As students at CSUSM, our campus is close to the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which is the border between San Diego and Tijuana.
It is imperative that we understand what is occurring on the border. Yes, this is about the migrant caravans.
According to an ABC 10 News article, on the morning of Thanksgiving “more than 4,000 migrants from a caravan that began in Central America are in Tijuana, with more expected later in the evening or Friday.” On a day that everyone is supposed to be celebrating a national holiday with their families, U.S. military troops were stationed along the border equipped with “lethal force” they may have used against migrants.
In mid October, the Trump administration emphasized the trek of migrant caravans from Arriaga, Mexico, which set out approximately 170 miles from the Mexico-Guatemala border.
The caravan consisted of thousands of migrants seeking asylum for fear of persecution in Mexico. They are only allowed into the U.S. if they “have a reasonable fear of remaining in Mexico” according to an article by the Washington Post. However, due to the amount of migrants attempting to cross, asylum seekers must endure more screening process to prove that they must immediately be relocated.
Because it is legal to seek asylum, the migrant caravans are not a matter of migrants trying to get into the country or pose a threat to society in any way. There should be no question or idea of controversy as these migrants are simply trying to avoid any harm being done them.
The arrival of the migrants definitely should not warrant any violence or drastic action like the teargas that was recently authorized by Trump. This is not humane. Their attempt to enter the country is not illegal by any means and they are simply trying to make better lives for themselves. While the U.S. should be sure the border is protected by carefully examining all of the migrants, it shouldn’t be an excruciatingly long process where human beings are attacked and made out to be dangerous or criminals just because of their backgrounds.
The U.S. border should not accommodate each and every single migrant by letting them in, but it should at least let them have a chance to prove they are not threats to society. If migrants have a prior criminal record, they could live under supervision or “probation” being assigned to a lawyer or attorney to help them with paperwork. It shouldn’t be a system that stands to incarcerate those we don’t know how to deal with.
Mexican border cities including Tijuana, Baja California, are unfortunately overrun with criminal activity, violence and drug cartels. Many of the criminal activity that has resurfaced in recent years has to do with the war on drugs.
As demand for drugs in the U.S. has remained stagnant, much of the supply has come from these borders, thus a rise in the atmosphere gangs and drug cartels. According to an article in the Washington Post, the U.S. has the highest use of cocaine among other countries.
The problem has much to do with people’s dependence on illegal drugs and their external connections that go unnoticed, further contributing to the war on drugs issue in the U.S. Such a delicate situation has lead too many to stereotype, portraying innocent citizens as possible drug traffickers.
Of course, this is not a safe environment for families especially those with young children. To many, living in the U.S. would be a significant life change and privilege. Thousands of lives would be changed for the better and children of many would grow up in a safer environment where they may even excel.
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