Come Together: balancing illegal immigration and morals

March 10, 2011
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Gun shots are heard breaking the silence of the tense atmosphere looming over the border; both Americans and Mexicans look up because they know that someone else has died in the hands of a gun.
Danger on the border lurks everywhere and comes in all forms which can cause harm to anyone that happens to get in the way. The crossing of many illegal immigrants over the United States and Mexico’s shared border has caused the border to look drastically different then it once did. Also the relations of the United States and Mexico have altered vastly causing different proposals and efforts on immigration. A pressing issue has emerged in the United States and in its relationship with Mexico.

On the other hand America has, is, and always will stand for freedom, and the light of the shining moon in many aspiring Americans eyes. Should America always be the light for everyone, or just for a certain amount of people, or is it Americas right to always help others even if there maybe dire consequences?
Illegal immigration has been a problem for a very long time but we are now starting to see the effects of it more prominently. The border of U.S. and Mexico is hostile, many Mexicans are trying to leave for America and many border patrol agents are trying to catch them, which constantly transforms into a game of cat and mouse. One ugly, glaring problem happens to be one of the most recent, the drug cartels. They account for most of the brutal death on the border, the increase in drug trafficking, human trafficking, and they make towns along the U.S. and Mexico border dreadfully unsafe. Illegal immigration should in reality be prevented and stopped but the American government should attempt to help in aiding/pushing the Mexican government to help their people, and rid of prominent drug cartels and organized crime, which causes the deaths of many Americans and Mexicans of all ages.
Bordering another country you have not ever necessarily agreed with can be a trying task. Safety and seclusion of the border will take both, Mexico and The United States of America’s support. The “2,000 miles [of border] from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas” is one of the largest in the world and will take much needed ‘team work’ from both nations to help patrol (Williamson 133). The need for this collaboration has begun but came to a slow stop when Mexican Drug Cartels began to lash out at the Mexican people, The United States forces and civilians. The border thus became increasingly dangerous and more and more people were dying.
In a perfect world illegal immigration would not be necessary, but we do not live in a world even close to perfect so the issue of immigration challenges the greatest of intellects. The issues can be brought up through morals or through the sheer facts. America would love to fulfill the destiny of the “city upon a hill” status and aid and help all who are less fortunate then us but unfortunately we are not Mount Olympus or Atlantis and just cannot support all of the illegal aliens in the country.
With the rise of illegal immigrants came a rise in many ill-fated features that cause much of the disdain towards illegal aliens. America’s people are riding around with the bumper sticker ‘WE WANT ORDER ON OUR BORDER’ on the back of their vehicle illustrating the frustration toward the border. Also a campaign known as ‘Light Up The Border’, literally lights up the border with the headlights of cars to keep immigrants from crossing the border during the night. Both, the bumper sticker and the campaign show the anger of many people towards the border issue. But why is border crossing such a big problem? Tensions have dramatically increased and “drug violations shot up in 1990” (James25). The drugs still have continued to poor through the country at speedy rates. Drugs are in turn increasing the drug cartels and their power through influence. These are the people that are shooting U.S. Border Forces and harmless Mexicans. Also immigrants are costing America much money, “According to FAIR, illegal aliens cost American taxpayers $113 billion annually. Broken down, the direct cost to the federal government is about $29 billion, while the states pick up the remaining share of about $84 billion. Illegals cost each household in America, meaning the households of citizens who pay taxes, $1,117. The largest expense for illegals is educating their American-born children, some $52 billion” (Kirkwood). Costing America a great amount of money, illegal immigrants do not pay taxes and live off of everyone else. As shown in the quote people like you and I are paying over a thousand dollars for them per year. They do find cheap labor thus putting some money back into the economy, but they overcrowd emergency rooms and still thrive off of other Americans. A common counter argument is illegals do the jobs Americans will not do. According to this information this is not true, “In 1995, Donald Huddle of Rice University calculated that immigrants displaced 730,000 American workers annually, at a cost of $4.3 billion” (Kirkwood). Illegal immigrants do displace Americans form work because they are cheaper labor. This in turn causes the economy to worsen because citizens who lose their job are not buying and shopping the way they use to when they were employed. Not only do the factors stated above suggest the need for a more protected system of illegal immigration but also, crime has increased, the flow of illegal contraband has increased, and economic problems have increased. The government must take a stand against illegal immigration to protect the safety of Americans and Mexicans.

