The United States is a nation founded and started by groups of immigrants. Yet, to take a stance that anyone who immigrates to the U.S. for the purpose of seeking asylum is committing a crime and then, dehumanizing undocumented immigrants by calling them “illegal,” and “aliens,” is one that goes directly against the fabric of our nation and the intent of our founding fathers. At the time, we as new immigrant communities believed that all people are created equal and that all should be equally allowed to pursue life, liberty and justice.
The current situation with the detention centers at the Mexican border is a visible reflection of how we’ve forgotten who we are, how we started as a nation and what our thread and spirit is as a nation. With these detention centers having sub-human living conditions and displaying blatant disregard and neglect for these undocumented immigrants, we’re not really being American, because that’s not what being American means. Being American looks like closing these detention centers, immediately, and quickly transitioning these asylum seekers into an asylum track permanent residence and/or citizenship track program, an issue and action that shouldn’t be partisan at all. It’s common sense.
We started as a nation of immigrants and we will continue to exist for the support of all people, including immigrants, because we acknowledge our equality as well as the notion that no one soul is less than another.
We need to process the backlog of asylum cases more quickly by funding the judiciary to do so.
We can help transition undocumented immigrants into job training and other economic opportunities, which would already increase what they contribute to our nation anyway.
The rate of their contributions, in fields ranging from the arts to science to academia, is among the highest of any subpopulation, whether measured culturally, academically, or economically. Children born of immigrants are more likely to go to college and get a degree and less likely to live in poverty. As of 2016, it’s been shown that in fact, immigrants contributed around $2 trillion to our GDP. Additionally, rather than competing with U.S. workers, research has shown their skills tend to complement them.
Further, undocumented immigrants also contribute to Medicare and Social Security -- without reaping many of the benefits. As recently as 2010, research shows undocumented immigrants paid $13 billion into Social Security but only received $1 billion in services. And they paid over $35 billion more into Medicare than they withdrew between 2000 and 2011. They also pay over $11 billion a year in state and local taxes.
So, it’s only fair that we allow them equal access to healthcare, because it’s a basic human right. Immigrants contribute, and have always contributed, for the better in our economy and free market.
The current issue at the border isn’t the sudden influx of immigrants, it’s what we can do on a macro level in addressing the refugee situation in Latin America. We can address this by talking with leaders of those underlying and related countries to see what we can all do, be and work together towards, in establishing peace, justice and humanitarian care and relief for all. We can all work together as independent nations who exist each for the love of their people. For, if there’s no love, why would there be the need for government?
We need to be more strategic in addressing the drug cartels by having more developed, high level operations that address these drug cartels and not oppress masses of people and souls. This must all stop now.