By: Sami Alsaleh, Opinion Editor, The Pawprint
There are alot of misconceptions surrounding illegal immigration and what constitutes illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is simply when someone enters a country that isnt there own without permission from said country. If you are a refugee and you are allowed entry then that is fine, the key difference is people entering without permission.
Now that we have that cleared up, we can talk about a real issue in America which is people illegally entering the country. To understand this issue first ask yourself what is the duty of a government?
In my opinion it is to protect their citizens and their rights. Another question is why do we have laws? Also what are the consequences for a government if they allow people to break their laws and not be punished?
If a law is constantly being broken and nobody is enforcing it or punishing the criminals who break it, then what’s to stop more people from committing the crime?
Illegal immigration is a prime example of people breaking the law, not being punished and then other people seeing that as a weakness which then leads to even more illegal immigration. For example, if you come into the country illegally and give birth to a child, that child becomes American and shares the same rights as every other American in the country.
This has become an incentive for people to break the law and enter illegally so their children can become american citizens. Birthright citizenship where anyone born on US soil instantly becomes an american citizen is a law that needs to be changed because it is so easily exploited and people will illegally enter knowing that they can exploit this law.
The main issue is people illegally entering the country and exploiting the government but when people enter illegally they also bring increased crime rates. For context, non citizens which include everyone not a citizen account for 7% of the US population yet they account for 24% of all federal drug arrests, 25% of all federal property arrests and 28% of all federal fraud arrests. 25% of all drug arrests take place on the US-Mexico border where 47% of illegal immigrants are from.
When we look closer at the second largest state that borders Mexico which is Texas we see that between the years of 2011-2019, there were 225,000 convictions which included, 500 homicides, 23,954 assaults, just over 8,000 burglaries and 6,962 sexual assaults/sexual offenses.
Some American argue, like former President Trump, that these stats show that with increased illegal immigration comes increased crime and that is not to say that all illegal immigrants commit crimes to that extent and some come in search of a better life albeit illegally but the facts are the facts and when more people enter illegally there are more innocent people being harmed.
Why do some people support illegal immigration aside from the illegal immigrants themselves? I think that the people who support it come from a place of empathy and caring but are misguided.
They argue that illegal immigrants are just entering the country for a better life and to help their family but that logic could be used to excuse anything. I could rob a bank to help my family and better my life but that doesn’t make it acceptable.
I could sell drugs and that would better my life and my families but again that doesn’t make it acceptable. America is already the number one country in terms of most immigrants and the top refugee resettlement country so there are millions of people who go through the system legally and better their lives and do not take illegal shortcuts.
So what’s the solution? Firstly ending birthright citizenship so you must have an American parent in order to become an American. This would give less incentives to people entering illegally and they would have less to benefit from.
Secondly, we should expand and improve on border security and the border wall. Former ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) director Thomas Homan has said that “Every place they built a barrier, the illegal crossings decreased significantly”. So improving the barriers or walls on the border would in turn decrease the amount of people illegally crossing.
Thirdly, every person found to be in the country illegally is immediately deported and if found a second time they are jailed then deported as currently ICE only focuses on people who have committed additional crimes and not just illegal immigrants as a whole.
Lastly, every company found to be hiring an illegal immigrant faces a fine for each illegal immigrant that they hire. Without companies hiring illegal immigrants, there would be more work for Americans and less work for illegals which would reduce the number of reasons for people to enter illegally.