Refugees, not illegal aliens

Over the past decade, the topic of securing our borders has come up time and time again and it always ends up the same way: politicians and pundits screaming over illegal aliens stealing our jobs and bringing drugs and violence with them over the border. Of course they’re going to gripe about how these illegals are a threat to our livelihood here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. and that we ought to seal them off so that we may continue our wondrous pursuit of the American Dream. How patriotic these men and women are to defend our homeland, which was violently stolen from the Native Americans, with their strong stand against invaders from the South!

It seems to me that there is disconnect from our humanity, as a society, when we bar the free movement of people simply because of their birthplace. To me, borders are illusory; to prohibit foreigners from coming here is a form of prejudice. It is reasonable to expect expats to learn the language(s) of the country they’re currently residing in – or plan to travel to – but to disallow people from entering another country simply because they don’t take a glorified history test is repugnant.

In the case of Mexico, many of the so-called “illegals” that venture over the border do so because it is necessary– this is not to say that there aren’t dangerous criminals crossing the border, but the vast majority of these criminals cross because of the drug trade, which is another issue all-together. The difficulty of and the danger involved in illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico are mind-blowing.

First, you have to find someone who will take you and you have to pay them with everything you have. This is a definite loss to someone who lives in poor conditions.

Next will be the long journey across the border, which usually involves crossing large bodies of water, fighting through life-threatening wildlife, being exposed to extreme temperatures and possibly being abused, robbed, raped or killed by other people.

Then there’s the possibility that you could be caught by the U.S. Border Patrol and sent right back to where you came from. Even if you managed to get across, there’s a very real probability of being enslaved to the Coyotes, human smugglers, who helped you get over the border.

Considering all of this, imagine how bad it must be at home for these people to want to even consider going through this hardship. At home they experience daily struggles against poverty, hunger, drug cartels and gangs. They fear for their lives every time they hear reports of dozens of severed heads appearing in their town squares – usually a message from the cartels. There is a very real war going on and these refugees are turned away because there is no political or economic interest in Mexico for the United States.

While the American public is distracted by reality shows, celebrity news, and political fear mongering, people are dying – but we can change that. We can petition our government to change their policies on immigration and border control. We can demand that these refugees be given asylum in our country. If we do not, we will be willfully turning our backs on fellow human beings and sanctioning their suffering and death.


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