The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Broken system threatens national security

3 min read

Throughout the history of our country, the U.S. has had a love-hate relationship with immigration.

Immigration fuels our population growth, provides workers for industry and brings new, bright minds to help spark new technology.

Nevertheless, mass immigration has always led to a period of ethnic rivalry and prejudice as a result of fighting for jobs, and more recently, issues in border security and drug prevention.

The system we use to regulate immigration, right now, is painfully incompetent.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, as many as 10.8 million illegal immigrants reside in the U.S. This is not a big political issue because that number has actually decreased from 2008, when they estimated that there were 11.6 million residing here.

This drop is primarily due to the economy. Fewer jobs mean less demand for immigrants, especially the kind everyone loves to hate.

This change of demographics is a false friend. Instead of helping make the system actually change by forcing Washington to finally address the issue, they can now back out and ignore the issue since it has drifted from voters’ fickle minds.

Despite this change in the political wind, one thing remains quite obvious—America needs immigration reform that works. The consequence of ignoring the current problems is a lesson we should have learned from the past during the Reagan administration and the Bush administration, when earnest attempts at reform were swept under the carpet for political reasons.

Illegal immigration currently raises several problems, and the biggest of them is that it is illegal.

No matter what protesters say, our government has voted on, and passed, bills that make living in the USA, without proper registration, against the law.

However unfair immigrants and locals think that is, resorting to solutions outside the law does not work out in the end, and it leaves illegal immigrants in a vulnerable position, enabling them to be exploited by others, outside the protection of the law.

Though it’s a long-term solution, working with the government to change the laws to be fairer will pan out to be the better solution over time.

The other big issue with illegal immigration is that it usually compromises border security, as illegal immigrants turn to transporters outside the law to shepherd them into the border states.
These  “Coyotes” also bring in drugs for South American cartels, fueling other illegal activity in the U.S.

Having holes in border security is worrisome for other reasons, too. Drugs and crime go hand in hand, so how can we check to make sure weapons aren’t being brought in as well with the drugs?

The bottom line is that we need to fix this. While it is impossible to stop every single illegal from entering, border security is of vital importance for our national security that we should not blow off.

Unlike what politicians tell you, real change that can bring real solutions to illegal immigration will be hard to find. There are legitimate concerns about making it easier to become a citizen, and there are also serious issues that need to be addressed on border security.

Mexico’s constant war with drug cartels has occasionally crossed the border, and that kind of violence is something that should never be tolerated in the U.S.

Failure to recognize this will only lead to more extreme solutions, like Arizona’s new state policy.