As sure as eggs is eggs, the mainstream American political media has stumbled upon another topic to obsess maniacally over: the border wall.
And once again, the American people find themselves caught in the back and forth of another largely State and media manufactured political Armageddon, something seen time and time again in the hectic past few years since Trump announced his presidential run.
In that “Oath to Partisanship” and drawing of political lines in the sand, we often lose track of the discussions and things that really matter. I’ll try to bring up some of those thoughts forward here in a more personal way.
Why do people really want a border wall?
It’s not so much that Americans are dying for a wall…. What Americans are dying for, sometimes quite literally, is a secure border and respected immigration policy. And if it’s about that logic, there’s probably a decent case for building a wall.
There are many reasons why people want a border wall, many of which I believe are based on principle. Be it about promoting safety, combating illicit human and drug trafficking, or simply honoring our immigration law, much of the hysteria seen surrounding this issue can be linked back to a couple of central themes:
1) Conservative desire to combat the widespread use of taxpayer funds for illegal immigrant aid,
2) Figuring out whether or not our job as the United States is to accept migrants and immigrants regardless of our laws, also at our own financial and operational burdens.
#2 is often where the conversation gets difficult. Now, when I say burden above, I don’t mean burden as if we don’t benefit greatly from immigrants. We do. Claiming that we don’t would be daft to say. What I mean is, for a country that truly does complain so much about budget issues, we sure have gotten involved in taking on a lot of the world’s problems.
There’s a lot of our own inner-city communities that we could help before jumping to aid illegal non-Americans. Many of our African American neighborhoods are living in poverty and dying, many of our minority communities could stand to benefit from the jobs and funding being allocated to migrant and sanctuary city immigrants.
The practice of keeping your own home in order and “tending to your own backyard,” however, often doesn’t make sense when you’re the one who’s got it good and is in the position to help others.
It’s also hard to say no when appeals to emotion are flying and you’re forced to consider the mothers, children, and authentically good men just trying to make it through and get the chance at a better life. Life sucks sometimes when you have to take the blinders off.
I get it, I truly do. I lived outside of the States until ’07 (when I moved to Dallas in sixth grade), much of which was in the Middle East. I have direct family hailing from and living in Guatemala. I was born in Thailand, lived in China, and have seen a lot of the world. That is why I’m very vocal about the fact that we in America have it very, very nice. In my opinion, the intersection of contemporary immigration policy and the current standard of American living begs many questions, the largest for me being:
When do we start worrying about preserving our quality of life as opposed to accommodating everybody else’s?
I know this can be seen as a primitive mindset, but we can’t support everybody who wants to move west, forever. And with the way other cultures are willing to impose themselves upon the first world, why should we?
There’s plenty of countries that best us when it comes to the strictness of their immigration policy. I’m not sure why we as a nation don’t recognize that illegal immigration impacts us as negatively, if not more so than legal immigration impacts us positively as a country.
Another thing: when do Americans start taking serious note of the current state of Europe and how immigration policy and cultural ideology plays into it? I’m not sure why people in the States think we are so immune to everything. But seriously….
Is it our job to take in every person that rings our doorbell?
I sadly think we can’t be that hero. And that’s quite honestly before discussing many of the specifics surrounding the border, be that actual cost, environmental impacts, and more.
In parting, let me take that “doorbell” imagery a bit further, as a logical test.
What if, when we are deciding what to do with the person at our front door, we realize that a bunch of people hopped our fence and have been hiding in the shed, using the community resources and amenities that others pay their fair share into in order to use?
Do we let those people stay, when they’re really just taking up the space we potentially could have offered the person who properly asked for permission? I’d be more inclined if they at least asked and tried to do things the right way.
Pro Tip: if you’d paid more attention when designing the fence around your house, maybe you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place.
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Links that made me think for this opinion piece:
- Here’s what you need to know about the border wall – https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/border-baja-california/sd-me-border-wall-primer-20190113-story.html
- World of walls: How 65 countries have erected fences on their borders – four times as many as when the Berlin Wall was toppled – as governments try to hold back the tide of migrants – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3205724/How-65-countries-erected-security-walls-borders.html
- Amid border-wall debate, third drug tunnel found in less than a month in Nogales – https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/border-issues/2019/01/11/third-drug-tunnel-one-month-found-nogales/2550685002/
- TV station accuses CNN of dropping appearance by reporter who says a border wall would work – https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/12/tv-station-accuses-cnn-dropping-appearance-by-reporter-who-says-border-wall-would-work/?utm_term=.d8de75c9fc36
- Your Opinions | Border wall debate persists with neither side giving ground – https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/sd-le-donald-trump-wall-history-shutdown-utak-20190110-story.html
- Informal Nature of Border Wall Request Roils Spending Debate – https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/informal-nature-of-border-wall-request-roils-spending-debate