President Trump tweeted on June 17th, that ICE would soon start deporting “millions” of immigrants. Trump’s deportation push is expected to be carried out primarily in nine major cities. It is designed to demonstrate a dramatic display of resistance to illegal immigration. This plan was pushed back due to complaints from Democrats and members of ICE who raised concerns about it. However, for the remainder of the summer, this plan is expected to be carried out.
Trump’s massive deportation plan has sent shockwaves through immigrant communities. Many illegal immigrants now fear being forcibly removed from their homes, separated from their family members, and being returned unceremoniously to their home nations.
The scheduled increase in deportation along with reports of inhumane conditions at facilities for migrants has turned immigration into a hot-button political issue. Many immigrants at the detention centers along the border report not having showered for over 40 days. Disease is also said to be rampant at these centers where people are kept in overcrowded cages and often separated from family members.
The False Hopes of Illegal Immigrants
Many illegal immigrants flee to the United States hoping to seek out a better life in the country. It is true that a certain percentage of illegal immigrants do actually successfully evade ICE and create good lives in the country. In fact, it is estimated that there are around 10 million illegal immigrants living in the United States currently.
However, with border walls becoming more advanced, with deportations projected to increase significantly, and with conditions and personal injuries at the border seemingly becoming worse and worse, many illegal immigrants are finding that the American dream has become more like the American nightmare.
On the Statue of Liberty in New York City, there is a poem that reads,
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
It would seem that this famous American sentiment regarding immigrants has changed.
A Problem that Must be Solved
Despite the fact that many immigrants are wary of President Trump’s increasingly strict immigration policies, there are still very large amounts of migrants fleeing to the United States. Many of these migrants are coming from countries like Honduras, EL Salvador, and Guatemala. These migrants have chosen to risk dealing with deportation, detention facilities, and exhausting travels simply because the conditions in their home nations were so poor. Massive economic problems and gang violence has plagued these nations in recent years.
So, essentially, what is happening is that there are increasingly high numbers of people attempting to enter the United States illegally and simultaneously, deportations are increasing. 132,887 migrants were apprehended by Border Patrol while crossing the U.S. border illegally in May, 2019, alone.
If the planned ICE raids are successful, and if the agency really does round up and deport millions of people as it plans to, then the United States will be in a situation where migrants enter the country and are swept back out of it in a never-ending revolving door of illegal immigration and deportation.
This situation is problematic for both migrants and for the United States government. It is problematic for migrants because it means that their attempts and illegal immigration are far less likely to be successful. It is problematic for the U.S. government because it means that it will have to spend far more money on increasing border security, and on ICE raids and the deportation process.
Legal immigration is a good option for many migrants who wish to live in the United States. However, legal immigration is viewed to be highly complex and exclusive. The application process can take a lot of time and can be expensive for migrants who are poor and desperate. Also, legal immigration highly favors employees of companies who want them in the United States and direct family members of people who are already United States citizens.
Applying for asylum is an option for many immigrants, once they are on U.S. soil. However, in order to get approved for asylum, a candidate must be able to prove that they will face certain persecution if they return home. Up to 60 percent of migrants who apply for asylum are rejected and sent back home.
The immigration crisis is hitting a fever pitch as more and more immigrants are seeking entry into the United States and as the Trump administration cracks down harder and harder on illegal immigration. The laws of legal immigration may have to be changed to make it easier for people to come into the United States legally if we are to solve this problem. However, tighter border security, and improvements in migrants’ home nations could also help to resolve the illegal immigration issues in the United States.