Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Illegal Immigration’

Trump’s tantrums and his playing reality TV with the nation’s economy so he can get $5 billion to build a border wall (which he said Mexico was going to pay for) had me do just a bit of research.

I have always thought that walls don’t work. People tunnel under walls, and they fly over them. As a matter of fact, the majority of undocumented aliens in the United States arrived here by plane, came in through an airport, got their passport stamped, and then overstayed their visa.

Hordes at the border trying to cross are images made up by the Trump administration to scare us. Making immigrants out to be murderers and rapists are scare tactics. Immigrants in general are more productive and contribute more to society and the economy than native-born Americans.

Trump trying to state that “Democrats want open borders” is simply silly. Nobody wants open borders. Border laws must be enforced. Nobody will disagree with you on that. But spending $5 billion on a wall would take years, would be a waste of money, and would not make a difference in the end. So why do it?

Trump is also telling us that immigrants flooding into the United States is a problem for us, and that this is now worse than ever. That, too, is simply not true.

In fact, our undocumented population has dropped during the Obama years and has continued to drop between 2014 and 2018, beyond the chart above.

The methods that are in place are working and have been working. Trump is not doing any miracles. He is simply playing reality TV games with us and making us froth at the mouth, turning us against each other.

Here is a study on illegal immigration which provides some valuable facts:

US Undocumented Population Drops Below 11 Million in 2014, with Continued Declines in the Mexican Undocumented Population

It took me no more than 20 minutes of casual research to counter most of Trump’s “facts” about the terrible immigration problem we’re having in the south. Does he ever google some of these issues himself? Does he have staff that provides the facts to him if he can’t google? Does anybody advise the man?

The Congress should deny spending a single dollar on a border wall that makes no sense, has no purpose, and does not fix a problem we actually don’t have.

If the president is willing to cripple our economy over this, it’s his own doing and everyone knows it.

Read Full Post »

spare-parts

Here is a book I give four stars, because I cannot think of a book more relevant today.

It tells the true story of four undocumented Latino teenagers from Mexico in Carl Hayden Community High School in West Phoenix. In 2004, against all odds, they started a robotics team under the guidance of two extraordinary and inspiring teachers. They built an underwater robot (in the Arizona desert) and took it to the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were up against some of the most renowned engineering schools in the county, like MIT, funded by grants of thousands of dollars. Their robot was built out of spare parts, PVC pipe bought at Home Depot, glue, a briefcase, all stuff they found around the house and the garage. The robot wasn’t pretty. They called it Stinky, because the glue they used stunk.

Against all odds, they won.

Spare Parts tells the story of four kids, Oscar, Cristian, Luis, and Lorenzo, how they came to live in the United States, what brought them to Carl Hayden High School, what motivated them, and what happened to them after they created national headlines with their unexpected underdog success.

Spare Parts tells the story of undocumented aliens in the United States. Each of these kids was as American as you or I. They were brought to the country by their parents when they were infants, toddlers, or elementary school kids. Yes, they were born in Mexico, but they knew no reality than their lives in the barrios of Phoenix. They were Americans and they could not understand why they didn’t get the same opportunities their American-born friends got. They were marked.

Their crime was that their parents brought them into the country by sneaking through a hole in a fence somewhere in the desert. They were guilty, and they were illegal, because their parents committed a crime, the crime of trying to make better lives for themselves and their families.

I am not advocating that it’s right to slip through the fence on the border to improve your lives. We have laws, and they don’t permit this. But I am advocating that it is not right to punish children for the crimes of their parents. Yet, our laws do exactly that.

Read Spare Parts and get a view into the lives of four teenagers, all of whom found themselves in this extraordinary situation, where they were very smart, driven, dedicated, hard-working, willing to serve their country, but not permitted to do so and ostracized and criminalized for it. Read Spare Parts to understand the problem.

Not only did these four teenagers in 2004 create extraordinary success for themselves, they started a movement. Carl Hayden High School has gone on to win many competitions in robotics all over the country since then. More students at the school get engineering scholarships than all sports combined. The interest in engineering has gone through the roof, and the program is now renowned.

Spare Parts refers to Jeff Sessions and Barack Obama. Both have appearances in the book. In 2001, Senator Dick Durbin had introduced legislation to provide a path to citizenship for young immigrants who had been in the United States for at least five years and were attending college. That was the Development, Relief, and Education for Minors Act, the “DREAM Act.” The bill failed to even make it to a vote. In 2010, he tried again, using Oscar Vazquez, one of the four teenagers in Spare Parts, as an example. Senate Republicans commenced a filibuster, blocking the vote.

“This bill is a law that at its fundamental core is a reward for illegal activity.”

— Senator Jeff Sessions

The Senate needed 60 votes to break the filibuster. They only got 55.

Spare Parts was written and copyrighted in 2014. Enter Trump in 2017. Jeff Sessions, the Illustrious, is now our Attorney General. Guess what will happen to immigrants now? Donald Trump has signed orders to have Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents round up “illegals” and deport them, sometimes without due process. Trump has blatantly labeled Mexicans rapists and murderers. Trump is fomenting xenophobia. Trump is stirring up vigilantism. Trump is dividing the country.

Reading Spare Parts will give you insight into the plight of illegal immigrant children and their despair about finding their own place in a world where they can’t figure out where they belong. I challenge you to read this book, and then come to me and defend Trump’s current approach.

I challenge you!

Rating - Four Stars

 

 

Read Full Post »

border-wall

I do not believe in open borders. I actually agree with Trump’s sentiment that we are not a sovereign nation if our borders are open. We do have a problem with illegal immigration. It needs fixing. It has needed fixing for decades, and no Administration and no Congress has had the will and the perseverance to tackle the problem.

Here comes our new populist president and he trumpets a solution that seems really simple: We will build a wall!

I have several problems with that.

First, we already have a wall. I live within 50 miles of the border to Mexico and I have seen the wall many times over the years. It’s there now. It separates the countries in the populated areas. Where it stops there are vast deserts, natural walls all by themselves. Anybody who has hiked the desert, like I have, will know.

The wall is not the problem. The will to enforce the existing laws is the problem.

But even with that there are issues.

border-crossings Source: United States Border Patrol

Look at  the chart above. It shows that the number of attempted crossings has fallen precipitously in the Bush and Obama years. The number of non-Mexicans has actually gone up.

There is a problem with this chart, though, and I therefore consider it “misleading statistics.” It shows the number of apprehensions. Since those that get through can’t be counted, we have no statistics for them. Since I do not have counter information, I can only speculate. But I could argue that under Obama, we have not TRIED as hard to stop crossings, so we found less.

So I have two major points to make:

  1. Based on this data, and the chart above, it looks like we’re trying to build a wall when we least need it.
  2. Do not always believe what you see as statistics. It can be very misleading. I have no evidence to the contrary, but the above chart may actually prove the opposite of what it is trying to show, namely that we’re letting more people through.

I invite my reader to comment and provide counter evidence. I’d love to update this chart.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: