In the first GOP Primary debate of the 2016 Presidential Election cycle, Sen. Marco Rubio commented that immigration has been an issue of contention for the last 30 years, and if a solution isn’t found, it will continue to be an issue for the next 30 as well. It now appears that Rubio remains correct.
In the past month, President Trump’s State of the Union Address and the first government shutdown have had the issue of immigration as a focal point. Trump suggested a probable compromise that would include funding for a wall on the Southern border, along with a pathway to citizenship for most DACA recipients. The government shutdown was largely due to the fact that Democrats refused to support a budget that wouldn’t include funding for DACA. At a glance, I personally find Trump’s solution to be a reasonable compromise that I would support. Regarding the first government shutdown, I personally find the Democrats’ advocacy for a group smaller than 5 percent of the population to be rather asinine. Overall, I do believe that immigration is an issue that has been around far too long and a solution must be found.
One of the more prominent reasons as to why immigration remains a long-lasting issue is due to the dogmatic nature of the opposing sides. One side prefers to believe that less immigration is key to maintaining the identity of a nation lest it be destroyed; the other believes open borders are more humane and thus a necessity for any nation. The reality is that both of these ideas are wrong for their respective reasons.
Proponents of less immigration often argue that immigration can ruin the fabric of this nation. To this I often wonder what fabric they’re referring to, and how does immigration break it? If proponents mean to say that immigrants ruin the racial makeup of the country, then they would be stooping to the level of racists in the Jim Crow era. To believe that America is inherently a “white” nation is a rather elitist and discriminatory point of view. It’s elitist because it implies that the true fabric of this nation, including the values expressed in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, does not include anyone else because their skin is the wrong shade. It’s contradictory to the very idea that God-given rights apply to all humans and is arguably evil because to practice this idea in reality would result in a mass violation of freedoms and rights. This idea is also discriminatory because it requires a preconceived notion that anyone who isn’t white cannot influence this nation in a positive way. While it’s a matter of historic fact that white people did indeed establish this nation, that fact itself does not imply non-white people cannot do similar things to contribute to this nation.
On the other hand, proponents of less immigration are correct when they argue that not all immigrants can contribute equally to American society, thus some should not be allowed to enter. This is where facts on certain racial groups will be on their side and their arguments for border security seem reasonable.
Proponents of open borders argue that countries have a moral obligation to take in all immigrants and it would be inhumane to not do so. In a previous article, I argued that moral obligations can be proved if inaction on them results in an evil act. That said, it would be hard to argue that not taking in immigrants is an “evil” act. The desolate state of immigrants are not the result of most people, therefore countries do not need to take in immigrants as if it were their duty. Although, open border advocates hold some legitimacy with their underlying notion that people should be free to come to any nation. My belief that America is a free country extends to the ability of an immigrant to come here; immigrants should have the freedom to do so.
Overall, it’s maintained from my analysis of the two positions on immigration that immigration to the US should be free to those who are qualified and will contribute positively to American society. This would include funding for border security and ICE to deport all illegal immigrants who have broken the law. In addition, there should be a pathway to citizenship for the majority of illegal immigrants and the process to enter this country legally should be simplified. All in all, compromise can be found on this issue if Republicans and Democrats get their acts together.
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