America’s identity is a set of principles. In our beginning, we cited our belief that every person has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Over the years, we have tweaked and repaired parts of our country to better fit these ideals. Slavery was abolished, women gained the right to vote and we ensured the humanity of every person who sets foot on American soil. We still aspire for a better future for all today, right?
No. The vast majority of the United States is descended from immigrants, willing or otherwise, yet we seem to so often forget this. Immigration is a perennial issue in politics, yet nothing ever seems to improve. When President Trump was “building the wall” in office, he spoke with hostility towards immigration and undocumented immigrants throughout the nation. He reduced legal immigration by 49% purely through presidential powers, and introduced bills that floundered in Congress and achieved nothing. This, however, is not a President Trump exclusive issue. The immigration issue has been simmering for decades, without resolution.
Countless presidents have talked tough about immigration, but no major reform has passed since 1986. It has been 36 years since any significant action has been taken on the border. 36 years of pressure building, and now the bubble has popped.
There were almost 2 million encounters with illegal immigrants by federal law enforcement over the past year, far more than the average of 1 million immigrants admitted legally. This surge has pushed border governors to the limits, and they now claim that the situation is growing out of their control. In order to draw attention to the border, Governors DeSantis of Florida, Abbott of Texas and Ducey of Arizona have begun sending buses full of migrants to “Sanctuary Cities” across the country, including Chicago, New York and Washington, DC.
Every one of these cities have declared humanitarian crises as a response to the buses.
To put the scale into perspective, the border town of Del Rio, Texas has a population of about 35,000 people. This town has been receiving tens of thousands of immigrants a month, who have little support or guidance other than a court date that could be weeks away. Chicago has a population of 2.7 million, Washington DC 700,000 and New York 7.8 million. Even New York City has a crisis where it’s considering a lawsuit regarding the arrival of 2,500 immigrants. One can only imagine how dire the situation is in border towns like Del Rio.
This is not an endorsement of the border buses or flights. Transporting vulnerable people hundreds of miles away under false pretenses is inhumane and should never be done. Nonetheless, the southern governors have made their point. The current system is failing everyone, but political lines have made it impossible to make progress.
Immigration is an issue central to the American way. If we continue to demonize those who wish to come to our country and have a better life, we will never be able to solve the problem we have created at the border. However, we can only move forward if we agree to put aside our differences and work together towards a better future for us all. I believe that the crisis at the