Illegal immigration is one result of the failure of the world’s poorest countries to develop. People voting with their feet to get to richer countries and ahead in their lives has become a daunting and costly problem. Walls can keep people out but they cannot change the conditions that make them want to leave their countries.
What if we saw illegal immigrants as an opportunity rather than an intractable problem and created a kind of reverse Peace Corps, taking a percentage of these immigrants (people who risk their lives to leave their home are by definition motivated and energetic) training them and sending them back home, not to fend for themselves, but as agents of development, a Trojan horse force for good. Crazy idea? But here is how this might work.