long term goal of a guy in the water drowning in the bay is to patch the holes in his boat and make sure to wear a lifejacket when in it.

Right NOW he's drowning, and the lifegaurds have gone to Lubbock to 'study the matter first hand', and the locals who might save him are encouraging others to come on in the water is fine......

All the theoretical and future needs do NOT displace or even make a darn because of the realities NOW, never mind what led to them....

This simple fact is what it is.........

Who CARES right now whether the guy bleeding to death was wearing a seat belt....

Carlos Ponce

Jim posts, "My point is that no President has fixed the problem."

Take my advice: Put your partisanship away and ask the border agents.

Jim Forsythe

George, as you have noticed, I have not responded about what is going on at the border. This is the last that I will post about this, because there are so many variables as to why the increase. No President for many years, has stop the problem at the border. Some may have reduced the problem for awhile, but the problem remains. Until we all work together, the problem will remain.

There are two parts to the problem, short term and long term. My post above have been about the long term, because I think that is the best way to reduce our problem. For years we have not done a good job on the short term solutions and we have no long term solutions. If we don't change this, nothing will change for the next 100 years, for the better.

One of the ways we could address the short term is make it harder to get a job in the USA, if you are not eligible for one.

2020-- 458,088 unlawful crossings were attempted at our Southern border.

Overall crossings declined by 53% over 2019, which had 851,000 crossings.

Is the increase this year, just the extra people that did not cross in 2020.

Adding to our problem, is visa overstays. More people overstay visas, than any other way. This just compounds the problem.

How many people are in the USA. that should not be here?

Why is this happening? Warming weather, political instability in immigrants’ home countries , hurricanes that hit Central America last year, and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Trump’s attempts to reject people seeking asylum, attempts that were challenged in the courts, created a logjam.

One can choose one or all of the reason above, and add some of what they think is the reason, and still not have all the reasons why.

Until we make it uncomfortable for someone to stay in the USA, when they should not, we will continue to have this problem.

George Croix

Hard to make things uncomfortable, Jim, when the 'homeowners' are inviting folks in and giving them bennies to do accept the invitation.......

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, name the president that has fixed the problem, Fixed does not mean reduced for a short time.

We have had this problem for longer than you and I have been alive.

Bush did not fix it, Clinton did not fix it, Bush 2, did not fix it, Obama did not fix it, Trump did not fix it, and Biden will not fix it. So what President, are you talking about? And since the Border agents can only follow what the are told to do, they can not fix it. Unless, you are suggesting that they act against what the President says.

Carlos Ponce

"Fixed does not mean reduced for a short time." Ridiculous!

If you get your car fixed do you assume it's fixed PERMANENTLY?

Border agents say President Trump fixed the border problem.

Border agents say Biden broke it.

George Croix

Jim, you CANT stop all illegal aliens even if the wall was sea to sea and 100 feet high and carrying 50 million volts….

Somebody would dig under or get in a boat and go around the ends.

You keep talking about solving the problem.

What IS that problem, right now.

Root causes (besides the current open invite) to come here?

Citizens won’t work low pay jobs?

Medical care, schooling, bus and plane tickets to wherever?

No.

The problem is simply hundreds of thousands invading the country…, and the solution right now is top encouraging it, tolerating it, and rewarding it.

Don’t need any legislation …got enough…..

It’s NO different from shot oil flange leak on a startup.

The long term problem is how to prevent that in the future. Figure out who screwed up. Why did they. Take measures to prevent future leaks.

The PROBLEM right NOW is stopping the blasted leak before it gets worse or catching fire.

Pick up a wrench, tighten the flange. Problem NOW resolved.

It makes no sense to talk about how we got here or where to go later while the pit bull is chewing our freakin leg off…..act first, debate and finger point later…..

You’ll notice that the usual suspects sure as heck setup a wall around THEMSELVES last January, after years of “walls don’t work”.

Move the WhiteHouse to McAllen, and then theses silly ‘what is the problem and who’s to blame debates would stop…..fast….

Gary Scoggin

So, George, enough refinery metaphors. So what do you suggest we do right here, right now? If you had total power starting at midnight, what specifically would you do first thing in the morning?

George Croix

Start building the rest of the wall, expedited, and at the same time don’t willfully release a single other illegal entrant into this country. People who have properly followed our immigration/asylum procedures are, as always, welcome.

Where the wall is not yet built put up whatever physically limiting barriers possible to stem the tide, just like plugging a levee leak. Use Nancy’s fence from the Capital….it worked for her….

Tell the President of Mexico that he must get back to controlling his own side like was done much better during the last admin., as well as the rest of Central America and if that doesn’t happen then stop traffic southbound and let that money flow dry up, including all monetary aid to him until cooperation improved greatly.

Empty ASAP all of the facilities holding illegals at taxpayer expense and spend the bus and plane ride tickets money on southbound only. Dispatch National Guard to the border to provide CBP some backup relief in administrative and processing capacities and let them enforce law rather than be babysitters or the Welcome Wagon.

Criminal illegals apprehended, gang members, dope runners, multiple deported returnees, or anyone found to be in human trafficking goes straight to jail and is forever barred from entry to this country by any means when, or if, let go later and deported.