Unfortunately because of the new found diplomatic ties with Mexico, The United States will not speak up about the way Mexico is handling illegal immigration and drug cartels. In reality Mexico’s government has hardly done anything to cease the immigration or illegal contraband. Mexico is bursting with drug wars and organized crime, which flows into the border towns on the U.S side causing much fear and deaths. In Obama’s new plan the Secure Communities program, it is estimated that “The Department of Homeland Security claims the program has helped find 240,000 criminal illegal immigrants, 30,000 of whom have been deported” (Doherty). This suggests that the government is trying but they need to be trying harder with the Mexican government to stop the killings. Even though there are programs in place, some Americans believe that the government is not enforcing stricter laws because politicians do not want to lose the Hispanic vote another belief is that major companies that are tied with politicians use the cheap labor of immigrants, thus if the politicians support the stricter labor laws needed they will be ‘kicked to the curb’ by the company. The cartoon below asks who we should blame for illegal immigrants. This cartoon helps to illustrate many Americans feelings of the need to solve the pressing problem that has plagued America for most of its life. The people want answers, and their pleas are not being heard.

Fig one: political cartoon over illegal immigration.

America does stand for freedom and opportunity causing many illegal immigrants to flee here in search of anything better. The fight against illegal immigration cannot begin until everybody acknowledges the fact of how horrible the conditions in Mexico are. The Mexican people are suffering greatly from crime and the state of the mostly corrupt government. Is it right to let all of those people, who are willing to work and pay taxes to achieve something greater, fear for their lives in a country that borders ours? Some people believe that illegal immigration is not a problem and should be allowed because it keeps prices for products lower and gives immigrants a better life. We can barely grasp the difficulty of life in Mexico, some immigrants say, ‘“The worst thing you can do to me [in the U.S] would be an average day where I came from”’ (Williamson 149). They are in desperate need of salvation. People are suffering in Mexico, which borders our great nation, while I sit here typing on a DELL in a nice house and you sit in a pleasantly comfortable chair in a building reading this essay, and not fearing for your life because no one will come up to you and yell “give me your money” at any given time with a gun pointed straight at your temple. Even border patrol agents agree that if they were in the same position as the illegal immigrants from Mexico they would attempt to cross the border in a heartbeat to better their families’ condition. Many say, “[They] would do the same thing” (Williamson 149).

We are Americans. We certainly know the ‘American Dream’ and all of our morals that are appealing to illegal immigrants in search of something better, but we do not have the resources to care for all of the people that come here illegally. Becoming drowned in this problem throughout the years has not helped our relationship with Mexico. This in turn, has increased drug trafficking and life treating journeys to America by immigrants. We as a nation need to step up and urge the government to help Mexico and their people. Also we need to be aware of the border towns that violence is pouring into causing deaths of young civilians. When America and Mexico can be peaceful towards each other, the time will come when illegal immigration decreases and both countries use their resources to bring peace to the border. So I urge, make a change now.

Works Cited
Briscoe, Tom. “Who to Blame for Illegals”. Cartoon. SmallWorld BrickFish Social Media. 24 February
Doherty, Brian. "Aliens vs. Obama: immigration crackdown." Reason Nov. 2010: 14+. Student
Resource Center - Gold. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.
James, Daniel. Illegal Immigration from Mexico is a Serious Problem. Illegal Immigration.
William Barbour ed. San Diego, CA. Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1994. Print (25-31)
Kirkwood, Cort R. "Illegal aliens: economic consequences: as federal, state, and local
governments go broke, and unemployment remains dangerously high, it's time again to
count the costs of illegal immigrants." The New American 22 Nov. 2010: 18+. Student Resource Center - Gold. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.
Williamson, M. (1992). Border Crossing: Immigration and Exile. North of Here. New York, NY.

The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. (133, 144)

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