UW professor: Crisis at border ‘a problem that we can fix’

Jul 5, 2019, 5:33 AM
border crisis...
A protest speaking out against detention centers at the border. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Conditions at detention centers at the U.S./Mexico border has spurred a humanitarian crisis with people on both sides of the political aisle clashing. But in terms of how to actually improve those conditions, a fix is far more practical than we may think.

“For the crisis itself, we’re not in control of when people show up at our borders,” UW Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Jessica Kaminsky told The Candy, Mike and Todd Show. “The part that’s manufactured is this claim that we’re not able to respond to it.”

Chilling image of immigrant father and child tells necessary story

Kaminsky points out that handling an influx of immigrants and asylum-seekers is as simple as calling in some reinforcements.

“We can have the U.N. come in — they have containers of housing school supplies and medical centers that can be set up every overnight,” she described. “If you don’t like the U.N., we could call in the Army Corps of Engineers or FEMA to do pretty much the same job. This is truly not a technical problem.”

This is something the U.S. does when responding to everything from hurricanes to wildfires. When responding to situations like that, there predetermined processes that make it so things run quickly and efficiently.

With that in mind, treating this more like a natural disaster logistically could provide some much-needed solutions for an escalating crisis.

“Clearly there’s not a natural disaster, in this case; it’s a sort of political crisis going on that’s driving this particular migration. But the end result is the same — we’ve got people who need housing,” Kaminsky said.

The exact logistics of these fixes require a multi-pronged approach. That means calling in a variety of experts who are both experienced and properly equipped to handle high volumes of people in need of basic services.

“We should be sending in disaster response teams that are able to take care of the situation,” Kaminsky said. “Of course we need social workers. For things like physical infrastructure, housing, water, sanitation, all of that, send in the engineers of whatever political stripe you want — that’s a problem that we can fix.”

Together, that creates a holistic solution that addresses everything from the conditions immigrants are kept in, to ensuring that they’re not being detained almost indefinitely.

Whether that’s actually what happens in the near future remains to be seen, but at least for now, there are people ready to provide answers — they simply need to be tagged in.

Candy Mike and Todd

guns, assault weapons, gun, 1639, 1639 gun initiative, gun tax...
Mike Lewis

Mike: We should not restrict guns but their owners are different story

If you are a commercial pilot or general contractor likely you understand the value of licensing; So why not license gun owners?
3 years ago
snow day...
MyNorthwest Staff

What’s better for kids: a school snow day or a two-hour delay?

The recent snow fall stirred up a debate: What's better for kids, a snow day or two-hour delay?
3 years ago
shoveling snow...
MyNorthwest Staff

Candy: Everyone should shovel snow as a chore

Shoveling snow is a unique experience here in the Pacific Northwest. Here are five reasons everyone should shovel snow as a chore.
3 years ago
Todd Herman

The theft of parental rights in Washington state is unconscionable and immoral

Quoting a law passed in Democrat-controlled Washington state originally designed to make sure girls could get secret abortions, insurance companies have been writing to parents informing them they no longer have any rights to be involved in crucial, life-altering decisions their kids want to make.
3 years ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Guilt tipping has got to stop

We are seeing tipping pop up in unusual places. I've seen new tip lines at a craft store, clothing store, and a 7-11 in the last few months.
3 years ago
Space Needle fireworks, New Year's Eve, seattle baby...
MyNorthwest Staff

Tell me I’m wrong: Everyone should have a New Year’s resolution

What is preventing us from reaching our fitness goals the rest of the year? KIRO Radio's Candy Harper weighs in.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
UW professor: Crisis at border ‘a problem that we can fix’