Our country was founded by many people from across the world. Unfortunately, times have changed and The United States is no longer as receptive to immigrants as it used to be. There are thousands of immigrants who are protected legally by various policies and acts implemented by former Presidents. There are also thousands of immigrants that have no protection and are here illegally. Although immigrants are not being welcomed, this does not stop people from migrating to The United States for a better future. It is the government and Homeland Security’s job to keep our borders secure and they determine who is allowed to enter. During the Trump administration there has been recent attempts to stop legal and illegal immigration, has any of the movements been effective and is it humanitarian? The importance of a wall is to divide, give boundaries and to enclose a certain area.
The article “Immigration Under Trump: Policy Changes and the ongoing Search for Consensus,” written by The Congressional Digest. speaks about building a border to inhibit and protect The United States. “In the first month of his presidency, Trump called for the construction of a ‘physical wall along the southern border,’ an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents, the withholding of funds to ‘sanctuary cities”’ (“Immigration Under Trump,” 2). The thought of a physical wall along the southern border, sounds to me like an ultimate solution to impede people migrating to The United States. The problem with this is that it is financially and physically impossible to do, the cost being one of the biggest reasons. According to The New York Times, the estimated budget to build the wall is $70 billion dollars. Another leading reason is that the majority of the southern border that divides U.S.A, consists of mountains, rivers, major cities, and privately owned properties. Although a wall will prevent a great number of individuals from entering illegally this will not stop people who enter with visas who prolong their stay in The United States. Policies are usually placed to reinforce and clarify the standards expected but often times these policies can be irrational.
Congressional Digest communicates to us one of the policies placed this time concerning family separations; “In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled out a new ‘zero tolerance’ policy, whereby any adult ‘believed to have committed any crime, including illegal entry’” (“Immigration Under Trump,” 2). This might initially seem like this policy can possibly be effective, by intimidating parents and causing fear of possible separation amongst their children. This executive order was quickly reversed after a public uproar, regardless, the amount of people migrating to the U.S.A. have increased. The practice of separating children from their parents at the border, in my opinion is inhumane and cruel. Children are being traumatized and are incapable of defending and taking care of themselves which can impact them in the future. As a mother, I cannot fathom the thought of my 2-year-old being ripped from my arms, feeling nothing but impotence. There are many reasons why people bear harsh policies like “zero tolerance” to migrate to The United States.
Congressional Digest references in the article why people undergo the journey to America. “Immigrant advocates and humanitarian groups have vigorously protested the Administration’s policies, arguing that many of the apprehended families are fleeing gang violence and had no choice but to leave their countries” (“Immigration Under Trump,” 2). In my opinion, regardless of the various attempts the Trump administration makes, nothing will stop people from migrating to The United States. Immigrants face many dangers involving dehydration, rape, abduction, drowning, and even facing death on their journey to The United States. Despite these dangers, they still take the risk in hopes of seeking asylum for a better life. I have heard my own relatives mention that they prefer undergoing the journey to The U.S.A. because by not doing so they would end up dead regardless. The death threats they receive aren’t from dishonest deeds, but rather from micro-extortion, or as they described the “increase of rent.” they no longer could afford to live in peace. Congressional Digest brilliantly opens up the article with a beautiful reflection from an unknown source, allowing us to analyze, how easy it is to judge someone without attending to their story. “He who decides a case without hearing the other side.
Tho he decide justly, cannot be considered just” (“Immigration Under Trump,” 2). The topic of immigration can be controversial, but for those against an immigration reform can acquire to feel compassion by listening to their stories and analyzing what these individuals face. Our initial reaction as humans when encountering danger is to remove ourselves from these threatening situations. People leaving their countries are forced to flee persecution, violence, extreme poverty, natural disasters, and instability. Many only view the negative portion that immigration brings, such as, gang violence that has ascended in our neighborhoods. Living in The United States is a privilege and we are fortunate to not be in constant endangerment. It is alarming and concerning to see a large number of individuals migrating to The United States, forming a caravan. In the article “Political Borders,” Amy Davidson Sorkin informs us about a recent incident that occurred on the Tijuana border intimidating and attacking the caravan. “U.S. Border Patrol agents fired tear gas at a crowd of Central American migrants, as some tried to rush across the border from Tijuana, he boasted about the incident at a rally” (19). There isn’t another way to describe President Trump’s actions other than cruel and heartless. The way the administration has managed this matter is immoral. These individuals were not armed in order to justify their actions as self-defense.
