Migrants gather after crossing the United States border wall in Jacumba, Calif., on Jan. 10, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Whether we are discussing illegal or legal immigration, why do people choose to leave everything behind and move to America?
Illegal migrants barge in through the back or front door often without documents and undergo inadequate vetting for health or security risks. They ignore the fact that immigration is not a right but is a privilege that must be earned.
This disrespect for lawfulness has an adverse impact on California and the rest of the country, because it enables an unearned entitlement mindset. In a recent Epoch Times column, Laura Hollis noted that processing and settling illegal immigrants costs taxpayers around $200 billion
a year, according to a report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Many unlawful migrants claim asylum based on non-existent persecution, because they’ve been coached. Realistically, they seek better opportunities and generous social services funded by law-abiding taxpayers. If they break the law to enter the country, how many other laws are they willing to break in order to take a shortcut to permanent residency?
Decades ago, migrants traveled north primarily for job opportunities similar to the Bracero program
, but now too many embrace an entitlement mentality that is enabled by lawless border policies. Moreover, no one knows for certain how many “gotaways
” who evade Border Patrol are criminals or terrorists who spurn a work ethic.
However, many Americans remain in denial that unsustainable numbers of unlawful immigrants pose a threat to national sovereignty. They stubbornly claim that the border is secure. Perhaps this is what they want as they view hordes of migrants as future voters. They argue that these immigrants only want to work, but don’t unemployed Americans who seek employment want to work?
Another sizable percentage of illegal residents started out legally by applying for temporary student, tourist, or work visas. However, they have overstayed their visas, and the government has lost track of many of these immigrants who decided against returning to their country of origin. Some of these folks eventually become permanent residents and even apply for citizenship after a few years.
Human trafficking cartels reap huge profits from illegal immigration, while Americans suffer from an unwanted invasion into their cities and towns. All of this could have been avoided if the Biden administration would enforce immigration laws, complete the border wall, terminate chain migration, halt the catch-and-release policy, and hire more Border Patrol agents. It often appears that unlawful immigrants are afforded better treatment than citizens and legal immigrants.
Migrants listen to pre-recorded instructions in Spanish before entering their hotel as Gloria Gomez (top right) gives further instructions in Indio, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
What’s the point of coming to America if lawbreakers practice the same dysfunction that they allegedly left behind in authoritarian regimes and other developing nations? One wonders how many military age males have traveled all the way from Panama’s Darien Gap into the United States with the help of the gangsters who run this ungoverned space.
This lawless cesspool is teeming with organized crime, so it’s a given that bad actors from adversarial nations meet up on their journey north. It would be better if these immigrants stayed home, because they will undermine the traditional meaning of responsible liberty and the rule of law.
Moreover, many immigrants refuse to assimilate and instead remain in their own enclaves, don’t learn much English, or study the principles that have made America great. Flouting immigration laws is the first step toward subverting the cherished values of personal responsibility, respect for legal processes, and self-governance.
While Americans bear the brunt of unlawful migration, there are millions of folks who respect the orderly process of immigration. They apply to immigrate to seek freedom and opportunity and patiently wait their turn as the process unfolds. If they adhere to a lawful method, it already illustrates that they understand the concept of mutual respect despite the fact that most have resided in autocratic developing nations. These folks ought to have a streamlined process of immigration.
The legacy media is fond of spinning the narrative that conservatives oppose immigration, and this illegal/legal conflation is constantly repeated. Conservatives oppose illegal immigration, because it is a drain on hardworking taxpayers and poses a national health and security threat.
By contrast, conservatives often welcome an orderly process of legal immigration wherein applicants are vetted. More than a century ago, millions of immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, and they were screened. If they carried a disease or represented a risk, they were sent packing by ship back to their original departure ports. Unlawful folks apprehended at the Southern border ought to be turned back and sent home by bus, plane, or train.
Sensible immigration policies aren’t complex brain surgery. America can always benefit from immigrants who want to contribute to the American Dream and don’t want government handouts. Many legal immigrants have done their homework and brushed up on pertinent knowledge regarding the U.S. They import the positive aspects of their respective cultures into our country, and many start businesses or serve in the armed forces.
In this file photo, a California Highway Patrol officer explains to immigrants the process of getting a driver's license during an information session at the Mexican Consulate, in San Diego, Calif., on April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
If legal or unlawful immigrants end up in states such as California, Oregon, and Washington, they might be surprised to find that there is slight difference between their original home and these states. They will be met by escalating crime and homelessness in the major cities due to justice systems that favor the lawless over crime victims. They will experience persistent inflation, an excessive regulatory and tax environment, failing schools, business suppression, and dysfunctional energy policies.
Legal immigrants could end up disillusioned and head to other states, while unlawful immigrants might feel right at home. They latter might witness governors and mayors genuflecting on the altar of Marxism as they encourage a welfare mentality that punishes competition, merit, and productivity. The bottom line is that legal immigration bolsters America’s economic and national security while unlawful migration weakens our democratic republic.