One of the biggest issues in modern day United States is the immigration conflict amongst the Southern border. From the chain- link partitioning areas that keep children in prison-like living situations, to seperating families at the increasingly secure border, to the most recent passage of President Trump’s Zero Tolerance Approach (which promotes the detainment of all illegal or possibly illegal individuals), it is quite obvious we need to enforce better immigration policies. We need laws that decrease rates of illegal immigration, but are also more humanitarian in nature. One of the better resolutions would be to provide more aid to the poor countries these illegal immigrants are fleeing from, whether it be economic or political.
The questions that need to be asked are: why are huge populations of people coming to the United States? Why are they leaving their home, and risking everything to try and make it into America? Why are they still doing so even though they know that without legal status, they are not invited to pursue the American Dream? Most the time, a single word can answer all these questions. It is because of desperation. It is because of necessity.
We cannot blame the immigrants for wanting to come to America, where myths stemming from almost a century ago told them America was the home of the brave and the land of the free. Anyone could be anything they wanted here, given that they put in the effort. From the infamous American Dream which promised economic opportunity, to the widespread acceptance of racial and religious freedom, there are luxuries in our country that people want for themselves. Luxuries can be defined in the most simple of things too. For example, to a common American, to work a low skilled job on mínimum wage and to live in a small, single bedroom apartment might be a lifestyle that’s the lowest of the low. That would be the poor man’s role. However, to an immigrant from a third world country who still needs to walk miles for clean wáter, have no indoor plumbing or electricity, and gets paid the equivalent of ten USD dollars for twelve hours of labor, moving to the United States and taking on this lifestyle would already be a luxury in their eyes. Another example could be a family living in a war zone, where the children fear bomb raids every night or are afraid they may be prosecuted by their religous preferences. Just the disappearance of these worries as they step into peace in America is reason enough to immigrate.
Hence from a humanitarian perspective, it should be understandable why massive numbers of foreigners immigrate. Even so, this definitely does not justify illegal immigration in itself. While in disagreedance with most of Trump’s immigration policies, he has a valid point in terms of the dangers in extreme population growth. Our population demographics have soared in the last decade, and the growing demand in the market for jobs and resources are not matched by supply. While our country is in a good economic state at the moment, in the long run, this is not sustainable. Unless we increase output or find more resources, we will quickly plunge into recession or depression, much like we did in 2008. But the answer is not to enforce stricter border control. This is because no matter the dangers, individuals with little or nothing to lose will still attempt to cross the border in search of a better life. The answers that should be proposed instead are increased aid to the countries that need it, and immigration policies that make obtaining US permanent residency or citizenship easier.
Right now, illegal immigration is a trend. When such a large group of people are already belittling the repercussions of crossing illegally, the next group of immigrants will only continute to illegally immigrate. They are protesting America’s immigration policies with their actions, and it is powerful. But if America and their USCIS department were to make citizenship and residency a less tedious process, more people would abide by the rules and less would immigrate illegally. One of the major ways we can enforce this is to help already existing illegals obtain a green card without separating them from families that are dependent on them. We should allow more leniency on waivers for provisional unlawful presence (i-601A), helping individuals who grew up with an American identity gain a legal American standing.
While the above is a good temporary solution, a more permanent one would be to provide aid to the countries that are in economic diasasters. For example, Venezuela’s economy is undergoing a massive recession in present day, with a gross domestic product growth of -6%. Argentina is also undergoing a currency crisis with high inflation rates, which is the beginning of another dangerous economic spiral. With countries in positions like those, of course there will be a need for massive immigration
The United States has already spent millions in their budget to enforce stricter border control. What if we were to reallocate these funds to help stabilize the economies of countries like Venzeula? What if we enriched those countries by sharing our technology and our knowledge so that these countries can provide their own human capital and reach higher efficiency? While some politicians may fear the rapid development and power of other countries, that’s only an issue in times of political tensión. In a more efficient world where individuals are happier and have higher living standards, there is less of a need for war. We would idealistically grow as individual nations, but perhaps we can also grow as a world.