“Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.”
I felt it necessary to begin with a poignant quote in this attempt to make sense of the century long travesty that has been America’s immigration policy .
Since it’s inception the United States has prided it’s self on welcoming the world’s downtrodden, I don’t feel the need to quote the Statue of Liberty’s
famous statement of acceptance. Those very prolific words have, not just presently but in many instances since the 1900’s, become extremely hollow.
The current catastrophe occuring at the border crossing between Southern Texas and Mexico stands as a despicable example of the cruelty, ineptitude and inhumane policy that is the U.S. governments issue of mass migration. Images of victims seeking refuge from their broken countries, while shut in cages, with children, as young as 7 years old, separated from their families, is an embarrassing portrait of the falsehood that America has stood by the motto of “Bring us your tired and poor.”
The issue of immigration is a popular point of contention during every Presidential campaign, and especially when candidates debate one another.
Democrats pretend to empathize with the suffering these human beings withstand on a daily basis, and promise reform, easier paths to citizenship and more humane conditions 7 points of entry. In reality these are just more lies to improve their chances of getting elected.
Republicans take the complete opposite approach, affirming tougher laws against border jumpers, stricter background checks and Donald Trumps’ infamous great wall idea.
So who is the worst in this case? The phony charlatan who uses such a sensitive, imperative problem simply to garner votes from a certain base, or the heartless ghoul who shows no sympathy towards his fellow human because they’re forced to follow an antiquated playbook of “America first”?
To me this translates as: “Immigrants were fine until their skin became just a bit too dark for our liking”.
Either way, it’s the poor souls, escaping a horrendously miserable situation, that suffer in the long run.
In 1929 the US Congress passed Section 1325, which criminalized illegal immigration for the first time. It’s aim was to decrease unlawful border crossings from Mexico(info courtesy of www.law.cornell.edu). The passage of this piece of legislation resulted in mass deportations. Prescott Hall, a prominent immigration advocate at the time, argued that such a clause would threaten the soul of the nation. He wrote “Immigration restriction, is a species of segregation on a large scale.”(info courtesy of Oxford University)
To think of the progression in nationalities, who en masse, journeyed first from Europe then eventually Asia and Central America the detestable prospect of racism towards incoming migrants has only worsened over time.
Fast forward 67 years to the administration of President Ronald Reagan, notorious for his insensitivity regarding people of color, with a little help from Congress passing the Immigration Reform and Control Act.
Experiencing the worst recession since the Great Depression, Mexicans were forced to head north to the United States in the hope of achieving a better life. Illegal immigration plummeted during this period, the outcome was for Mexican President Salinas del m to privatize national industry and deregulate the economy whilst foreshadowing the North American Trade Agreement. (info courtesy mexico.arizona.edu)
During his eight years as President, Ronald Reagan was renowned for supporting Right-wing factions in Central America. The most notorious example was his support for the Contras in their Civil War against the Leftist Sandinistas. Reagan’s penchance toward imperialism helped lead to the destruction of several Central American nations including: Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador to name a few.
January 17, 2017 President Donald Trump signed executive order 13767 to erect a border wall along the U.S. Mexico border using federal funding. 455 miles of wall were completed, 49 miles of which had no existing barriers. In August of 2020 former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and three others were arrested on federal charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud stemming from a “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign.
Trump’s comments about Mexico sending their “rapists”, as well as constant remarks regarding the violent, but barely visible, El Salvadorian gang MS-13 and other Central American criminal elements set a false narrative which incited trepidation, especially amongst the most fervent Trump supporters. At the height of the hysteria caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, Title 42 was implemented in March 2020 and has remained in effect throughout Joe Biden’s presidency.
Four years of Trumps xenophobic policies further pushed immigration reform into one of the most argumentative issues throughout the 2020 election cycle.
The present situation at the border is as dire as ever.
According to data released by the US Customs and border protection, 2.4 million migrants were arrested at Mexico’s southwestern border with Texas. In August 2022 Texas Governor Greg Abbott began bussing illegal migrants from holding facilities near points of entry to “sanctuary” cities including: New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C to name a few. That controversial decision sparked extreme backlash from Democrats and left wing activists, while gaining great praise from Republicans, and other anti immigration advocates all over the United States (Info courtesy of NPR.com).
Joe Biden’s administration has inexplicably done absolutely nothing of any substance to rectify this long lasting problem. Shamelessly catering to the recently lead Republican Congress.
Is there any solution or cause for any optimism regarding the current dumpster fire taking place at the Texas-Mexico border, [specifically near El Paso]?
Sadly, the rather obvious answer is a resounding no! As we are all aware, both major political parties in America are either too subservient to certain super PACs, lack the necessary insight and ability, or are simply apathetic to the plight of migrants escaping their countries of origins.
The US government, after a century of leaving these people’s home nations in tatters, still have no realistic ideas of how to repair these places, let alone fix the daily shit-show at the border.
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