One of the more controversial issues of the current presidency is building a wall along the US-Mexico border. The scope of the rhetoric has decreased somewhat due to the speech about impeachment. But I still see it a lot on Facebook. Some who prefer it enthusiastically. And some who are vehemently against it. Personally, I have mixed feelings. But I find it sad that we can separate ourselves so much from each other. Though I think it’s actually a symptom of a much deeper rift.
Why build a wall?
I wonder how many people know that there is already a wall on a large part of this border. I know I didn’t know until a few years ago. When I drove to the border in Campo to hike north on the PCT, I was quite surprised to see a solid corrugated steel barrier snaking along the border. I don’t know who was responsible for this wall or when it opened. But it seems to have done so with little fanfare.
What is this wall for? Both the existing and the proposed walls? It is billed as a security measure. Prevent illegal entry into the United States from Mexico and further south. Now I am all about protecting our nation from criminal and illegal activities. And obviously part of it comes above or below the limit. But I would suspect that criminal traffic is only a small part of cross-border traffic.
Looking for a better life
It seems that most people enter the United States because they rightly or wrongly find that there are more and better ways of life in the United States than in their home country. They are desperately looking for a better life for themselves and their families. And it’s hard to blame them for wanting it.
And that, at least for me, makes the turmoil about illegal immigration rather discouraging. Too many people seem to care more about what it could cost if they were allowed to enter the country. to live, work and hopefully thrive. I am grateful that this was not always the case. Or most of us are still stuck in Europe, Africa or Asia under unfavorable circumstances. As a nation, we once greeted those who fled under the same conditions as those who are now being rejected.
Give me your tired, your poor, your crowded crowds longing to breathe freely, the miserable waste of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless people who were thrown by the storm, I lift my lamp next to the golden door!
Saying on the statue of liberty
Is there a solution?
I don’t know what the solution to this problem should be. But I find it difficult to see a bigger and better wall as an answer. Why not welcome the “huddled masses longing to breathe freedom”? Allow them to participate in this “great experiment of democracy” that we are now enjoying. Simplify the path to citizenship and allow your passion and drive to revitalize us as a nation.
We fear that our taxes will rise. We fear that English will not be the only spoken language. And we fear that the ethnic composition of the nation will change and leave us as a minority. There are so many reasons we could give to keep them out. But are these really justified fears? Wouldn’t we be better off as a people if we were willing to sacrifice a little in order to change the lives of a large number of people?
To put it bluntly, I do not advocate granting US citizenship rights to anyone who makes it into the country. I think some kind of review process is needed. But I think it is wrong to hide behind walls for fear of those on the other side.
Instead of building bigger walls, we should set our immigration policy and then allow those south of our borders to participate in the “American Dream” if they so choose.
The views expressed here come exclusively from me and do not necessarily reflect the views of another person, group or organization. While I believe that they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible person and subject to misunderstandings. Please do not hesitate to leave comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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