Part 190- Teenager’s Guide to the 2024 Election: Part 6

Part 190- Teenager’s Guide to the 2024 Election: Part 6

Hello, you know what time it is. We pick up with part 6, and the 5th truth, an open border is no border.

Immigration and Borders

Immigration has been a heavily discussed issue in every aspect of politics, and not just regular immigration but more specifically illegal immigration. The most common example of such is from our southern border. As of 2021, Mexico has become the most common country of origin for U.S. immigrants, making up 24% of the immigrant population. Given this, there has been heavy discussion on how one should solve this issue. We’ve seen countless examples throughout the years, such as Obama’s DACA policy and DREAM Act, while Trump had called for the expansion of the U.S. Mexico border. The Biden Administration has halted the further construction of this, and taken upon different measures to handle this matter. Now the question remains, what do each of our 2024 candidates have to say about this?

Immigration in Politics

Let’s first start with our Republican Candidates.

President Trump has said he wishes to reinstate his immigration policies and resume construction of the wall border. He has also promised to sign an executive order calling to end birthright citizenship for ‘illegal aliens’. However, it has been seen to possibly face legal issues as birthright citizenship is established in the 14th Amendment.

Ron DeSantis has said many times that he too would also seek to ‘eliminate birthright citizenship for children of unauthorized parents who are still born in the U.S.’ He has been among the many vocal critics towards President Trump for not completing the wall. He has also taken some of the stricter stances on immigration, and has supported using deadly force against migrants crossing the border who are suspected of trafficking illegal drugs.

Nikki Haley, whose parents are immigrants themselves, takes. A different point of view. She has said she would not back ending birthright citizenship, but instead opened the idea to limiting it. She says that those in the country legally are fine, going by Constitution, but she is against those who have entered illegally. Vivek Ramaswamy is a little different, claiming that an open border is no border, and has vowed to end birthright citizenship. He has also said he would deport U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrants, and supported using military force in Mexico against cartels. He too is in support of finishing the border wall.

Mike Pence is also in favor of the wall, and says he wants to introduce a merit-based immigration system based on the kinds of workers different states need to reform legal immigration. Chris Christie has said he would support pursuing a bipartisan agreement on immigration. He is also in support of the south wall. He has also said that, ‘whatever steps we need to take to secure that border is what we need to do.’ Tim Scott shares similar views, but has said the president cannot revoke birthright citizenship himself or herself. Doug Burgum has advocated for strong border security to stop illegal immigration and ensure a safe flow of good and services. lastly, Asa Hutchinson has proposed expanding visas, including implementing a state-based program that would empower states to grant visas based on the kinds of workers they need.

Now for the Democratic Candidates.

President Biden has moved to increase refugee admissions, and supports a pathway to citizenship for farm workers without authorization to be in the country. The White House has implemented new measures to turn away migrants who did not seek asylum in a country they traveled through en route to the United States.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has advocated himself as both in favor of immigration and closing the border. He called the rate of unauthorized migration ‘not a good thing for our country’, and ‘unsuitable’. However, he has also advocated for reforming the U.S.’ immigration system, and has said that, if elected, he would ‘make it easier for migrant workers to enter the country on H1-B visas.’ Marianne Williamson supports a ‘pathway to citizenship for all immigrants who have not broken ‘serious laws’’, and has also said she would seek to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and repeal the Patriot Act.

My Perspective

I had first heard of the immigration issues in elementary school. My dad was dropping me off at school, and on the car ride there, he was telling me about DACA. It’s always been habit when I was younger, for my dad to teach me something new whenever we were together. It’s how I’ve grown up, and frankly a lot of that knowledge comes back to me today when I least expect it.

I remember being frustrated with the idea. Why would we be preventing people from coming into the country? Why would we be separating children from parents? Why did they feel the need to come to America if they would get this treatment? I was still a child. I was still confused why my dad was telling me about immigration issues when my mind only focused on Shopkins and school. I had zero clue about the outside world and suddenly this topic comes up. I didn’t really remember a word he said the second I got out of the car, and we never really talk about it since.

Last year in AP Human Geography, we learned about refugees and immigration vs. emigration. I learned about internally displaced people and asylum-seekers, and a brief overview of how one was able to go to another country other than their home country if in desperate need. Now, putting the two together, I struggle to create an opinion.

I feel too emotional. These poor people, who’ve faced horrible things their whole life are trying to escape and get denied by the closest country they can approach. Political oppression, insecurity, violence, or even better economic opportunities. But the legal ways to do so are incredibly difficult. Requirements allow for only slim opportunities, making it harder than normal. The only chance left is to come in illegally.

People have to go through extreme measures just to make it to somewhere safe. ( Despite that, there’s little guarantee that the after process would be any easier) So really, we mostly need to change our system. Instead of continuously building a wall and denying people of the 14th Amendment or to escape a harsh environment, we need to open our policies. There are such limited ways to get in to a country, causing for those immigrants to resort to illegal methods. That’s not right.

Anyways, I’ll see you next week for the 6th truth: Parents determine the education of their children.

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