The border crisis has gotten out of hand

Lives are at stake when immigration is left unchecked.

Hannah Dilanchyan, Freelancer

As young adults, both of my parents crossed the Atlantic to a nation ripe with opportunity—the United States—with a blend of excitement, uncertainty, and hope. This nation is built on immigration, people who have come from all four corners of the world seeking a better life. It is not an easy journey, but through blood, sweat, and tears, it is possible. The legacy of my grandfather is proof: as a non-English speaking middle-aged immigrant, he worked seven days a week at a gas station, oftentimes working two jobs, to support his family.

BORDER CROSSINGS

Immigration can become complicated when it is done in a disorderly or illegal manner. Today, our nation’s borders are overrun with migrants. Most of them truly desire what all immigrants do—the chance for a new life in a free country. That is not a bad thing. However, there are laws in place to ensure order so there can be peace. The U.S. offers an abundance of options to enter legally, whether through family-based migration, asylum seeking, work or student visas, the lottery program and more. 

Right now, there is no peace in our southern borders. Border patrol agents are overwhelmed with the high numbers of undocumented crossings. Once individuals illegally cross into the states, there is no safe place for migrants to go. Pew Research says there have been nearly 100,000 people apprehended just in February alone, with numbers climbing every day. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico has placed the blame for the surge on the shoulders of President Joe Biden. 

Biden is nowhere to be found. He has not left the White House to witness the plight of both migrants and citizens, as well as those who work to protect the border. Rather, he has given the task to Vice President Kamala Harris, according to the BBC. She has yet to visit the border as well. There are innocent lives at stake—including children—and our nation’s leaders must prioritize advocating for legal, structural immigration. 

SOUTHERN BORDER TODAY

A heartbreaking Border Patrol video released by El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shows two young girls being dropped over the border wall by two smugglers. These children were left in the dark with nothing but a small sack, only to face the harsh desert alone. This is unjust and cruel. 

Up until this week the Biden administration closed the border to journalists, preventing them from reporting and sharing stories about what is happening there. The Biden administration finally allowed the press to access a Texas facility that is housing over 4,000 migrants. Journalists revealed that people, primarily children, are packed into pods, previously called “cages.” This is unsafe and unhealthy for the migrants, especially during a pandemic. More behind the scenes footage of the U.S.-Mexico border taken by Sen. Ted Cruz reveals that immigrants are left with nowhere to sleep, and even young children are forced to sleep on the floor. 

Creating an open border policy will not help migrants. Biden must enact stricter immigration laws so that migrants can come in an orderly fashion. According to Reuters, many migrants believe that Biden is allowing children in, but according to his interview on March 16, he says he is not. His lack of clarity is affecting many lives, as those who are watching the leader of the free world are waiting for his action.

As president, Biden must not play games with the lives of these migrants, who are coming here for safety and security, and he cannot deal unfairly with American citizens who need this structure. A poll conducted by The New York Post reveals that half of Americans disapprove of Biden’s immigration work so far, and that even Latino voters are unhappy with his policies. 

LEGAL IMMIGRATION

Legal immigration ensures that migrants come at a pace where the economy can absorb their impact. A sharp and sudden increase of undocumented immigrants would increase the wealth disparity. Legal immigration ensures that jobs are available for both citizens and immigrants as well as protection and safety for all when they arrive.

Advocating for legal immigration is compassionate and just. It helps people come to America in safety and ensures that they have equal opportunity to prosper as citizens—and it shows that you care about the country and its foreign neighbors. With the proper channels and methods, immigrants can come, feeling welcomed and valued, as they are set up for success in attaining their dreams. They just want a better life. 

Immigration is one of the best aspects of America, a view conservatives and liberals both share. We must come together to find a way to secure the border and help the thousands of people caught in between countries. 

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