Border View: A Firsthand Account from the Heart of the Immigration Crisis

Border View: A Firsthand Account from the Heart of the Immigration Crisis

We do, in fact, have a national emergency.

A lot has been made the past two weeks about the crisis on our border. There are those that say the crisis is manufactured, that the president is simply trying to appease his base and his right wing conservative media echo chamber. There are those claiming that border towns and regions are perfectly safe and that those that cross at our ports of entry do not represent any sort of danger to our country. There are those that suggest that the flow back-and-forth across our border is natural in that it will lead to a convergence of ideas and cultures. And there are those that insist that we should continue the policies we have in place while looking toward technological enhancements to discourage illegal immigration.

As someone currently living in a border state, I can personally attest that all these sentiments are unquestionably wrong.

We need to face the harsh reality of the situation. We currently face a tremendous challenge on our border, mainly from those attempting to illegally enter the country from our neighboring country. The numbers are staggering: Nearly 93,000 immigrants entered our country last year alone, with the overwhelming majority of them knowing full well that they were breaking American laws. They live among the shadows and because of their complexion, many of them fit right in to these border communities so as to not arose suspicion. They work without documentation and many of their closest friends have no idea as to their legal status. They are a permanent underclass of their own choosing due to their misguided decision to live here while simultaneously subverting U.S. law.

Despite their status, they are slowly corrupting our culture. They bring with them a passion for their country’s national sport, a sport that has become popular in border states. This is a sport that has become so prevalent that there now exists and entire professional league dedicated to it. As bad as this is, what may be worse is that we’ve now gotten to a point where we play not one, but two national anthems at these professional events to recognize the sport’s origin. Even worse, one prominent border city has gone so far as to play both national anthems at all its home games, even between two American teams. This is brainwashing our youth into accepting this country as our equal and is creating a culture that is seemingly fine with that country sending forth hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to our country each and every year.

Yet professional sports aren’t the only area where immigrants from our neighboring country have attempting to corrupt our culture. These immigrants also bring with them their language, a language with an odd accent so as to easily identify them. Many of them are bilingual but that doesn’t mean they won’t speak their native language in enclaves or in public as a way to communicate. This language is now the second-most spoken language in two border states and third-most spoken language in four states, three of which don’t even share an international border. Some of these border states have gone so far to appease these immigrants that they now have road signs in this language, a clear slap in the face to those who yearn for a country that imposes an English-only mandate for its citizens. For many, nothing feels less American than being welcomed to a state in a language other than English.

Lastly, these immigrants have brought with them their unusual food to our country. Some of them have set up small stores that serve their national dish while other restaurants have tried to capitalize on the dish’s popularity and have offered it as a separate item. People immediately identify this dish with our neighbor and, because of this, it has gained popularity. Many immigrants have set up restaurants in border states, announcing the sale of this item. Like sports and language, our youth are now seeing this food item as something that is common place and an entire generation is growing up with this food item being part of their adolescence. Many of these adolescents have now become adults and are seeking recipes to make this item at home as a way to rekindle positive memories and passing those on to their children. It’s gotten to the point where many Americans themselves have no idea of the origin of the food they are eating.

But as serious as the cultural corruption is, perhaps the most unnerving part of this immigration is just how unsafe we have become because of this neighboring country. After all, it’s one thing for undocumented immigrants to enter our country and at least attempt to follow our laws. It’s another entirely for terrorists to cross the border and then proceed to attack the United States. This is not fear-mongering, as there exists documentation of a number of Islamic terrorists who have crossed the border to then proceed to engage in terrorist activities, including the 1999 Millennium Plot which sought to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. With that failed terrorist attack, we saw how terrorists could easily attain fake passports and then proceed to cross the border via a western water route with a car loaded with 100 pounds of explosives. Over the past year, we’ve seen undocumented immigrant crossings double on a prevalent 30-mile corridor along the eastern side of the border, heightening fears of another terrorist attack. Border agents have now implemented a series of border checkpoints within 100 miles of the border to require proof of American citizenship to help deter these illegal crossings and to identify those who have somehow entered the country illegally.

So, there you have it. Nearly 100,000 undocumented immigrants from this country. Immigrants refusing to assimilate by keeping their culture, language, and sports. Immigrants coming from a country that shares a fortified border with the United States. A border that has been breached by terrorists. A border that has seen a dramatic increase in illegal crossings over the last year. A border that now requires periodic check points to identify those in the country illegally. These factors clearly constitute a crisis for the safety and well-being of our nation. If we are to get serious about securing our borders, then all of these factors need to be taken into consideration. In all honestly, there simply is no way to avoid this conclusion:

We have to stop illegal immigration from Canada.

After all, that’s what the concerns are, right? Worried about terrorists? They’ve gone through Canadian ports of entry. Worried about illegal border crossings? Well, a 30-mile stretch on the Vermont-Quebec border has seen twice as many illegal crossings over the past year. Worried about undocumented immigrants? Canada has the highest number of citizens who come here legally and then overstay their visas. Worried about cultural corruption? The National Hockey League, started in Canada, is one of our four major sports and all home games in Buffalo, a border city, require the playing of both the Canadian and American national anthems. Worried about non-English speakers? The New England border states welcome you in both English and French. Worried about food influences? There now exist a number of New England locations where you can request a delicious poutine dish. All across the northern border you can see, hear, and feel the influence of our neighbors to the north.

So if you’re like me, living in a northern border state and concerned about undocumented Canadians and our northern border wall then you’re a horrible liar. Because we all know Republicans share none of my concerns. For them, it’s not about border security; it’s about a way to demonize the newest wave of brown immigrants. Border-crossing arrests are at historic lows, there is net zero migration, and we’ve stopped a whopping 6 immigrants in the terrorism database (that’s in the database, not even convicted of terrorist acts) at the southern border over a recent six-month period. The southern border wall has, and continues to be, an overt dog whistle in favor of White supremacy. It may have started out as a mnemonic device for a brain-dead racist candidate, but it has morphed into a very real symbol of Republican hatred for the “other”, those they deem less American than themselves. For them, the wall represents their vision of American where all immigrants, legal or undocumented, are not allowed in.

Fortunately, this vision of America is at odds with the majority of American people. Roughly 75% of Americans believe immigration is good for the country. Nearly 69% of Americans support DACA, the Obama executive order implemented to provide relief to undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children. We now have 51% of Americans who blame Donald Trump for the shutdown, a number likely to increase in the coming days. A majority of Americans see through the bullshit and lies that seek to blame immigrants for the maladies of our country. At a time when Republicans are seeking to hold onto their dying base and the dying reality of a majority-White nation, Democrats and independents are moving toward a more diverse country that creates a culture of inclusion rather than exclusion. For every Steve King in Congress, there exists 100 Democratic Party members condemning his racist rhetoric. The country is moving left on immigration and we have the likes of Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, and Steve King to graciously thank for that. Because without their overt racism and White nationalism, the Republican Party would have continued their quiet assault on immigrants behind closed doors, chipping away at legal immigration and asylum laws under the radar. Now that it’s out in the open, everyone can see them for what they truly are.

And racists simply hate being publicly outed for their racism.

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