Issue 13 Borders and Immigration

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Our nation’s sovereignty should be of paramount importance to all of us, regardless of our political ideology. This is a hard concept to discuss with peace and love because it is veritably impossible to do without causing a feeling of exclusion. It requires that we, as a people, be willing to accept our collective privilege as Americans. Accepting privilege runs extremely counter to our current culture.

Our way of life is the envy of the world. We can worship freely. Participate in a theoretically free and open press. Change our gender. Attend university. Open a business. Vote for our leaders. Pursue our wildest dreams.

These are examples of the ideals the rest of the world aspires too. It makes our land the desired destination for the impoverished and downtrodden the world over.

That reality is heavy. It becomes that much harder to face that privilege when we are forced to accept that we simply cannot allow unlimited entrance to our borders.

Although immigrants and their diversity of thought have played, and continue to play, a critical role in our nation’s success, it is not a tide that can continue unabated and forever.

There is a hard, mathematical limitation to our ability to open our borders, regardless of how we feel about it. Here it is: more than half of the World’s population lives in extreme poverty.  Poverty, the likes of which you and I cannot begin to comprehend, earning less than $2.50 in wages per day. No, you read that correctly. $2.50 per day.

As a people, our collective heart breaks. The thought of such poverty is unthinkable. Our instinct is to open our arms and welcome them all here. I know I wish we could.

But, we can’t. But that does not mean we turn our hearts away and that does not mean we pull back from the troubles of the world around us. America always has and always will be a moral compass for all societies. However, we must be rational and smart in order to preserve the sanctity of our nation.

The United States has a current population of 330 million, as compared to half of the world’s population of more than 3 billion.  If we wanted to openly offer to cure poverty, we would need to add 2.7 billion new citizens to our nation.  It is simply impossible.  Let alone the complex issues of assimilation, retention of cultural and societal norms, and the ability for the tax base to support the social services for the massive increase of citizens in need.

Instead of claiming that we want no borders, we should seek to strengthen them. Rules must be followed and strictly enforced. Lawlessness cannot stand in America, even at its rim. But strong borders do not mean unwelcoming borders, much less closed borders.

Instead of saying that we want to close our borders to immigrants, we should provide the necessary immigration court infrastructure to make sure that every immigrant has a fair chance at obtaining a piece of the American dream at a rate America’s tax based and infrastructure can support their entrance. We are still a melting pot, still a land of opportunity. We are still asking for the huddled masses, yearning to be free.

But we must be methodical and smart for all Americans, those already reside here and those who have yet to make this Nation their home.

This does not need to be a zero-sum game.

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