By Margaret Brinson
With campaigns freshly finished and America’s eyes on the movements of the newly elected, hot-button issues are on everyone’s minds. Immigration is only one of the nation’s core debates, and what action the new mix of politicians in Congress will take on the issue is yet to be seen.
In an article titled “Economic Security or Border Security” published in the Huffington Post, Vicki Gass wrote, “More often than not, people are forced to leave their countries because of unemployment and economic insecurity in their communities. You would think this would resonate with the incoming Republicans to Congress whose rallying cry on the campaign trail was for more jobs. But will it?”
Historically, GOP policy has been hardline on boarder security, but the root causes of immigration are often ignored. People migrate in search of a brighter future. Just as Americans are experiencing high levels of unemployment these days, many more countries are dealing with much higher levels of joblessness and poverty.
Americans often misrepresent the journey of the migrant. I have often been exposed to dissenting, outspoken opinions of American-born U.S. citizens and have been told by a number of them that migrants come to the States, work a while, then return to their countries and “live like kings.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty International released a film series Nov. 8 called “The Invisibles” highlighting the plight of Mexican migrants. They cite rape, kidnapping, murder and thievery as common ailments on the journey to America.
Immigrants are not carefree.
The sparks that ignite migration need to be addressed. The migrant population in and around Haiti would not be so devastating today had the government been stable before the quakes of January, nearly a year ago now. In the same way, immigrants on their way to the States would not be coming in such numbers if the root causes of their wanting to move were given ear.
“People make the difficult decision to migrate to the United States because of … the absence of long-term public policies to address poverty in their home countries. If these root causes are not addressed, migrants will keep crossing the border no matter how many troops are sent or fences built,” Gass said.