Businesses knowingly hiring illegal aliens would receive visits from ICE as often as possible and said illegals immediately deported, and any possible financial penalties levied. Anyone along the border aiding illegals to circumvent our laws would be charged with interfering with an officer of the law performing his duties. Providing false documentation to illegal aliens ( or any other lawbreakers) would be a felony with mandatory time served, weeks to months to years, depending on scope) in addition to hefty fines. Certainly no drivers licenses would be issued to illegals where that insanity exists, and no car insurance sold without proof of legal residency.

Having done something to at least stymie the border insanity,then refine all of the above as needed to increase efficiency.

LEGAL entrants who have followed our laws and rules would be given expedited hearings/ attention/ relief as appropriate, as thanks for their honesty and to encourage others to follow the law.

Apologists and anarchy advocates would be given the amount of attention they have so richly earned….

Anyone bringing children and claiming to be their parent would be dna tested to prove it so that the child would not be at the mercy of sex traffickers.

Everyone of ALL nationalities in this country illegally would have 1 year to register with the government as such, and failure to do so would, if caught, result in immediate deportation and permanent ban. The so-called DACA folks would go to the BACK of the line behind legal immigrants but would be given the opportunity to become citizens ultimately. NOT their extended families meaning everyone they’re related to, just them and wife/children - their children…

George Croix

Don’t need ‘total power’, just reverse the most recent reversals would drop the flood by half with doing nothing else. But, get rid of the HUA and real positive results for the rule of law would be the result…

Oh, and add that citizens/legal residents would be indemnified if forced to defend themselves against illegal entrants BUT anyone being a vigilante would be prosecuted to the fullest. Law and order works both ways….

Gary Scoggin

Thanks for the specifics George. I agree with some but not all, but I appreciate somebody around here being specific.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, If your definition is having in 2020-- 458,088 unlawful crossings a success, at what level of unlawful crossings, is a failure?

Just as I stated before, no President fixed the problem.

George Croix

Talk it, walk it, Gary.

Don’t have to agree with the other guy to respect their standing behind their own words. That’s an attribute I admire in you and a few others herein.

With my Total Power are you surprised I didn’t order M60’s every 30 feet and free fire zones with shoot on sight orders…..

Mason Schraufnagel

If anybody is owed anything, it is the US Taxpayer who deserves compensation from China.

Jim Forsythe

Mason, what kind of compensation from China do you want? All that is, is talking points, that will not happen.

The growing chorus of demands from members of Congress and the public to seek compensation from China range from withholding payment of our debt to China which it owns in U.S. Treasuries, levying more tariffs on Chinese products, to suing China in court. The full faith & credit of the United States government in honoring its debt provides the tantamount standard for the world to invest in our economy and to purchase our U.S. Treasury bonds. We do not need to wreak havoc on the international trading system of which we are the bedrock. Levying more tariffs will simply inflict more pain on American consumers and businesses and as a practical matter, litigation against China would not only take years but China would simply refuse to pay.

Mason Schraufnagel

Forgiving US debt currently held by China is a great place to start. It continues to be of great urgency to stand up to the CCP. Litigation is fine also, among other creative ideas.

We should be moving supply chains away from China to India and Central America, which would stem some illegal immigration.

Point is, we can unify as Americans against a common foe that is aggressively coming for us.

Jim Forsythe

Mason, how does that work? Are you saying the USA tells China that we will not honor our debts? if we do that, other countries will follow suit, and say we cancel our debts too the USA. Most encomiast will say, this could escalate to a total collapse of the world financial systems.

As far as moving supply chains, who would do this, the government or private companies? If you are saying the government, do you want the government dictating where a company can do business. Also China owned companies , how do we stop them from selling in the USA? A total block of goods from China? If you think the car chips are in short supply now, do this, and our auto companies would suffer. Also replacement chips for our cars would become harder to get, and may become impossible to get. The same goes for phones, computer's and such.

How is China aggressively coming for us? Do they force us to buy from them? China only buys what we offer for sell.

Charles Douglas

Where did Mr. Schraufnagel come from? He is my kind of American, which is a man/woman,... White, Black,Blue, Brown or Poka-Dot who loves, and will stick up for America First! Half of the Americans here loves China!! China buys their love,..you be surprised how much love money can buy if a one's heart is geared to greed, and selfishness!

Charles Douglas

Mr. Schraufnagel> Watch out! Being a sympathizer for Americans and the general good of America will make you a marked man by the Radical Left! You have to be the kind of individual who like wide open borders, allowing MS-13, Drug Cartels, Slave-trafficking, to come in. You have to be willing to teach White kids they are cursed because God made them WHITE, and be willing to teach BLACK kids they are cursed because God made them BLACK, and INFERIOR! You have to be willing to pay wayward teens not to commit crimes, and workers to stay at home and make a salary without working for a living!

You have to agree that turning tails and running away from Terroists,...in disgrace while leaving thousands of Americans, Allies, and at risk Afghans to die is fine, and making America a third rate power, and subservient to China, Russia, and Venezuela is the best thing for humanity! Ohhhhh it is hard job being one who loves this country! You have to fight hard to keep from giving in to the notion of stirring up the past of two hundred years ago concerning the SLAVES, Jim Crow, Jim Eagle, and Segregation! Those are always good "FALLBACK" talking points for the LEFT in order to keep the BLACK VOTE on lockdown! I know this to be true, because I was a member of the LEFT for years! I know them so well! [beam][beam]

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