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OPINION: America needs to act on the immigration crisis

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US border posting notice.

Opinion writer Azavieria Payne argues America needs to develop a strong, humane strategy to manage the immigration crisis on the Mexican-American border. 

We’re two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, and things at the border still have not cooled down. After campaigning on the premise of building a wall and having Mexico pay for it, Trump has had the challenge of controlling tensions surrounding America’s Mexican border.

Since his campaign, Trump has been under scrutiny for his outspoken views regarding immigrants and the harsh treatment they have received at the border under his presidency. This year, Trump ordered troops to the border after news broke of a migrant caravan from Honduras heading towards the U.S, and from there it has only gotten worse. Prior to the troops being sent to the border, there was an extreme backlash to the separation of children from their parents at the border.

The separation of children from their parents at the border is cruel and unusual. It is reprehensible to allow children to be taken from their parents in a country that is not their own. Children should be kept with their parents in order to ensure their safety, and allow them familiarity in an unknown environment.

Illegal immigration is a widely discussed debate in American politics, but a widespread debate has sparked no real solution to the issue. The controversy to illegal immigration is those seeking asylum.

By international law, the United States has a legal obligation to provide protection for those who qualify as refugees. But, according to the American Immigration Council, “Noncitizens who are encountered by, or present themselves to, a U.S. official at a port of entry or near the border are subject to expedited removal, an accelerated process which authorizes DHS to perform rapid deportations of certain individuals.”

Although Trump has faced backlash for sending troops to the border, it is not illegal and he is not the first president to do so.

On Nov. 25, U.S border agents fired tear gas on hundreds of migrants protesting near the border. This act will only escalate hostilities between migrants and border officials and it created outrage within the American public.

The tear gassing is only the first act of violence toward migrants at the border, but there is a strong possibility that things can escalate further. These migrants are fleeing their home countries in an attempt to escape violence, only to be met with violence at the border. It is important that Congress develops a solution to this migrant crisis and a comprehensive approach to immigration as a whole.

For border control alone, the U.S has spent roughly $263 billion. While it is important to ensure the safety of Americans by securing the border, a portion of the money spent to secure the border should be used elsewhere. A solution to this migrant crisis is to analyze the situation at hand; we must focus on the reasons why migrants are fleeing their home countries.

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