Immigration crises have taken center stage in the news all across the western world. From American presidential hopefuls of both parties beating the border security drum to European nations dealing with a refugee crisis stemming from war-torn Syria, now is a good time to have a serious conversation about immigration policy. And now is precisely a time when a reasonable conversation on that subject is highly unlikely to happen. A conversation about how America has no immigrant crisis.
The Syrian conflict has caused a mass influx of desperate refugees to spill into neighboring countries and Europe. The Greek island of Lesbos alone has accepted over 15,000 refugees over a very short period of time, while Hungary has received over 100,000, causing the defense minister to resign. Contrast that with the U.S., which, as of 15 years ago, had several million undocumented immigrants, a number which has now grown past ten million, or around a million every two years. In other words, we’ve seen a steady influx of illegal immigrants over a whole generation, so that now almost one in 30 is undocumented. That isn’t an immigration crisis. That’s a demographic. The only thing that separates “illegals” from “just more people” is the government’s refusal to give them the same legal rights and status as other Americans.
To define the crisis facing many European countries as such is perfectly reasonable: An entire region is being torn apart by war and upheaval, and its residents are fleeing death and destruction. With America, there is no such excuse. People have simply been immigrating, as humans tend to do, and the government has displayed total incompetency and unwillingness to properly react to this reality. Politicians trying to paint themselves as the necessary saviors to this grave crisis are akin to your unreliable roommate forgetting to pay the electricity bill, and then demanding a large cash donation to heroically “save” you from having the lights shut off.
Politicians never let a good crisis go to waste. Real immigration crises do exist elsewhere in the world. Don’t be fooled by a fake, manufactured problem into giving the government more power.
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