Breaking Down the Battle at the Border

Cassandra Castillo

More stories from Cassandra Castillo

THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BORDER BARRIER -- The division mark between the two neighboring countries in the Laredo International Bridge.

Cassandra Castillo

THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BORDER BARRIER — The division mark between the two neighboring countries in the Laredo International Bridge.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe,” a quote inscribed on the Statue of Liberty who once welcomed all immigrants worldwide with open arms. 

Times have changed, however, and laws have been put in place that have declined the admittance of immigrants. For example, President Donald Trump’s signed an executive order enacting a travel ban on several Middle Eastern countries, such as Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, in addition to North Korea and Venezuela. His view of a good American future is set on keeping immigrants out and building barriers between the US and foreign countries.

“People will always find a way in; a wall isn’t going to make much change. It will lessen the amount of immigrants coming here, but it won’t stop it. There will always be a way when trying to find shelter and safety for your family,” imparted Sophomore Karen Castillo. 

“I feel like if you’re already here it doesn’t really matter, especially if you’ve made a living here, but I believe immigrants should come here legally. My parents weren’t born here, but they arrived legally with all their papers,” stated David Rudek, a junior at Central.

Nevertheless, it is becoming harder for people applying for US residency to get their legal documents, with pending applications up by 35 percent at the end of 2017. Those with visas, a temporary passport for immigrants legally staying in the country for a specific amount of time, who are trying to renew their stay, may struggle to do so as well. Many believe that it may be a good idea to speed up the process for immigrants to become legal residents; it ends up helping the country.

“I think that allowing immigrants, already in the states,  to be U.S residents could be a big help to the economy, that just means more taxes and more opportunities,” said Glenn Herrera, a Central senior.

While those already in the country work to provide for their families, people outside are wanting to do the same. The number of immigrants wanting to enter the United States has decreased from the early 2000’s, but many are still escaping their home countries today to look for a better future.

The 2018 elections were heavily influenced by the caravan, the migration of many Latin American citizens hoping to get into the US. This made voters aware about immigration, especially after tear gas was fired on caravan members on November 25, 2018 when the US closed the border at Tijuana. Although after the elections ended, the caravan seemed to be forgotten about.

“I honestly forgotten about that, but I think it was way too cruel and unnecessary force. I’d like to know more about what happened, but from what I know I don’t see reason to tear gas them,” explained Junior Danae Wnuk.

“The president is breaking ties with neighboring countries; Mexico especially helps this country economically as well as socially. I know he wants to end violence and drug entrance into the U.S, but there are many ways to transport that in. I don’t think he understands that citizens from Latin American countries are escaping poverty and violence, so we look for better places to have a home in, even if it means finding another way,” stated Junior Javier Villanueva. “Countries like Mexico and Guatemala don’t have enough resources for people to have a stable life, so we immigrate to the U.S. to find that. Trump’s proposals to close the border are only breaking America’s economy and separating mothers and children.”

The wall is the main reason President Trump was elected into office; he seems to be making it his mission to make it possible.

On January 4, Trump declared that he would keep the government shutdown until he gets funds for the wall, however long it may take. He is willing to spend $25 billion, but has asked Congress for 5.7 billion dollars to start the thousand foot concrete wall. The democrats, however, will only offer $1.3 billion for current border security because they believe a wall is expensive and ineffective. Statistics show that a wall spanning across the southern border would only stop half of illegal immigration to the states, but that is not stopping the president from believing in it. The divided Congress has been shutdown for over two weeks and is not seeing an escape any time soon.

“I think the wall is an ‘okay’ idea for national protection, but if you go around telling people you’re going to make Mexico pay for it then say that it’s the Democrat’s fault, it’s just not right,” confessed Rudek.

“It’s crazy! People would be out of their jobs. However, if he ends up getting the wall, he could be re-elected,” recalled U.S History teacher, Shawn Seals.

The shutdown affects federal workers and agencies who now have to use saved up funds to keep running. Many employees, such Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, are forced to work without pay. Some areas are even being closed due to the lack of unpaid workers calling out.  

“People aren’t getting paid! Even my sister was worried about financial aid,” exclaimed Wnuk.

As of now the government has made no compromise, and people are still wondering what could happen with future laws dealing with immigration. Citizens will always have different political views, but the majority will always have a say in what happens with legislation. Most Central students may not be able to vote, but their opinions on important ideas such as immigration will always matter. It is vital that students stay up-to-date on current events since they directly affect citizens of the United States on a daily basis.