Illegal immigration is an extremely controversial issue that mixes law and morals in order to be solved. This is a major question asked in the political presidential debates as well, especially the GOP debates, and each candidate has their own ideas about finding a solution to the problem. In the U.S., there are well over 11 million illegal immigrants, forty percent of which, are overstaying visas. Some candidates believe that all the illegal immigrants must be deported to their home countries, but many are fleeing from oppression or turmoil in their countries. In many Latin American countries, gangs rule the area and there is much crime and danger in their everyday lives. Many Latin American mothers believe it is unsafe to raise children in their country and many endure the travel over trains into Texas. What to be done about this issue has changed over the course of time, but as the world keeps changing, the laws must as well.
Latin American illegal immigration is the most prevalent, 81% of illegal immigrants are said to be from Latin American. The majority of these latin american people are fleeing gangs in their countries, or are in such poverty, that they must leave in order to thrive. These gangs illegally immigrate to southern states, meet up with other gang members, and form larger gangs. The United States then deports them back to their countries, not exactly solving the issue, but removing it from the U.S.. In their home countries, the gangs dangerously “control” certain areas. Robbery, drugs, and other horrible crimes are evident in some areas and some families feel the need to escape. In other countries, corrupt government is the issue such as Venezuela. Protests against the government led to three students dead, 70 injured, and 146 arrested on Feb 12, 2016, National Youth Day. Some say that their government leaves them without basic human necessities. Open Democracy states that gangs in Tegucigalpa, Honduras’ capital, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ economic capital, the homicide rate is 223 to 200k people. This is just a portion of how these corrupt governments affect the people. People are in a such desperate state that their either live in a corrupt society, or risk their lives trying to end it. Others seek education and opportunities for themselves and their children.
Travelling to the U.S. for some is a much more dangerous task to accomplish. The main way of illegal immigration is overstaying visas. Many on the other hand, experience a much more burdening way of travel; trains. Depending on how far the immigrants live, the train ride is the most severe part of the experience. Gangs rule the tops of the trains, de-railings, security checks, and accidents on the train are all some examples of what immigration is like for those who can’t afford a plane ticket, or any other means or travelling. Immigration to the United States is a dangerous option, but one that they are willing to do, even if it means risking their lives because some immigrate in such disparity that it is their only choice. Is it necessarily illegal or wrong to flee for your life? Crime is a word that is hard to put an exact definition to. The circumstances define the word more than words put to it can.
What should be done about illegal immigration has been a hesitant topic to firmly decide on a plan. Some possible solutions have been, to restrict immigration altogether, to allow everyone citizenship, and to stop the need for emmigration. Many republican candidates believe that restricting immigration is necessary, and the deportation of illegal immigrants is required. Donald Trump explains that building a wall over the U.S.- Mexican border will stop the illegal immigration from Central America, but that does not necessarily solve any issue. As mentioned earlier, overstaying visas are the main way people become illegal immigrants. Emmigrants will always find a way. That also arises the question if we should have a more lenient process for illegal immigrant’s path to legalization. It is not a crime to be living, it is not illegal to be living. The way society works now is part of the reason. To solve this issue, we must put our morality into the solution, not simply law. Everyone is deserving of a life that is filled with opportunities, and boundaries should not restrict that. Trying to get a better life for yourself or your loved ones is not a crime at all. It is basic human rights to not be impoverished, or oppressed by a government. The U.S. is a magnificent country that can afford to help the people in the greatest need, and share the american dream with who needs it most.
Mrs.Gonzalez (fake name given in order to protect this immigrant)
“Enrique’s Journey” by Sonia Nazario (Non fiction)