Contrary to popular belief, the politics of illegal versus legal immigration have been debated and controversial for decades, especially in the United States. But within the most recent administration, the promises Donald Trump made during his campaign regarding immigration regulation have intensified. Since the short-lived "Muslim ban" in January to the most recent statement from the president revealing that he wishes to terminate DACA--Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the debate only continues.
To answer the question of immigration, a frequent argument is that "America is founded on immigrants". This statement can be true in only some ways. In fact, America, or rather the continent of North America, was founded on the Native American tribes who settled here thousands of years before Columbus landed on its shores. From the Europeans not only came the brutal treatment of Native Americans but also the assimilation of European culture, values, and religion to the native soil. So, if you say, "America was built off of immigrants", you are truly saying, "America, generalized as the one founded by Columbus, was influenced solely by the immigration of European colonists."
Another argument for the immigration debate is, "We do not want to let terrorists into our country." I have never heard someone ever say they did want to let terrorists into any country. This argument is not only weak but also fails to understand that both sides of the argument actually agree with this statement. In rebuttal, we must also acknowledge that we, as a country, have experienced a multitude of acts of terror from within our borders. We know this too well when we remember the atrocities experienced in San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, and most recently in Charlottesville, Virginia. Extremism and radicalism are ideologies that are not affiliated with one specific nation or group of nations, religion, or culture. They can divert anyone at any given time.
A common misconception of this controversy is the difference between legal and illegal immigration. To support legal immigration is to support the total freedom of an individual or a group of people to enter into a country after legally obtaining permission and passing any background checks necessary to do so. On the other hand, illegal immigration is the admission into a country that bypasses the rules and regulations that a country requires for access. The misconception lies in the generalization that "If you are anti-illegal immigration, then you are anti-immigrant". This is simply not true. To be anti-illegal immigration means that you simply want the methods of entering a country to be fair to any person or group of people attempting to do so. On the other hand, to be "anti-immigrant" is the xenophobic ideology that immigrants are inferior to those who are native-born members of this country. And as I mentioned before, unless you are of Native American dissent, to be "anti-immigrant" is self-contradictory because you originate from ancestors who were immigrants.
I think that people who argue in the debate of immigration, namely politicians, fail to recognize the inherent agreements between both parties. First, we can agree that the current system for legal immigration does not work. It is too long, too strenuous, and it influences good people who wish to enter the United States rightfully to do it without a hassle and hop the borders. I think that all in all, a more effective system should be put into effect. With this new system, we can quickly review and evaluate those who wish to enter the United States with more technology that will research people's backgrounds and personal information. This will not only affect those who wish to enter this country but also those who have already infiltrated the country illegally. A mass deportation is not the answer. I want to help families who have been here for decades, who have trouble with obtaining a "green card" to be on the road to citizenship, to extending America's loving embrace to them.
After a more effective system is put in place, the borders should be regulated more. This is not to build walls, to shut out people who are suffering or enduring hardship in their other countries. But rather, this is to ensure the safety and security of our nation, a nation that is constantly attacked and subjugated to prejudice and hate from the outside world.
From this, we can create a country that welcomes, not shuns, immigrants, that serves to ensure legal citizenship to those here and who wish to come with an overall improvement of the current immigration system, and a new consensus that aims to protect the stability of our country.