Regarding Trump’s view of those wanting to come to America he seems to put them all into one big bowl and then plaster that bowl with a variety of labels. He likes calling them rapists, criminals, drug dealers, violent gang members, terrorists, animals, infestations of vermin or whatever demeaning term that should slither out of his forked tongue. . He does however, have a number of labels he likes to use. To Trump they are either rapists, criminals, drug dealers, terrorists, animals, or whatever demeaning label that falls off his slithering forked tongue. There does seem and exception. Trump likes very white people, preferably those from the nation of Norway. He much prefers Norwegians over people from “shit hole” countries.
The reality is that people seeking residence in America fall into at least four categories and each is very different from the others. The groupings include the following.
- Immigrant, a person who comes to permanently reside in a foreign country.
- Migrant, a worker who moves from place to place to do seasonal work. Migrants are usually given temporary visas for a specific purpose and once their job is over they are required to return to their home country.
- Asylum seeker, a person who has fled their homeland and is seeking protection from things such as government retribution or criminal violence.
- Illegal immigrant, a person who crosses a nation’s border without permission.
America’s immigration laws provide for people to become permanent and legal residents of the nation. They apply for a permanent residential visa and wait their turn. This is not an easy, inexpensive, or quick process. These people may have to pay for attorneys and wait for years for a visa. Often times the visa never arrives.
Over the years America has offered migrants special worker permits allowing migrants to cross our borders to do a specific job, such as helping with the agricultural harvest. Once the job is over their temporary visa expires and they are required to return home. The Bracero program that began during WII is an example.
Asylum seekers arrive at official border entrances and apply for protection from threats in their homeland. Their cases will be reviewed and decided by an immigration judge and entry granted if the judge agrees with the seeker’s claims. It needs said that seeking asylum is perfectly legal but is never guaranteed.
Illegal immigrants are just that, illegals. They swim the Rio Grande, craw through tunnels, arrive hidden in vehicles, possibly flown in under cover of darkness, or by boat along our long and unprotected coastlines. They are here illegally and the US government has never been able to stop it and probably never will. The volume of illegal immigration seems to be affected by economic and/or political conditions in their homelands.
One very expensive and highly controversial idea to stop illegal entry is to build a 1254 mile long spanning the entire Mexican-US border.
Following WWI the French build the Maginot Line; a 940 mile concrete and steel fortification from the Alps to the English Channel. The purpose was to prevent Germany from ever invading France again. American General George Patton called it a tribute to mankind’s stupidity. He knew full well that whatever man erects can be flown over, busted threw, tunneled under, or gone around. The same has been true of all our efforts along the Southern border and will stay true even if Trump gets his $25 billion and builds his wall. Walls cannot stop determined people. A better use of our money may be to reasons people risk everything to come to America.
As far as I’m concerned America has at least two things to do. First, quit lumping everyone under a single and often derogatory label. And second, stop throwing our national treasury into concrete and steel money pits.
A third thing would to finally quit using xenophobic fear of immigrants as a wedge to drive Americans apart, as a means of winning political support.
And for God’s sake, quit putting more bricks in the wall. The American poet, Robert Frost, spoke highly of neighbors mending walls. It was an opportunity to work together and talk about common issues. Frost’s walls made stronger friends, not more divided enemies.