Asylum seekers are individuals who flee from their country in search of a safe new home, many coming from crime-infested countries like Mexico and El Salvador.
Recently, the talk of having open borders has been the main point of political discourse, with the right-wing leaning towards more border control, whereas the left-wing advocating for an open border or an easier path to citizenship. Politicians use immigrants as another issue, another vote, another debate topic, and not as what they really are: humans. These are human lives, which we are dismissing because of politics.
Most recently, the caravan originating in San Pedro Sula, Honduras has been a frequent topic on the nightly news. There are thousands of immigrants on the road seeking asylum. Due to claims of an estimated 600 criminals in the caravans, there has been a lot of pushback for giving the asylum seekers a fair chance to get into a safe country. President Donald Trump is admired by his supporters for his staunch commitment to deporting illegal immigrants and cracking down on ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and their stand for deportations.
Calling people from Mexico derogatory terms like “rapists,” “bad hombres,” “animals” and “drug dealers” are just a few of the labels our name-calling President has used. Using illegal immigrants as a scare tactic and an opportunity for political gain is Trump’s forte. We are told by our President that if we build a wall, all of our problems could be solved, and the terrible, scary Mexicans won’t be able to get into our secure country.
Brainwashing people into being scared of the “outsiders,” or being afraid of “them” is much easier than being afraid of what is already in our country, what runs deep within our roots, “us.” The rising issue is about the border policy. While Trump issues funds to the border patrol and sends troops to defend the borders, others believe it would be much more effective to treat asylum seekers as humans and to give them the safety they seek. However, Trump’s motives are much more aggressive, using this escalating crisis to push for funding from his supporters for his border wall.
The Trump administration is spending at least $72 million to send troops to deal with the caravan and the flood of illegal immigrants. This results in excessive money being wasted at the border, money that is taken away from the immigration judges. There is a huge backlog of cases in immigration court which causes many immigrants to be stuck in detention centers with no hearing date in sight.
The issue of open borders is one that doesn’t seem to be able to be solved easily. It is a complex issue that has many people’s lives on the line. Having open borders would mean a free for all country. A country where anyone could come in; terrorists, drug dealers and hardened criminals. However, that doesn’t dismiss the peaceful asylum seekers who simply want a better life. After all, if this is the land of the free, why are we locking people up?