No immigration is illegal

Chris Kok

They traveled hundreds of miles underneath the blazing sun. As they traveled past the rattlesnakes and cacti of the Sonoran Desert, temperatures rose above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, they slept underneath the stars, with temperatures in the low 40s. They paid a coyote their life’s savings to be shown the way to prosperity, to El Norte. That wasn’t enough though; the coyote made each of them carry a kilo of cocaine across the border. While they were walking through southern Arizona, one of them died of heat exhaustion. His body was left there; there was no time or energy to give him a proper burial, besides they had to watch out for La Migra, the Minute Men and vigilante ranchers who will shoot anyone trespassing on their land.

But, for all the hardships, they were finally in. This was their chance at a life. They had left their hometowns in Mexico to find jobs. They had families that needed to be fed, and the local economy could not meet their needs. They came to America, greeted as “wet backs.” They found jobs, some of the worst jobs around, whether as migrant workers following the farming jobs through the country, or as low-wage workers.

Illegal immigration is a problem for this country. People are continually risking their lives by trying to find jobs in the United States. Crime and drugs are connected to illegal immigration. The coyotes see no distinction between the illegal activities of immigration, drugs, and weapons smuggling. Those who are trying to get into the United States will do whatever is necessary to cross the border, even if that means bringing drugs. And in the age of terrorism, their cargo could be even more dangerous.

These workers suffer from poor working conditions and exploitation by their bosses. This problem is not going to be stopped by building a wall. As long as there are people trying to get into the United States, just to find a job for survival, illegal immigration will continue.

The solution to this problem is two-pronged.

The first part is to open immigration to the United States to anyone who wants to get in. This will end illegal immigration and ensure that those who are immigrating go through security, decreasing the drugs and weapons trade. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. If that means moving to another country to be able to feed your family, you should be able to.

The other part of the solution is to encourage the development of jobs in Mexico that pay a living wage. The reason that there are so many people crossing illegally is because they cannot find jobs in their home countries. When Mexico has a developed industry that pays living wages, as opposed to the slave wages of the maquiladoras, there will not be as many people trying desperately to get into the United States.

Illegal immigration is the result of the failure of capitalism. People should not be punished because the system failed. Not only should people be able to immigrate to the States, but also we should take steps to ensure that they can find decent jobs back at home.

Chris Kok is a senior international relations major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].