The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

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Pushing government shutdown, thousands spill over US border

 

With news recently surfacing of US forces spraying tear gas to disperse migrant protestors, questions arise amidst the public about the Central American “caravans,” the intents of the migrants within, and our government’s unpredictable responses to the border being penetrated.  

The multi-billion-dollar border wall on which President Donald Trump built his campaign three years ago continues to raise questions due to its nonexistence as he approaches the halfway mark of his presidency. Although he claims to have spent $3.2 billion on the wall, and consistently reminds the press and public that its construction is underway, all that lies on the border is a replacement of older fencing and the same national guard that Presidents Bush and Obama employed for defense.  

A rumbling ten thousand fearful escapees have spilled over the US border in large groups known as caravans, which are fleeing from crime-infested Central American nations. Our government now has no way to turn a blind eye to the issues at hand, but what are our leaders doing to help these refugees? 

Asylum is the protection offered by a foreign government defending individuals subject to violence from being deported or further persecuted by the conditions from which they have escaped. Approved asylees may live and work in the United States and are eligible for benefits like Social Security and Medicaid (American Immigration Council). Despite its positive aspects, asylum is a prolonged process that spans over several years on its own, not to mention the backups it is facing due to the caravans’ magnitude.  

Prior to the caravan’s beginnings, individuals would regularly cross seeking work or opportunities for a better life, but now families and children travel alone fleeing from the virulent “Northern Triangle” of Central America where residents of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador face the wrath of powerful criminal organizations. 

Illegal border crossings from Mexico have seen a vast decrease, whereas those from the Northern Triangle have compensated that decline. Additionally, there has been a shift in the groups or persons crossing the border, as well as their intents. 

“For some Central Americans, the solution to this problem is hypervisibility: traveling out in the open, as part of a large group of people that can’t simply be grabbed or disappear” (Vox). 

When the caravan began to arrive in Mexico City, they were welcomed by the Mexican government, with access to community services, shelter, one athletic stadium even housed nearly 5,000 immigrants, and medical services. Many American lawyers tried to explain the difficult process of “seeking asylum” and achieving any citizenship status in America to groups of migrants at the stadium, but to no avail.  

While lawyers suggest applying for asylum in Mexico, a much easier process, most ignored these suggestions and moved on from Mexico City despite.  “They don’t give a damn if you are poor,” Joseph Hutz, an immigration lawyer, told a small group. “They don’t give a damn if you are a good person.” He goes on to say most would politely take his suggestions and move on anyway.  

President Donald Trump pressured the forces of our southern neighbor to detain migrants before they reached the Mexican-American border, at which Trump claims Mexico has been inadequate. Close to 100,000 Central Americans have been deported from Mexico over the past several years, and reports have surfaced of torture and disappearances as well.  

For those who have reached the United States, conditions are not far from Hutz’s description. Because of the immense data backup, many applicants have either been turned down and deported, or housed in detention centers until further notice (El Sol de Hidalgo).    

Clearly, the asylum process is long, delayed, and frustrating. It can take years for an application to be accepted, 150 days to be eligible for a job, another year to receive permanent residence, then four more to become a U.S. citizen. No wonder so many people come here illegally! No one would choose to put themselves through such a time-consuming, ineffective process.  

Simply stated, the processes of asylum and naturalization (citizenship) should be made more accessible so that these goals are realistic for immigrants. Escapees will enter our nation regardless of legality if it means safety from persecution, so the government should do itself a favor and gain taxpayers and persons able to be employed.  

In 2018, international immigrants represented one in six American workers–that’s 17 percent of the country’s work force (US Census Bureau). Thus, it is evident that the persons traveling to live in the United States are not coming to clog up our streets and take advantage of tax-funded benefits, but to pull their weight somewhere that they can earn something. Is that so wrong? 

 

The multi-billion-dollar border wall on which President Donald Trump built his campaign three years ago continues to raise questions due to its nonexistence as he approaches the halfway mark of his presidency. Although he claims to have spent $3.2 billion on the wall, and consistently reminds the press and public that its construction is underway, all that lies on the border is a replacement of older fencing and the same national guard that Presidents Bush and Obama employed for defense.  

A rumbling ten thousand fearful escapees have spilled over the US border in large groups known as caravans, which are fleeing from crime-infested Central American nations. Our government now has no way to turn a blind eye to the issues at hand, but what are our leaders doing to help these refugees? 

Asylum is the protection offered by a foreign government defending individuals subject to violence from being deported or further persecuted by the conditions from which they have escaped. Approved asylees may live and work in the United States and are eligible for benefits like Social Security and Medicaid (American Immigration Council). Despite its positive aspects, asylum is a prolonged process that spans over several years on its own, not to mention the backups it is facing due to the caravans’ magnitude.  

Prior to the caravan’s beginnings, individuals would regularly cross seeking work or opportunities for a better life, but now families and children travel alone fleeing from the virulent “Northern Triangle” of Central America where residents of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador face the wrath of powerful criminal organizations. 

Illegal border crossings from Mexico have seen a vast decrease, whereas those from the Northern Triangle have compensated that decline. Additionally, there has been a shift in the groups or persons crossing the border, as well as their intents. 

“For some Central Americans, the solution to this problem is hypervisibility: traveling out in the open, as part of a large group of people that can’t simply be grabbed or disappear” (Vox). 

When the caravan began to arrive in Mexico City, they were welcomed by the Mexican government, with access to community services, shelter, one athletic stadium even housed nearly 5,000 immigrants, and medical services. Many American lawyers tried to explain the difficult process of “seeking asylum” and achieving any citizenship status in America to groups of migrants at the stadium, but to no avail.  

While lawyers suggest applying for asylum in Mexico, a much easier process, most ignored these suggestions and moved on from Mexico City despite.  “They don’t give a damn if you are poor,” Joseph Hutz, an immigration lawyer, told a small group. “They don’t give a damn if you are a good person.” He goes on to say most would politely take his suggestions and move on anyway.  

President Donald Trump pressured the forces of our southern neighbor to detain migrants before they reached the Mexican-American border, at which Trump claims Mexico has been inadequate. Close to 100,000 Central Americans have been deported from Mexico over the past several years, and reports have surfaced of torture and disappearances as well.  

For those who have reached the United States, conditions are not far from Hutz’s description. Because of the immense data backup, many applicants have either been turned down and deported, or housed in detention centers until further notice (El Sol de Hidalgo).    

Clearly, the asylum process is long, delayed, and frustrating. It can take years for an application to be accepted, 150 days to be eligible for a job, another year to receive permanent residence, then four more to become a U.S. citizen. No wonder so many people come here illegally! No one would choose to put themselves through such a time-consuming, ineffective process.  

Simply stated, the processes of asylum and naturalization (citizenship) should be made more accessible so that these goals are realistic for immigrants. Escapees will enter our nation regardless of legality if it means safety from persecution, so the government should do itself a favor and gain taxpayers and persons able to be employed.  

In 2018, international immigrants represented one in six American workers–that’s 17 percent of the country’s work force (US Census Bureau). Thus, it is evident that the persons traveling to live in the United States are not coming to clog up our streets and take advantage of tax-funded benefits, but to pull their weight somewhere that they can earn something. Is that so wrong? 

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