Border Crisis Presents Major Issues for America- Part 1

No doubt about it, there is a humanitarian crisis at the United States’ southern border whether you like it or not. And the issue will continue to worsen until measures are taken by Congress, the President, and the States to stop the invasion of migrants from Central America.

Now before you call me a racist for opposing immigration, you should understand what almost every conservative will tell you (although I myself am not a conservative). America is a nation of immigrants. Immigration has made America what it is today. People who experienced hardship across the world came to this nation and integrated themselves into our society.

They worked hard and contributed to the greater good of our society. However, that no longer seems to be the case with immigration. Rather than entering the country through customs, and obtaining legal alien status, they simply walk across the Mexican-American border with near complete disregard for the law, or out of sheer ignorance.

There seems to be a complete misunderstanding coming from people who enter the United States illegally. Congressman Steve Stockman, a 13 year veteran border patrol agent himself, spoke with some of the children flooding over the border. In short, they said “Obama will take care of us.”

Others have expressed belief that once they came to the United States that they must be allowed to stay in the country. Both of these expressions from these people points to one thing about the United States: lawlessness.

The failure on the part of the Obama Administration to enforce existing immigration laws, and  the failure of Congress to hold the administration accountable has created an attitude of reckless license for those flooding in from Central America.

The fact that the law is not being enforced leaves us with several issues that will plague America for at least the next decade. Each is as difficult to solve as the other, and solutions can only be worked out once people stop blaming each other and start looking for those solutions.

There are at least four major issues that will plague America because of the lack of leadership and accountability. Those are economic, cultural and social, political, and national security.

1. Economic

There are two main areas where this immigration crisis will hit Americans the hardest. First, the continually increasing financial burden that will come from these illegals obtaining welfare benefits. A 2011 report from Judicial Watch revealed that most illegal immigrants collect some form of welfare benefits.

Census Bureau data reveals that most U.S. families headed by illegal immigrants use taxpayer-funded welfare programs on behalf of their American-born anchor babies.Even before the recession, immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, according to the extensive census data collected and analyzed by a nonpartisan Washington D.C. group dedicated to researching legal and illegal immigration in the U.S.

Now, the fact that people are looking to provide food for their families is not an evil in itself. Quite the contrary, it is only natural. But the evil in this case is that the welfare system, in its current manner of operation, encourages people to immigrate to the United States illegally. Once they arrive here, collecting such benefits is not very difficult.

It is simply unsustainable to have a welfare state and a border that allows such immigration to the point of invasion; simple fact of economics and numbers.  The American taxpayers can barely afford to subsidize those who really need financial assistance, let alone those who come here and take advantage of a broken and corrupt system.

Second, the jobs market is heavily affect by the surge in unskilled laborers who cross the border. In my native area of Long Island, New York, there are perhaps tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who live on the island. There are many areas where they congregate as day laborers, in hopes of being picked up by work trucks for a day’s work.

Migrant workers often take unskilled labor jobs away from Americans who would otherwise hold those positions.
Migrant workers often take unskilled labor jobs away from Americans who would otherwise hold those positions.

I once worked alongside a man who immigrated from El Salvador. He spoke very little English, but luckily I was able to resurrect my high school Spanish. I was able to, briefly, explain to him why their illegal crossing actually hurts us as Americans, especially my generation. He seemed surprised at that, and was even more surprised when I explained that the government’s immigration policy was a major issue with Millennial employment.

Even Senator Harry Reid admitted that the massive influx immigrants would over-burden the American people, as he wrote for the Los Angeles Times in 1994.

L.A. Times- “Taxpayers simply cannot continue to sustain new populations the size of San Diego or the state of Nevada every year. California is sending up the red flag that Washington should heed.Unprecedented demands are being placed on job markets, schools, hospitals, police, social safety nets, infrastructure and natural resources. Unlimited new arrivals pressuring these systems threaten to overwhelm them.”

While these are certainly hard-working people, it is the American people that suffer from the influx. However, the wound is also partially self-inflicted. At my job this summer, I often speak with some of our customers, many of whom own successful businesses. One stated that the Hispanics are taking over simply because “they want to work, and the kids don’t.”

Part of the problem lies in that many of today’s high school and college students just want to hang out, and don’t want to work. In turn, the Millennial unemployment rate has been reported at approximately 14.5% as of February, 2014, though the real unemployment rate is likely much higher.

This attitude turns off employers, who would rather hire hard-working Hispanics, despite the fact that many of them barely speak or comprehend English at a remedial level. This leads us into the second issue with the immigration crisis.

2. Cultural and Social

I don’t have to say it again, but I will for the hell of it. America is a nation of immigrants. We are the most diverse nation in the history of the world, and the most prosperous as well (I find that no coincidence).

In past immigration history, people came through Ellis Island at customs, and worked their way to resident status, and then on to citizenship. An incorporated part of that citizenship was naturalization, a word that 21st-century Americans rarely hear anymore.

Up through probably around the 1970’s or 1980’s, immigrants who came to America gradually adopted the customs and mores of the United States. However, Americans were willing to adopt bits and pieces of immigrants’ culture as their own. Just think, pizza, spaghetti (Chinese, not Italian despite popular myth), pork lo mein, potatoes, French wines, etc. have all become commonplace in American culture, while still retaining the uniqueness of their origin.

This is a beautiful thing, but the most important part of that conglomeration is the fact that those who brought said customs and traditions also adopted American culture as well, because they knew that without doing so, they would not survive a life in America.

While within their homes many often still spoke their native language, they tried to learn English, and insisted that their children learned to speak English and the adopt norms of American society.

Immigrants being processed at Ellis Island in New York.
Immigrants being processed at Ellis Island in New York.

This is not so in 21st-century America. Warning labels now come in who knows how many languages, Spanish being the most common. What this has done is to prevent naturalization for immigrants, simply allowing them to keep their own language without having to learn English, or become a part of the rest of society. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to ask people around my home area if they speak English; if not, I will accommodate them by speaking in Spanish when I can.

It was my choice to accommodate these people if they could not speak English. However, the rest of the American populace is unlikely to be able to take up a second language simply to accommodate the illegal immigrants living here. This creates division, and prevents American culture from continuing as one. Instead, two different cultures emerge. One that speaks English, and another that does not. At a time when America is so internally divided, the last thing we need is something else to divide people.

The political and national security issues will be discussed in the second half of this article.

 Follow Seth on Twitter: @sconnell1776
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