~María Hernández Feo
As the new year quickly surges on, I continue to ask myself a series of important questions that pertain to a crisis that has been taking place in the United States for the longest time. Last semester, in one of my Political Science courses, I was asked to debate the moral element that lies within immigration issues and to my surprise, the arguments I unraveled were quite unexpected. Never did I realize that I felt so strongly about this topic, but as a Puertorican living in an island that is vaguely recognized as a US territory, I felt a profound connection with this issue. Seeing as president Trump currently has the federal government on an ongoing shutdown while demanding funds for the construction of his infamous wall, citizens are facing a period of great financial uncertainty and the US population continues to become more fragmented than it already is. With all the systems and institutions available to the United States for the management of immigration, I cannot fathom how an enormous wall will keep Mexican immigrants permanently ostricized from US grounds. Furthermore, when president Trump insists that the wall will be financed by Mexico, he is making a deluded and highly ludicrous statement because no country will willingly pay to be separated from other territories.
There are two critical points of view that apply directly to the way people percieve immigration is the United States. First of all, if we look at the historial context of this strong nation, we know that the US is a place that has grown and thrived with the work of people who have migrated from different countries like Europe, Latin America, Asia, among others. This has made America a major economic power because a nation with employed citizens has space to create opportunities. If we really think about it, no human being leaves behind their homeland if he or she finds political and economic stability there. Many immigrants find it necessary to flee political corruption and financial stagnation in the hopes of arriving at a place where they can refurbish the damage they escaped . To deny these people the chance to start over and to contribute their skill and hard work to an evergrowing territory is the same as battering a wounded man further to the ground: it’s severely unjust and despicable, especially coming from a leader like president Trump who claims that his efforts will serve the purpose of protecting all citizens as a whole.
There are a series of laws that exist in order for immigrants to obtain US citizenship. I believe that the immigration process must be followed strictly without exception. Also, I realize that many undocumented immigrants reach the US and participate in criminal behaviors that put others in danger. However, when president Trump makes remarks about all Mexicans being drug traffickers and full fledged criminals he is falling into a highly generalized and ignorant mentality. There are people who ruin the image of others with their actions, but just because one immigrant decided to resort to criminality does not mean that the rest of the Mexican group (as well as immigrant groups from any other country) is undeserving of being granted the opportunity to live in and contribute to the United States, especially when they are following the immigration process.
Ultimately, as president Trump strives to create walls and barriers among all groups of people in the United States, he is chanting a disturbing message that states that the population of his country is not created equal and he is willingly dividing his nation into two main groups: worthy and unworthy, which in itself is a devastating way to govern. We all know that president Trump has had many outrageous ideas and ventures in his time in office and he hasn’t been shy about expressing his disdain towards certain racial and ethnic groups, but this whole wall business has to be by far his wildest expedition as president. I always thought of the United States as a culturally diverse nation, a place that prides itself in having all kinds of people, but as these political turmoils have spiraled, I have witnessed how this melting pot has twisted itself into a force of intolerance towards many groups. If by some tragic twist of fate he manages to put this building of a wall project in motion, I don’t want to imagine how the future of the United States will unfold.
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