Here's What You Need to Know About the Border Crisis
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Politics and Activism

Here's What You Need To Know About The Border Crisis

"No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land." - Warsan Shire

Frederik Trovatten at
Frederik Trovatten at

Undocumented immigrants are individuals who come into this country without the necessary papers to live here legally. According to PEW research, there were roughly 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the United States in 2016. Considering there are about 328 million people in the United States, there really aren't as many people here illegally as some may believe. Regardless, the presence of undocumented peoples has spurred important and sometimes heated conversations about immigration policy. Most recently, this has been a hot topic, because greater attention was given to family separation at the border. Some people defend this policy and others disagree with it; regardless, everyone's talking about it.

Some people express a strong dislike for the hardline immigration policies taking place during Donald Trump's presidency. Most recently, however, some people felt like the line was really crossed when people found out that a Trump policy caused more family separation at the border.

According to PolitiFact, Trump's 'zero tolerance' border policy had,

"the effect of separating parents from their children when they enter the country together, because parents are referred for prosecution and the children are placed in the custody of a sponsor, such as a relative or foster home, or held in a shelter."

Due to this, over 650 children were separated from their parents in May. If this is causing so much mayhem, then why does this "zero tolerance" policy exist? One Fox News article explains that it is in part due to worries overgrowth of the MS-13 gang. They explain that, according to the White House,

"the influx of unaccompanied minors coming across the U.S. border is being used by gangs, such as MS-13, to recruit new members. According to the White House, more than one-third of already arrested MS-13 members and associates came into the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor."

The Department of Homeland Security believes such policies could discourage people from pursuing an illegal journey across the Mexican border. Additionally, this policy has been supported, because some people have smuggled children across the border who were not their own, and this raises concerns about human trafficking.

Many people have come out against these policies including Melania Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush. Others, like Tomi Lahren and Jeff Sessions, have defended the policy. Ms. Lahren explained that if parents and children don't want to be separated, then they should not enter this country illegally.

Tomi Reporting Opinions on The Blaze

Even Donald Trump has come out against family separation. This has confused some individuals, since, after all, it's his own administration's policy.

Where do I stand? My thoughts are that this is a country of laws and that everyone's concerns about a dangerous border are valid. The border is a treacherous place where dangerous drug cartels have prospered. Regardless of this, however, I have noticed that people have dehumanized undocumented immigrants in immigration policy conversations, and it is sickening!

Trump Supporters Protesting

People try to get into this country because they cannot stand raising their kids in the corruption and violence of their home country. They are seeking a better life for their family, just as the pilgrims once did. Most individuals want to come into this country legally, but, when given wait times of over fifteen years, it can seem like too much of a risk to keep their families in their home country, so they take a chance at the treacherous border crossing.

Parents who pay others to take their children across the border do so because they see hope for their child in the United States. One of my favorite ways to put it when explaining immigration to people is best said in the words of Warsan Shire. This Somali-British poet explains that "no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land." This is the same mentality mothers and fathers who send their children across the U.S.-Mexican border have.

A Border Patrol agent stands on a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in South Texas brush country north of Laredo, Texas. (FILE – VOAnews)

This is not about bad parenting; this about wanting what is best for one's family. For this reason, I ask that you sympathetically consider families suffering at the border and that you please stop dehumanizing them. Please stop making fun of them; please stop mocking them or calling them child actors as Ann Coulter did.

It is a heartbreaking situation and though the United States cannot realistically just open its borders up and take care of every refugee that shows up at its door, it is crucial to know the reasons why people come into this country, illegally or not, and it is important to put yourself in their shoes.

According to CNN, there were over 25,000 homicides in Mexico last year; this is a 23% jump from 2016. If you were raising your family in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, what laws wouldn't you break to provide a better life for them? My hope is that after reading this you have more sympathy for the people coming into this country illegally. At least a little bit? If you don't feel bad at all for these individuals, consider some therapy. You might be a psychopath.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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