Since there’s so much confusion and misinformation out there, here are a few things to keep in mind with respect to the ongoing immigration debate:
1. The only crisis is a humanitarian one created by our obsession with borders and separation and us/them mentality.
There are people hurting and in need of help; denying help because of where someone was born is a crisis of the heart.
2. Seeking asylum is LEGAL.
If you don’t believe me or want more info on how the process works, check out the USCIS website itself.
3. Folks crossing at the border aren’t trying to “dodge the system.”
In fact, the vast majority of immigrants seeking asylum show up for court hearings and ICE check-ins, especially if they have a lawyer. And I can tell you from personal experience that they take these appointments VERY seriously.
4. Most undocumented immigrations are folks who have overstayed the term of their visa.
A wall will do nothing to prevent this.
5. Most folks crossing at the southern border are making their presence known at the border so that they can begin the asylum process, which is (once again) LEGAL.
See #2 above.
6. US law prevents asylum seekers from getting a work permit for 6 months, and they aren’t eligible for govt programs while their case is pending.
No one is coming to take away jobs or to “take advantage of the system,” they are coming for SAFETY.
7. If you consider yourself a decent human being, it’s your responsibility to support compassionate immigration policies.
After all, there but for the grace of god/goddess/the universe/love/luck, go we all.
And if you consider yourself a Christian, just a reminder that the idea of a building a wall and turning folks (including women and children) away from the safety that could be found in the U.S. is literally the opposite of any of the teachings of Jesus.
8. Yes, immigration is a complex issue and our immigration system has been in need of reform for a long time but experts agree that building a wall won’t help. AT ALL.
Things that would help: fixing DACA/protections for Dreamers, more alternatives to detention for asylum seekers, increasing the number of refugees admitted, and more resources to process cases more quickly, just to name a few.