Tear gas was thrown upon children, pregnant women, and elderly people causing many to faint. Using this non-lethal defense approach is effective, but it will never be acceptable and supported because it is inhumane! Sorkin also addresses the tactics used on asylum seekers to disturb and despair migrants. “A fair approach would begin with recognizing that a person seeking asylum has a right to be heard, as an individual, by immigration authorities. Trump seems to think that if he orders authorities to stop listening to the migrants’ stories they’ll just go away” (19). According to uscis.gov, those who seek asylum are entitled to the right of international protection and are allowed to stay in the U.S.A. while awaiting final court decision. Although every person seeking asylum has the right to be heard, the administration’s approach is to ignore the caravan by processing the minimum cases per day causing asylum seekers to get desperate and possibly return home. This method might be a more humanistic and effective approach than tear gassing these individuals. There are individuals in that caravan that do not have good intentions and that is why it is also important to verify and validate everyone’s asylum story.
Sorkin describes the disturbing conditions lived by the individuals migrating in the caravan and in the detention centers. “Conditions are worsening by nearly every measure: sanitation, illness, grief, frustration, and anger” (Sorkin 19). The conditions that these individuals live in San Ysidro and inside the detention centers are not the most desirable. The Cut posted an article showing that included a video giving a tour in one of their immigration detention center exposing how these individuals live. My heart breaks viewing these image, these individuals looked cramped in something that looks like a human cage, given what looks like aluminum paper as blankets. I have also personally heard stories of relatives that have been in these detention centers and they have said that they barely feed them, give them little or no water, they’re not given the ability to take a shower, nor brush their teeth or hair. If the person is lucky they will receive a mattress to sleep on. These are not conditions people should live in. In the article “Political Borders,” Sorkin describes Trump as a mad-scientist, fabricating bans and attacks in order to disturb immigrants in any way.
“The Republicans ended up with Trump’s mad-scientist formula for a Muslim ban and attacks on ‘anchor babies’” (20). This statement disappointments me, we have entered in an era where it is acceptable to discriminate and judge someone because of their race. According to an article from The Washington Post, an anchor baby refers to a foreign woman who arrives or becomes pregnant in The United States, the baby is born, and essentially takes advantage of all the benefits of being a U.S. citizen. The president’s intention is to take away citizenship to those whose parents are not citizens through birth. This belief system is absolutely nonsense, if this is the case the majority of U.S. citizens are “anchor babies” because there are very few individuals that have genuine American roots. Both of these ideologies are equally offensive. In the article “Trump’s New Travel Ban Blocks Migrants from Six Nations, Sparing Iraq” by The New York Times, Glen Thrush references to another policy placed, this time affecting various Muslim countries.
“President Trump signed an executive order on Monday blocking citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, the most significant hardening of immigration policy in generations” (1). This policy will drastically lower the amount of people we welcome in The United States, but individuals seeking safe haven will be hurt the most. After the administration’s various attempts to pass this policy, the order was blocked shortly after by federal appeals court to avoid uproar and rallies. All of this makes me appreciative our checks and balance system because it’s blocking and limiting the president’s authorities. As an American citizen seeing the Trump administration place policies that overtly discriminate against Muslims, immigrants and refugees is cruel and merciless when these individuals are just seeking safety. In order for The United States to be a safe country, there must be an extensive vetting system to determine whether an individual is suited to enter The United States. “Critics say that Mr. Trump’s vow to impose “extreme vetting” on migrants, especially those fleeing the war in Syria, disregards already stringent screening measures, and the fact that none of the recent terrorist attacks or mass shootings on American soil were perpetrated by people from the nations listed in the ban” (Thrush, 3). In my opinion, this ban makes no sense because none of 6 countries included in the band are involved in any terrorist attacks. To me, it seems the government is just blatantly discriminating against these individuals. While I believe that vetting to a certain extent is reasonable because you don’t want the wrong people entering The United States.
We are privileged that our children can play outside without worrying of active warfare going on. The administration needs to recognize that these are not terrorist or criminals, they are victims that we’ve created from our war and they need our help! There is a huge humanitarian problem linking to the refugee crisis. Glen Thrush states, “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people” (4). It is interesting how easy it can be to disguise the purpose to discriminate others by using the protection of our soldiers. This policy is effective because it is lowering the number of people entering The U.S.A., but their approach is immoral and instead of helping our soldiers this policy is actually affecting them.
