Immigration is Easier than You Think

If you have not heard about the recent controversy surrounding immigration, then you probably are living under a rock.

While the coverage of this developing story has been intensive, it has been far too engrossed in the typical left versus right argument. The liberal argument says those people deserve help. Which is correct. To say we should provide it is also true.

But conservatives have a point that throwing money at a problem never does much to fix it. Herein lays the problem: both parties entertain ways of addressing the problem, liberals through aid and conservatives through deportation, but neither pays any attention to the cause.

Instead, they try to discredit one another. Liberals are equated with communist fanatics and conservatives are called devils. Neither is true, and bickering amongst ourselves while thousands of immigrants make a dangerous trek to our country is both counterproductive and downright cruel.

Addressing the problem is a good starting point. These people need our help and that is where the teach-a- man-to-fish adage comes into play.

Yes, we should provide aid to them, but to do so continuously without getting to the source of the problem will end in more aid. Despite talks of providing aid, even democrats are wary of the economic struggle that could come as a result of allowing an increased number of immigrants into the country. In this sense, there is finally some bipartisanship-in-theory.

My problem with this view is that current economic conditions are failing everyone. It is as if people are trying to climb aboard your sinking ship and instead of looking at the hole beneath your feet, you spend all your energy fighting off the “freeloaders.”

An economic system rooted in infinite growth, perpetual debt and rewards the top 1 to 2 percent while the world is ravaged is not worth saving. Economic and ideological digressions aside, here is something that might perk a conservative’s ear: this immigration fiasco is actually a chance at coveted economic growth.

The War on Drugs is a forty-year old living failure. Not only do we have the highest prison population in the world, many of whom are non-violent criminals, but we have incarcerated those “criminals” in an alarmingly racist manner. The legalization of drugs is its own movement, but merits some attention in the context of immigration.

A major factor contributing to the dangerous, crime-infested and child labor-intensive conditions of those countries is the illegal sale of drugs.

Our stance as a nation on those drugs has given rise to gangs that feed off those inhumane conditions.

As long as people walk the earth, there will be a market for drugs. Why do we continue to put the lives of immigrants and the lives of drug consumers in our own country, at risk? Instead of producing our own drugs to sell and treating the more serious ones as a public health issue rather than a criminal offense, we stick to the law rather than change it; enabling chemically dangerous, impure varieties of drugs to surface as well as the exploitation of children for their trafficking.

This needless attachment to a botched and rhetorically flawed “war” on drugs has fueled more violence and destruction than any Cheech-and-Chong fan ever has.

Everybody wants the same things: food, water and a happy existence. America has had the privilege of living in a bubble, but our actions are finally starting to catch up to us.

Our international diplomacy has not been diplomatic. Failed social policies continue to cause problems in surrounding nations. Patching up problems with Band-Aid politics is dancing around the problem.

Throw money at the problem and you will just have to throw more. Deport innocent people and let your conscience suffer. Both options are terrible.

All the superficial patriotism and tweeting #murica in the world is not going to change horrible policies. Stop with the act, grow up and realize that it is your responsibility to make the world a better place.

 

Harley Fredriksen

Environment Editor

hfred935@uwsp.edu

 

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