I have said my piece about why I think border security is necessary. I have a hard time agreeing with Donald Trump and his administration about anything. The scandals, the lies, the “fake news” has me at my wits end with the state of our nation and its politics. I feel that article is not enough to express my opinions about the entire controversy looming over immigration reform and border security, so I am writing a second article on the topic.
In my previous article about immigration and border security I touched a little bit about why I agree we need better security at the southern border, and why I agree with it. You can find that article here: https://mesofusionmedia.com/trumps-nation-immigration/ In this article, I’d like to touch on some finer points about why I like and dislike the Trump Era immigration rules, and clear up some confusion about terms and other common misconceptions.
One thing I touched on in the article above, is border security. Something that was mentioned in one of Trumps speeches was that the short reprieve from the government shut down would bring more negotiations, in hopes of settling the issue of the “Border wall,” with promise of a real reform bill later, that would hopefully stream line the immigration system.
We need real reform for immigrants. As a former legal student, I have explored the laws and have found a lot of things that could change. What I did agree with, was promise of online asylum applications for foreign nationals. Currently, a person must apply for asylum at a port of entry. For Mexican and South American Nationals, it is as simple as walking up to an agent or into an immigration office and putting in that application. We see that is not the case with increasing tension at the border, as there is not enough man power to take those applications or even to deal with the increasing numbers coming to apply. What I like about this idea is that other people from across the world would be able to easier apply for asylum and escape death. The current asylum regulations consider approval on ground of persecution for a few reasons, race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group. Poverty is not one of these reasons. This is a common mis-conception. We need for not only Mexican and South American people to be able to emigrate here, we need for people from Africa, the Middle east, places in Asia, and other people who are in real danger of being killed or harmed for these reasons. If we had online applications for asylum, or if they could apply at their local embassy or consular, it would make the entire process easier to access for everyone in the world.
I have several friends who are quite interested in immigration regulation, and I was having a chat about some of the legal caveats on the topic. My friend told me about a woman trying to escape an arranged marriage overseas and he was intent to help her but wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. Eventually he sent her to a refugee camp, where at one point these people almost drowned in a boat trying to make it across the black sea. She called him on the phone as the make shift boat sank, screaming “Oh my god we are drowning,” in clear plain English. Eventually, the people were rescued and safely entered that country. I’ll never forget that blood curdling scream the woman let out in that recording my friend sent to me and I’ll never forget the newspapers telling the body count for Mexicans trying to swim across the Falcon lake, or the solemn joking about fishing with my ex father in law, being careful not to pull up a body instead of a fish. So even then, for people coming to apply for asylum from anywhere, the journey is long and daunting. It doesn’t really matter if the recording was real or if it was a spoof, we do not want people killing themselves to come over just to get a declined application.
One thing I absolutely cannot stand about the Trump era rules is that a new statute has given border security agents at ports of entry the ability to immediately deport people applying for asylum. To me, that sounds like something straight from Hitler’s WW2. It should be clear, fair, and practiced in due process. This statute is contradictory. If they apply for asylum at a port of entry, but they can be deported immediately for doing so, that is not a good or real answer. They should have the chance to apply if that is why they have made the trip. Though, I do understand why Trump did that, I find it ethically wrong. That special power was given to INS agents in order to combat the growing number of foreigners entering our country at the southern border illegally. I still feel that it should be clarified, because there are other cases of asylum from others in the world who are trying desperately to come here, in fear of their lives.
Another thing I would like to clear up is that persecution comes from the government. It does not come from its people. If someone is being bullied or harassed by a gang or by a specific group of people, it is not considered persecution. Mexico is a good example, if a gang is after a person for one reason or another, that does not qualify them for asylum. What would qualify a person for asylum would be if the government had imprisoned someone for speaking out against a gang or violence. That is a clear base for an asylum. We welcome immigrants (even the republicans do) but, we do not have room or money to house everyone who would like to escape poverty in less developed countries. We also have limits on the number of immigrants we bring in each year, for different visas and reasons.
On another note, I do not think a border wall is the answer. A wall just creates a divide between our two countries, and I feel we should be allied with our neighboring countries. I think we should be doing our part to combat the drugs and gang violence. A wall is a band-aid for a much larger issue. I think it would be better to have more ports of entry, an online asylum application system, better refugee camps across the world would aide the whole process. A wall is just a barrier and has been proven to be a redundant idea by the many memes and political satire cartoons that depict ladders and tunnels going over and under it. This wall, along with capturing children and ripping them from their parents and placing them in detention camps is a crime against humanity, in my opinion. The children should be kept with their parents under any circumstances, and I hope that this comes to a grinding halt soon. The use of force on the caravans coming to the border that have women and children is also a crime against humanity, and this should also be stopped immediately. Instead of using force, we could add more immigration offices, consulates and embassies in areas where there are large numbers of people emigrating from. There are many more humane answers than building a wall and throwing tear gas bombs at people.
Real and radical reform to this system is what we need. We need better refugee camps worldwide, better ties with the United Nations Foundations, online anonymous systems, applications that can be taken at consular and embassies, and better treatment of current foreign nationals in detention camps. So, while I can agree that we need a more secure border, I disagree with the current practice and hope that better and more humane change can come soon.