AN EMPIRE STATE NEWS EDITORIAL
Illegal immigration and the wall are topics where there is so much to evaluate. It’s not black and white to me, as I find a lot of shade. For example, while I believe there is an illegal immigration crisis, I don’t subscribe to the notion that it is any greater a crisis today than it was 5, 10, 20+ years ago. The fear mongering component from the right ultimately will fail.
Following in this same path of fright-creation is the “crime” factor. No doubt, some illegal immigrants commit crimes in the U.S. – but both sides have misplayed the statistics; per capita, percentage-wise, illegal immigrants commit the same percent of crimes as American citizens, across the broad spectrum of unlawful activity. Conservatives, in my opinion, have a valid argument that any additional crimes (i.e. – those committed by illegal immigrants) are too much, as such crimes would not have occurred but for those individuals’ unlawful entry into America. That said, over-hyping the illicit conduct, in making it appear more prevalent than it actually is, will soon backfire.
The heroin/opioid epidemic card now being strangely played by the right is also a loser. Blaming illegal immigrants for Americans’ misuse of these dangerous substances is a canard. First, there lies another statistical error. The grandiose claims that upwards of 90% of these drugs come into the U.S. though illegal southern border entry is, plainly, false; a much lower percentage is the true stat.
More alarming is that many conservatives are now hugging the drug addict-sympathy teddy bear too tightly. The primary fault in this exaggerated “epidemic” rests in the hands and minds of the users of the drugs. While a valid liberty-based argument calls for allowing people to utilize substances of their choices (after all, it’s their own bodies), the same logical approach must be taken on the responsibility end. Simply, these heroin et al addicts have caused their own problems – and their demand for the drugs is the primary culprit of the “epidemic”, not the illegals (and legals) who are supplying the high.
Per the above, I find some colleagues’ sudden coddling/empathy of the junkies a bit of an overreach, if not outright hypocritical of past public viewpoints. Similarly, I find some of the left’s meteoric embrace of illegal immigrants’ “rights” wholly hypocritical. While stats may be arguable, historical video of one leading Democrat after another condemning illegal immigration (and serving as a proponent of tough anti-illegal immigration measures) is definitive. People’s words are their words. And not long ago, the words of many on the left sound much different than their words today.
All that said, I want the wall. I believe it’s a deterrent, a real physical barrier, that can greatly limit the illegal immigration crisis that we have been suffering for years. The crises to me, hype aside, is a blended cache of problems, but mostly rooted in economics. American taxpayers – those of us who actually work – pay too much money funding the housing, transportation, education, healthcare, and overall livelihoods of illegal immigrants. Then again, us hardworking taxpayers are also funding the travails of many lazy Americans. But that’s another discussion.
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