Immigration has been one of this year’s hot button topics. Immigration policy has sparked arguments and division amongst friends and family. Politicians and Presidential-hopefuls have gathered supporters or alienated crowds based on the way they believe immigrants and refugees should be treated. The country of Guatemala has actually banned Donald Trump based on his “racist” comments.
Most likely, you have strong views about immigration, as well. What do you think we should do about the stream of immigrant children who are now showing up at the Mexican border? Once again, children are coming to the border – many without a parent or adult – after making terribly dangerous journeys from their homes. Donald Trump wants to build a wall to keep them out. Others want to invest the GDP of small countries on heavier security measures, to keep them out. However, such proposals are a complete waste of our nation’s valuable resources (your tax dollars).
Before we talk about what to do regarding border security, we have to ask why people are trying to cross them in the first place. Many complain that immigrants come to this country for welfare and health care. Others support intensified border security because they fear “criminal” immigrants. In reality, most of the people showing up at the border simply need a safer place to live. So many of these people are innocent children, exiles who are escaping the violence in Central America.
If you question whether or not we should let such immigrants take refuge in the United States, let us ask you this: how patriotic are you? Do you believe in the message of the Statue of Liberty, perhaps the most American symbol we have? On this statue, the words of Emma Lazarus’ poem, New Colossus, are engraved:
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Our Statue of Liberty is the “Mother of Exiles.”
However, even if you believe we should keep exiles from crossing our border with Mexico, the solution is not to build a wall or increase security measures. The reason will probably surprise you. You see, immigrants and asylum-seekers who are currently arriving at our border are not trying to sneak into the country. They are not trying to evade Border Patrol. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Refugees and asylum-seekers at the Mexican border are actually seeking out and surrendering to Border Patrol. Based on American law, they believe they have a legal right to be here, and they are turning to our security guards for help.
In light of this reality, Donald Trump’s wall and other heavy-on-security proposals are unlikely to solve anything. The leaders who have proposed such ideas are out-of-touch with the current immigration landscape.
Instead of trying so hard and spending billions of dollars to keep asylum-seekers out, wouldn’t it be a better use of our resources to build up the economies and security of Central American nations? What if we invested in these countries in ways that create opportunities for the people who live there while also creating stronger trading partners for our country? What if we open ourselves up instead of closing ourselves off?
Please take some time to consider these facts and ideas. Let us know what you think.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know needs the help of an immigration attorney, please contact us today for your free consultation.