Op-Ed: Honoring Immigration and National Security, Separately
Op-Ed: Honoring Immigration and National Security, Separately
March 19, 2019
Our recent southern border crisis has triggered mass hysteria regarding our current national security and immigration policies. As an immigrant myself and a person who studied national security at a top-rated criminal justice college, I feel comfortable shedding some light into the apparent confusion between the two.
Let’s start with the basics. Most of us know there are a few ways of entering the country lawfully. You can drive from the North or from the South, you can sail from the East or the West, or you can fly from almost anywhere. Trying to get in is not necessarily the issue. The issue is making sure the United States of America knows you are trying to get in and If everything is in order, this country will do an excellent job to make sure you succeed at it. Trust me- this is why my family came here and why people keep coming.
The main way to get into the country is with a Visa, albeit most are temporary. Most of these temp visas will fall into students, tourist, transit or business visas while Immigrant and Fiancé visas allow you to remain in the country indefinitely while you gain permanent residency or citizenship.
Immigrant visas are very popular because it grants US Citizens the power to petition family members to join them in the US. Other famous types of visa are the diversity, employment-based, adoption, religious, humanitarian and refugees’ visas. This is a manifestation that the US has been, is and will be a beacon for healthy immigration. It is important to say that in this world of bureaucracy, most people will have to wait in line, go through a background check, pay fees, and follow the laws and regulations pertaining to such. Visas allow nations to regulate many aspects of life; the economy, the social safety net, retirement funds and in some cases, national security.
National Security is not only how we preserve the integrity of this system but how we honor those who immigrated here to come for a better life. I remember taking my first international relations class and on day one we define the term “country”. It is simpler than you might think, “A community with boundaries”. A lot of liberal legislators are pushing to remove these “boundaries” by calling to remove ICE, to knock down borders and to stop regulating immigration. This is not only a slap in the face to all immigrants who come here lawfully, but it would remove the very essence what it means to be a country.
Boundaries not only create protection and order, but it gives a sense of stability that our home countries could simply not. As good people come and pursue their American Dream so do threats, violence, and terrorism. It is our job to influence the government in how they should carry out these duties and make sure that immigration policy and national security policy are both taken seriously and independently of each other. Our President put it best, “We will build a wall, but the wall will have a big beautiful door.” We simply cannot let isolated events like a breach on the southern border or misuse of the diversity visa color gray the area of immigration and national security.
Now that we covered the basics, let’s dig deep and get uncomfortable. Our current immigration system is not very efficient. A lot of people who overstay their visas are now undocumented and people who successfully break into the country are also undocumented. The status of “undocumented” makes both the alien and the government on edge. I have observed from different angles how this tension spills over to the populous, to the elected officials and now to our national policies. Another issue with our current chain-migration and the points-based system is that it deprives countries around the world of talent that otherwise would be theirs. If the US only takes the best, the wealthiest, the smartest, this creates a lack of leaders, academics and entrepreneurs in those countries. It is a strange humanitarian paradox that must be addressed.
On the topic of being humanitarian, countless cases of human, sex, drug, child and women trafficking occur every year at our southern border. If we have a vulnerable border, smugglers will take advantage of it. A strong border, better technology, and more personnel will surely be the most effective solution to this humanitarian crisis. It would effectively end the ability of the smugglers to be successful in selling their victims. Since smuggling through a port-of-entry is nearly impossible and tunnels becoming smaller and smaller, a strong border wall will effectively deter an overwhelming percentage of smugglers.
As you can see, both topics are quite complicated but truly within the grasp of average Americans. A capitalist nation thrives on the notion of empowering the consumer, the taxpayer, us. Running your home is not so different than running our country. We want a home where guests that are invited or announce themselves at the door feel welcomed and attended to while also setting up security measures to protect our family from any breach. We need to remember that Reagan treated immigrants with compassion and Bush treated terrorist with swift justice. Growing in Queens, the most ethnically diverse district in the US and living just a few kilometers from Ground Zero, President Trump has unprecedented insight and with our help, we can help him honor both Immigration and National Security, separately.
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About the Author:
Javi C. is a Dominican immigrant from The Bronx that has been advocating for veterans, immigrants and conservative Bronxites for the past six years. He earned a B.A. from John Jay College and often enjoys running and attending baseball games. You can follow his latest storytelling project on Instagram by following RightatthefØrk.