Our soldiers risk their lives to make the U.S.A. safe every day, but they also have sources that help them in these countries. It is uncertain if these sources will still want to cooperate, after being informed about the travel ban. Discriminating individuals because of their race is repulsive and it’s cruel to deny aid to someone who is in danger, especially children. Many of these individuals are talented, skilled professionals and didn’t have intentions to leave their countries. Unfortunately, they don’t have another option and are forced, due to war and persecution. In the article “Trump’s New Travel Ban Blocks Migrants from Six Nations, Sparing Iraq,” Thrush expresses how hatred towards others transpires when we cannot feel compassion towards others and only judge their faults. “Margaret Huang, the executive director of Amnesty International U.S.A., said in a statement that the new order would, cause extreme fear and uncertainty for thousands of families by, once again, putting anti-Muslim hatred into policy”’ (2). It’s offensive that people partaking major roles in America discriminate towards other races, therefore, considering discrimination to be acceptable. My ideology is that if a person that is against this policy were to go through persecution, they too could feel compassion towards refugees. Recently on a trip El Salvador, I went through persecution. One day on my way to my grandparents, I noticed that two men on motorcycles with guns were conspicuously following our car. That moment was unexplainable, I remember praying to God and holding my sleeping son tight. The feeling of impotence, fear, followed by paranoia overwhelmed me to the point that once I got to my grandparents’ I grabbed my by bags and left to the airport. I do not wish this upon anyone and that is why I understand what these refugees go through.
People with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) have grown roots in America. This program was meant for temporary relief of natural disasters and wars, granting working permits for those undocumented. According to migrationpolicy.org an estimated total of 340,310 individuals benefit from TPS including people from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan. The Video “Their Status is Temporary. But to Salvadorans, The U.S. Is Home” by New York Times, T.P.S. beneficiaries express their concerns about the repercussions if the T.P.S. program would terminate. Omar Salinas mentions, “If they end the program they will probably be looking to deport us back to our country. If that ever happens, we will probably be trying to hide from immigration to stay here” (Castro). This issue is very personal to me because the individuals exposing their stories are my husband’s Uncle and Cousin. The Trump administration has already made the decision to put an end to this program, but according to uscis.gov, T.P.S. is pending for a further resolution that was implemented by a judicial court order. President Trump’s intentions to culminate this program has been ineffective until this date. If the program does officially terminate, individuals benefiting from TPS will try to hide and flee in order to not get deported back to their countries.
This reassures that once again the Trump administration policy will not be effective even after the end of the program. In the Article “Trump Administration Says that Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave,” Jordan portrays the damage done by the modifications being made to this immigration policy. Veronica Lagunas states, “We had hope that if we worked hard, paid our taxes and didn’t get in trouble we would be allowed to stay” (1). These individuals have purchased homes, created families, built businesses and most importantly paid taxes like all Americans do. In my opinion, this policy change is cruel because these are hardworking individuals and after contributing to America for many years they’re forced to leave a country that they have learned to live in and love. Giving TPS holders no choice, but to re-establish themselves back in their home countries that are unsecure, violent, and unfamiliar to them. In addition, this is breaking families apart, TPS holders are leaving behind children who are US citizens. All of this is unfair, inhumane, and cruel to both TPS beneficiaries and their loved ones. The Trump administration has made it more than clear that his intentions are to dismantle any protection for immigrants, unfortunately this time it will be affecting children in school. Lagunas references to DACA as another program that is being targeted. “But the Trump administration has been committed to reining in both legal and illegal immigration, most notably by ending protections for 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers” (Lagunas, 2).
DACA, stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrive to America as children. After the announcement of the end of the program, there have been many protests leading to federal judges challenging and appealing the termination of DACA. Dreamers are good individuals who are on track to being educated and obtaining primary roles in our society. Losing them could potentially affect the economy and America could lose out on the opportunity of having high educated individuals in our workforce. DACA beneficiaries are not criminals and go through various qualifications in order to receive this program, leaving these children and families without protection when they are doing nothing wrong is unmerciful. In the Article “Trump Administration Says that Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave,” Jordan quotes a T.P.S. holder expressing their worries going back to El Salvador. ‘“There is nothing to go back to in El Salvador,’ she said, speaking in Spanish. ‘The infrastructure may be better now, but the country is in no condition to receive us’” (4). There is nothing more honest and straightforward than this quote. The Immigration system is broken giving no leeway to those who are doing things legally in America. Many countries, not just El Salvador, are going through financial instability, violence and persecution.
This gives these individuals no other route than to once again find themselves migrating to America to be with their loved ones they are leaving behind. Although the countries that were given the TPS program are no longer crippled from the previous wars and natural disasters, this does not mean the countries stability is ready to receive all TPS recipients. The Trump administration recent approach to stop illegal and legal immigration for the most part has not been ineffective and inhumane, creating uproars and federal courts to block these policies placed by the administration. We need to see immigrants and refugees beyond viewing them as opportunist. Providing them with the opportunity to view themselves as skilled, talented, and inspirational individuals. By doing this we are allowing them to embrace themselves and not view themselves vulnerable victims, that way they can easily incorporate into any society including their own if given the opportunity to return to their country.