By Jim Lussier

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So, here we all are living in a county that yearns for effective governance — one that addresses our highest priorities from which we all can benefit.

Instead, we find ourselves continuing to tolerate massive political polarity now resulting in diminished economic prosperity for many of our citizenry who serve that very government; and an ineptitude to even address, let alone solve some of our most pressing issues of the day, specifically a functional government and a rational approach to short and longer term immigration to our country.

I believe that we the people should demand an immediate resolution to these most pressing issues of the government suspension while laying a foundation for an acceptable policy on immigration with which we all can live.

To the powers that be, here is my proposal for your consideration:

1. Immediately upon general acceptance of terms which will be pursued for final resolution, agree to immediately pass sufficient funds to reinstate all government functions that have been suspended and agree to pay all workers for retroactive hours donated to the maintenance of service to their country.

2. Agree to the provision of the sum of $3 billion to be dedicated to enhanced border security and solution to issues, the priority of which are enumerated below:

a. By March 1, reunite all children held by the government with their parents or legal guardian and agree to terminate that practice as a means of discouraging illegal immigration in the future

b. Resolution of the DACA issue by outlining a path to citizenship to all who qualify as part of this agreement

c. Expenditure of the $3 billion by the acquisition and effective use of:

i. Personnel Needed:

1. Adequate border patrol agents as proposed by the governmental agencies responsible

2. Increasing the number of FBI agents responsible for the investigation and prosecution of any illegal immigrant with a past or current criminal background entering the United States

3. Increasing the judicial system staffing to accommodate timely processing of:

a. Requests for asylum

b. Criminal prosecution and deportation related to illegal entry into the United States

c. Management of the U.S. Visa system to dis-allow those staying in the U.S. after their Visa has expired and has not been renewed

ii. Development of a Multi-layered Boarder Security System for our borders that properly utilize:

1. Electronic & Video surveillance where proven effective

2. Aerial, satellite and infrared surveillance

3. The construction of physical barriers only where proven necessary and effective in conjunction with other forms of border security

4. Agree that a 2,000-mile fence or wall will no longer be pursued in lieu of a more comprehensive approach to border security

5. Finally, agree to work together (Congress and the President) to develop more comprehensive reform package addressing all forms of immigration to our country to specifically include an equitable and timely process for consideration and granting of asylum to individuals worthy of that form of entry into the United States

I get it that politics is part of how our government functions at the federal, state and local levels. However, when politics becomes the sole focus, politicians have lost their purpose in America.

What they then have lost in purpose, they make up in expression of their own egos. At that low point, government then becomes an adversarial battle of a win/lose polarity that not only does not serve us well — in fact, it does not serve us at all.

The world looks to us as an example of democracy and freedom in the world based upon our values for human dignity. I believe you, our elected leaders, should reflect those values as well. Not only is it time to act, it is time to act responsibly.

— Jim Lussier lives in Bend.