Last night on the News there was a story about an immigrant girl seeking asylum who had witnessed her brother being shot. It was in El Salvador. She rushed outside and crouched down by him. The killer was still there. Her brother moved and the killer shot him again. He pointed the gun at her, but then ran away without shooting. She is trying to get into the U.S. to live with a relative in Dallas, but is being detained in Mexico.
In another portion of the story, an aid worker reported talking to women with children who were afraid to return to their countries of origin. Border agents who interviewed them recorded that they were not afraid to go back. They lied. Fear is a trigger that, under international agreements, should cause further investigation.
The U.S. currently has a rapidly increasing number of unaccompanied children trying to cross the border with Mexico to seek asylum here. Of course we also have the mideastern refugees to consider. The world community recognizes two distinct types of refugees: economic and those fleeing from danger. I have very different opinions relating to these two different classifications.
I believe that economic refugees should only be given visitor status if they can contribute in some tangible way to the country they are attempting to enter. Just wanting to go someplace because the conditions there are better is not, in my view, sufficient. People owe it to their places of origin to try to make things better there. To clarify a bit, I do believe that migrant farm workers in the U.S. do not replace our workers, and so they definitely contribute. Americans tend not to take those jobs and, when they do, they are not as productive.
People who are fleeing from danger are an entirely different matter. The children coming in from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are generally fleeing gangs and drugs and certainly fit into this category. We have over three hundred million people in this country. We can absorb many at-risk refugees without greatly affecting our economy, culture or safety. We do have to thoroughly vet those desiring entry to the degree possible, but this should be done with compassion. If vetting is not possible because of current conditions or lack of available data, then we should lean heavily toward admission. After all, we have only had about 33 deaths per year that could be called terrorism, excluding 9-11 (2990 deaths), versus over 30,000 caused by gun violence. We accept the gun violence and over 100,000 accidental deaths per year. Why are we so afraid of immigrants?
I also think that anyone we do let into our country should have a pathway to citizenship. It’s only fair. They should certainly have to learn American English, share basic philosophies (unlike many of our existing citizens that neither know nor believe in our founding concepts), and show other needed knowledge.