Constantly, people have brought up the issue of human rights in the fight to bring illegal immigrants into the United States as full citizens and equal members of society. Most try to humanize the problem to paint lawbreakers as the victims of tragic circumstances, which unfortunately most happen to be. Many illegal immigrants cross the borders into other countries looking for work, education, healthcare, and better lives for their families, which are all good things, but for every good reason for them coming, there’s an equally bad reason which forces us to expel them.
Pro-immigration activists often point to the positive nature of having large numbers of unskilled workers to do the menial jobs Americans don’t want to do, like working as sewers. However, what these activists avoid mentioning is America’s lack of jobs for Americans. With the economic downturn, Americans are willing to take almost any job they can get, and illegal immigrants taking even the dirtiest jobs has resulted in severe unemployment for American citizens. And contrary to popular belief, illegal immigrants don’t contribute very much to the economy, they send most of the money they earn back home to support family and relatives they left behind. And when 11 million people all send the bulk of their wages home, common sense dictates that most of that money isn’t coming back. Remember that it was American college and high school students who worked the fields for summer jobs before migrant workers during World War II, when all the men were called to battle and we needed the labor. Now it’s the opposite extreme; illegal immigrants cost the people over $113 billion a year, not counting additional costs. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to get some of that money back on my next tax return.
One of the chief arguments immigration activists is that illegal immigrants mostly come from poor countries with few jobs and only minimal healthcare if any at all. They claim immigration and opening the borders will be infinitely better in the United States. Even if this is true, there is the fact that many people from other countries, most notably West Africa at the moment, bring dangerous, often fatal diseases to our shores. The reason we have immigration laws is partially to screen for such diseases before allowing people from other countries into our population. Added is the fact that most illegal immigrants can’t afford healthcare coverage, so their medical costs end up being put on the individual States and the Federal Government, to the tune of $340 billion a year.
Many have speculated, because it’s been done before, that politicians and businessmen have tried to open the borders for the sole purpose of increasing the number of voters. If a certain political party succeeds in opening the border to a fresh wave of immigrants, those people naturally feel obligated, even safer, to vote for the party that helped them, ensuring that party’s dominance in the next elections. Indeed, the primary advocates for open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants has been the Democratic Party. Should they succeed, they will have millions of people, uneducated in the ways of American life, politics, or law, giving them a significant edge in the following elections because they feel obligated to help those who ‘saved’ them (in my opinion this is the worst kind of voter fraud, using the fears of desperate people to gain political favor).
There are a great many arguments about the human rights factor involved with illegal immigration: Whether or not to turn away a hungry family, whether or not to separate families, deport those who’ve been in the United States all their lives back over the border, and imprison criminals. Here is where the system gets tricky. For some, particularly those who were smuggled over the borders when they were two years old, they know more about America than their homelands; many follow our laws and go through life never knowing they are in violation of the law until they apply for a driver’s license or a credit card. Separating families is drastic because of the anchor-baby issue, which makes it difficult for courts to deport immigrants with children born in the United States; this issue needs to be solved quickly (I recommend the law be clarified so that a child must be born of at least one US Citizen in order to be counted as a Born Citizen of the United States). As for turning away hungry people…I know it sounds cruel, but that’s what we have to do, given the alternative, which is leaving our borders open.
For anyone who has seen Gangs of New York, they know what allowing massive numbers of immigrants into a country virtually unchecked can lead to. Immigrants don’t just bring strong arms and clever minds to our country, they also bring crime, culture, languages, and other sometimes-undesirable differences to our streets. Crime rates of risen considerably since illegal immigrants were allowed to openly cross the borders. Most don’t remember that the Roman Empire made the same mistake of opening its borders to outside nations, resulting in barbarian invasions, crime, and the eventual fall of the entire country. There is a distinct possibility history could repeat itself here in the United States.
But the final, most essential argument against illegal immigration is that they will never be equal, they never be treated as equals, and they will never understand the gift they’ve been given, a gift of home and purpose. They get a free pass just for walking over the border, for breaking into someone’s house and robbing them blind. And to Americans, who fought for their freedom, bled for it, and died for it, giving a get-out-of-jail-free-card to trespassers and thieves isn’t acceptable, regardless of the circumstances. More to the point, it’s an insult to those who went through the proper legal proceedings to become citizens over many long and hard years proving their worth to their new country.
Harsh as the reality of the situation is, for every argument encouraging unhindered immigration, there are just as many for enforcing the rules, however distasteful it may be. Plus, in a land where we already have hundreds of millions of people, we don’t have the resources or room to take in more. We’re already seeing the effects of over-population on the environment. More people means less for those already here, which isn’t fair to those with the birthright to this nation.