In response to Trump's immigration plan, including a large wall that is to be built along the nearly 2,000-mile southern U.S. border, I have heard an analogy that I believe needs to stop.
I'm all for political debate, and I'm more than OK with discussing immigration issues within this country. I'm not OK, however, with people equating our personal home security with our national security. I believe it is unfair and further criminalizes immigrants. Here's my 3 reasons why it's unfair.
#1 The majority of undocumented immigrants are not criminals. OK, OK, so you can argue that they are not law-abiding citizens. But most of us don't keep the law all the time. Have you ever sped? OK. So now that we are all on the same level, let's at least come to an agreement that breaking a law doesn't automatically make you a criminal. Beyond that, undocumented immigrants do not come to this country with the intention of breaking into your house or stealing your food or your jewelry or sleeping in your bed. Undocumented immigrants have risked their lives to come to the U.S. with the hope that somehow they can create a better life for their families. They may be escaping economic despair or hoping to find a place they can raise their children without the fear of gangs or cartels. The house analogy automatically places immigrants in the same boat as criminals who are trying to take something from you.
#2 On a regular basis, you don't have several people coming to your home to try to "immigrate" and take over. This assumes that undocumented immigrants are bullies who have come to steal, kill, and destroy. I agree that reform is needed, and I agree that we need to have these tough discussions. I don't agree that this analogy helps us get anywhere. My guess is that no one arguing with this analogy has had undocumented immigrants come to their door ever asking for anything. So this idea that, "Oh yeh, I'd help them as long as they go through the proper channels of calling me first and making sure it's during daylight hours, etc." seems absurd, because the truth is, the "proper channel" of becoming a U.S. citizen requires much more than texting, calling, and showing up during daylight hours.
#3 Locking your front door is significantly different than securing a border. Let's think for a minute about the real criminals and bad hombres that come through the border. And let's imagine that border is your front door. You've got deadbolts all around and a security system set up. The real bad guys know how to deal with this stuff. They have connections, they have stronger weapons than you do, and if they want what is in your house, they will figure out a way to get it. I'm not saying we don't do anything. What I am saying is that the drug wars are real. And the U.S. demand for those drugs is real; and where there is demand, there will be supply--wall or no wall. So, strategy and wisdom must proceed us.
Immigration reform is needed; demonizing all immigrants is not. Can we please find a better analogy? Or maybe just talk about it without analogies? It's a real issue with real problems with real people involved. The more we demonize "them" the more we incriminate all of humanity.