By “Heidi B.”
Illegal immigration has become a serious problem in the United States. Perhaps more than any other issue, the illegal immigration has become especially heated, as those on the Left demand open borders and no enforcement, seemingly incognizant of the fact that our laws are in place to protect the rights not only of American citizens, but of legal immigrants as well.
It’s not just happening here, it’s happening all over the entire world, but unless you live in an area where illegal immigration is rampant, it is hard to understand just how problematic this has become.
The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. Life did not originate here. The land was founded by people who migrated to this land and was taken over by people who came from other countries. For centuries, immigration was essential to the growth of this country, as it was badly underpopulated from the beginning of time. But that was a different era. Today’s United States has a population eleven times larger than it was during the Civil War, and one-hundred times larger than it was during the American Revolution. As our needs and costs change, so must out immigration policy. That which made sense in the 19th Century does not necessarily make sense today.
There are millions of immigrants who wish to come to America to be free to live their lives, work to provide for their families, practice their religion, speak freely, and share in all the wonderful things we have as Americans. And there are many good people here who care about the welfare of other human beings all over the world. You don’t have to be a humanitarian to feel this. And ending immigration altogether would deprive the country of the highly skilled immigrants that our industries need.
But open borders simply present too many problems to ignore. It’s one thing to be humanitarian, but it’s quite something else to pretend that having millions of people come here illegally does not present a horribly overwhelming burden in terms of economic, social, and political costs. We simply cannot be expected to provide everything for everyone, nor is it fair to constantly complain that the country that has always and continues to do the most to welcome and support the largest number of immigrants is somehow “anti-immigrant” because we cannot do it for everyone.
There are so many wonderful people yet to emigrate to our country, but if we continue to allow illegal immigration without some discretion and monitoring, how do we really stay safe? And how do we provide jobs for everyone who arrives? A hundred years ago we had a surplus of labor and a shortage of jobs. Now it’s the opposite, and automation threatens to reduce the number of unskilled jobs even further.
In general, immigration is a good thing, but it should be done legally. It is common knowledge that the process to become an American citizen is a very long one, and perhaps that should be streamlined. And the government must continue to protect the borders and enforce the current laws of immigration and citizenship. And to the extent that the newly arrived require help, perhaps the government, or charities, might consider establishing crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for them. It’s not right to give the impression that no one cares about the people of other countries, but it also doesn’t seem fair to force every hard-working American citizen to have to pay for the welfare of illegal immigrants either.