The Southern Border Is Complicated, And Americans Don't Get It

The Southern Border Is Complicated, And Americans Don't Get It

"We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently and lawfully to become immigrants into this country." — Barack Obama


President Obama, in 2005, called for comprehensive border security, a topic that has remained at the forefront of political discourse for decades. Today, it looks like the only option we have is to build a wall along the southern border that spans 1,954 miles, a length that is not easily rationalized by the average American.

The wall would be anywhere from 30 to 55ft tall and will go as deep as 10ft. A project this size is costly, and there are a number of different estimates on how much the wall could cost. FOX News reports the wall, including materials, yearly maintenance, and labor, would cost $25 billion. Other sources estimate that the wall could cost up to $67 billion to complete.

Where would this money come from?

American taxpayers.

I am a Democrat. One that is involved in the community, one that has worked on a very contentious US Senate race, and one that loves to grapple with issues that relate to safety and homeland security. I am a fan of comprehensive border security because, like President Obama said when he was a senator, we simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States when we do not know who they are, but the wall is a ridiculous idea and a waste of taxpayers' money.

The immediate argument becomes, "Well, so many other countries across the world have walls that work," or "We need to keep criminals out of our country." I understand these arguments and I understand the fear that other citizens may have, but these arguments are invalid.

Other borders that have fences, walls, and/or militarized barriers do not fit the situation that we have on our Southern border. India and Pakistan, The Gaza Strip and Israel, Israel and The West Bank, Egypt and Gaza Strip, North and South Korea, and Hungary and Syria are a handful of examples of borders with walls that divide countries and people. However, their experiences include conflict, which is something that is vacant from our experience down South.

The US/ Mexico border is different. We are not at war with Mexico. We are not at war with any of the countries that migrants are coming from. The people that are coming here are escaping violence and famine because that is the only option they have. If they stay, they die. If they leave to come here, they may still die but it is worth the risk.

We forget that almost 50 years ago, US influence began destabilizing countries by protecting our economic interests, supporting rebel groups in civil wars, and waging the war on drugs. Since the US did not have any part in rebuilding any countries affected by our foreign policies, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras, amongst others, were left with organized crime and crumbling governments.

Refugees today are likely targets for gangs or cartels, are escaping sex slavery, or do not have the resources to stay in their home countries, but we label these human beings as criminals- Murderers, rapists, drug and human traffickers, but a study conducted by the CATO Institute found that Migrants were 25% less likely to be convicted of homicide than native-born Americans, 11.5% less likely to be convicted of sexual assault than native-born Americans, and 79% less likely to be convicted of larceny than native-born Americans.

I am not arguing for open borders. The United States does not have the infrastructure to support that spike in population, but an archaic solution to a very 21st-century problem is nonsensical. Instead of spending $30 Billion on a wall, let's spend $30 Billion on a system that helps people contribute to our economy. Instead of spending $30 Billion on a wall, let's spend $30 Billion on a policy that will rehabilitate the governments that we destroyed. Instead of spending $30 Billion on a wall, let's spend $30 Billion to help HUMAN BEINGS find opportunity in "the land of opportunity." Instead of shutting down the government over $5.7 Billion, let's spend $5.7 Billion to work across the aisle and find a solution that is in the best interest of the American people, our economy, and the people who are risking their lives to come here.

The narrative of the United States in the world should be one that reflects empathy and innovation. This should be a place where we welcome those who come peacefully and are willing to contribute to society in order to find a better life. The majority of those who are coming here seek a fresh start. Who are we to reject those who are looking for "The American Dream"?

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.


Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.

About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

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Asylum Laws And The Caravan

Opinion: The US is breaking international human rights laws by denying entrance to asylum seekers. Here's what I know.


The Trump administration and their base have been hyper-focused on our southern border. We all remember the recent 35 days shut down which was a result of the President of the United States not receiving what he wanted in terms of funding the wall between the United States and Mexico (which he continually promised Mexico would pay for on the campaign trail). The result of The Trump administration's views of the southern border and the people who cross it have been devastating for thousands in a caravan of migrants all of whom are seeking asylum in our country. A significant number of some 13,000 migrants are families, single parents, LGBT folk, and people with disabilities. Caravans such as these are expected to continue unless the situation from which they are fleeing is resolved.

The United States has been handling this situation atrociously and embarrassingly. Not only has President Trump made grossly inaccurate, racist, and xenophobic comments surrounding the issues, but the United States has also, by United Nations experts, been accused of breaking international law and anti-discrimination standards. International Law is not something that is taught in United States schools (at least it is extremely rare for this topic to be covered by curriculum); so allow me to shed some light on all of the human rights laws the United States is violating during the administrations handling of the migrants and asylum seekers.

The United Nations created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 in the wake of the second world war. Article 14(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that all citizens of the world have the right to seek and be granted asylum to refugees. A refugee is defined as a person who is unwilling or unable to return to their original country of origin due to fear of persecution surrounding race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The United States recognizes these international asylum laws and has its own federal laws surrounding seeking asylum. For the refugee to be granted asylum, they must establish their fear and then prove the basis behind their fear (Jews fleeing during the Holocaust as religious refugees are a very good example. The United States actually did turn away thousands of Jews, sending them back to their deaths.) Denying these people the right to pass through the United States to Canada or denying them the right to enter and apply for asylum is a violation of human rights law and of federal law, especially given that a refugee must be inside the country to apply for asylum. Additionally, the gassing of these refugees was a violation of human rights laws surrounding the proper treatment of refugees (and humans in general).

Why should the United States follow federal law? Because if the United States government does not abide by its own laws, why should its citizens? Why should the United States abide by international law? The United States actually pays for around 80% of the United Nations. In order to keep the United Nations as respected and as important as it should be, nations within it, especially the nation that pays for most of it, should abide by the rules, guidelines, and laws set forth by it.

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