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The Unspoken Illegal Immigrant Crisis at the US-Mexico Border

The issue of illegal immigration at the southern US border has been a political ‘football’ for decades. There is no doubt at all that illegal drugs are entering the southern border and that illegal immigration is a major issue in many other ways, too. Many other crimes are committed yearly by people who enter illegally, including violent crimes. This is despite a million people who enter the US legally every year. There is a different sort of crisis that isn’t spoken about often, having to do with illegal immigrants at the southern border, though.

The current drive is to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, similar to the wall Mexico has at its own southern border. There are some legislators who are trying to block the construction of the wall, usually for political reasons. However, building such a wall could help with dealing with the crisis I’m referring to. Neither political party seems willing to even talk about the crisis as if neither side really cares. Of course, they do, but judging from how little is said about it, it sure seems like they don’t.

What crisis am I referring to? Let me put it this way. Periodically, there is a news report of a group of people who’ve been found trapped while trying to enter the US illegally. Although such reports aren’t common, the people are usually in bad shape by the time they are found by border patrol or law enforcement. Sometimes, some of these people even die and people in the US are understandably outraged at the tragedy of those deaths.

As it turns out, a lot more people die each year when trying to cross into the US illegally than most people know about. Only counting those deaths that are reported, around 400 people die each year when trying to gain illegal entry into the US. No, these aren’t killed by border patrol, vigilantes, or drug cartels. Most die from exposure to the elements. In other words, they die from extreme heat or cold. Quite a few also drown when trying to get across the Rio Grande. 

That number is just those that are reported. The actual number of deaths at the border could be far higher. Often, by the time bodies are found, it is difficult to tell who the people were or what they were doing at the time of death.

What is even more tragic is that a large portion of the deaths are of children and this number is increasing. This is likely because of the increase in children who are attempting to cross into the US without being accompanied by adults.

This is a lot of needless deaths and there is little doubt that a wall would decrease this number. However, politicians and the news media don’t talk about it, so relatively few people in the US even know about it. All they basically hear about are the political talking points. That is sad because while we are hearing those talking points, people are dying. 

What do you think?

2 points

Written by Rex Trulove

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  1. Welcome to the US. The land of the people we pick and the land of those we allow in.

    All of us are immigrants. Even the first people immigrated to the US.

    Let’s talk about the real spoken crisis. The separation and the inability to reunite parents and their children. What nation can turn its back on that activity? Oh yeah, it was the US.

    The US has messed with, altered and forced many countries in South America to change. To the point where we, as a nation are hated. However, parents, people, grandparents would rather choose to go to the hated land than die where they are.

    As an immigrant, I am all for a border. I am all for border security. But there is a need for charity.

    • A valid point can be made that Clinton should have never signed that law into place, but it probably would have been passed anyway. As for separation of parents and children, this happens routinely to American citizens when they commit crimes. Very few people I know of who have put into jail or into holding while a crime is investigated are allowed to take their children with them, regardless of the crime. Trump’s executive order that prevents the separation of families entering illegally is actually unfair to all the others who commit crimes and are held.

      There is also an increasing number of kids coming across the border without their parents, though they are sometimes apparently ‘attached’ to another adult. That is what makes the deaths even more tragic. The number of people who die while crossing the border has declined in the last couple of years, but the trend over the past 10 or so is that a growing number of the people who are dying are children. The parents may have had reasons for separating themselves from their children like they are, but it seems particularly harsh to the kids.

      • Rex, as someone that used to be invovled int he reality of US parents being separated from their children you actually are wrong.
        1. There are legal rights for parents. The child is placed in protective service. If the parent is found innocent the child is returned to that PARENT the minute they walk out of the courtroom. We cannot do that today with the immigrants.
        2. As someone that cares about other human beings, I’ve seen the conditions in Venusalz and El Salvador. I would not wish that on anyone. If they make it across Mexico to here, we should welcome them. We may send them back, but let’s be human first.

  2. It’s a complicated issue. I think we should get the wall built, but the Washington establishment and their donors like the cheap labor. Most of them are personally unaffected by the border crisis and the crime doesn’t touch them in their gated communities. Too many in power only care about keeping it instead of doing what’s good for the citizens on America.

    • That is very true. If enough people let those in the DC club know that getting the wall built is a priority, though, it will get done. Illegal immigration and drugs pouring over the border even have a big impact here in Montana, and you can’t get much farther away from the southern border. The deaths are another reason to build the wall.

      You said something important, too. Many are interested in power and keeping it. When they realize that the people understand this and ultimately have the power to fire them, which removes their power-base, the issue becomes important to them, even though it only amounts to motivated self-interest. It doesn’t need to be an important issue to them, personally, for them to do the will of their constituents, many of whom are perfectly happy to replace them in favor os someone who will. That is one of the things that makes our republic great…the people have a lot more power than they realize.

  3. There is more to the story. Firstly, if there were no jobs, why come? Starve here instead of there? No. Many people hire illegal immigrants. Keep them off the books, pay less, no tax.
    I would, if I had the power, go after the employers. Slap them hard. Heavy fines, maybe even imprisonment.
    Once there are no jobs, why come?
    If one goes after the employers, so that there is no reason to come that would cut back a lot.

    In Jamaica, every so often we’ll get a boatload of Haitians. They are put in some premises, and then, usually, beg to go home. Why? No jobs.

    • I do understand your point, but it doesn’t quite hold true in the US. A homeless person in the US still has a much higher living condition than in third world countries. People without jobs can still get money, food, and other assistance in the US. It doesn’t matter if they are here legally or not, nor does it matter where they are from. The reason more people apply for immigration to the US than any other country is because a lot of people know this.

      right now, the US has an extremely low unemployment rate for its citizens. More citizens are employed right now than ever before in history. There are few jobs available for illegals. Yet, they still come in the thousands.

      • I think if the employers are prosecuted it will have a better effect. For when the employers run the illegals from their business there’s no reason to stay in the US.

        Friends of mine in the US (who look Jamaican) virtually carry their passports to the supermarket in case ICE stops them.

        • You might be right, though I know a few that wouldn’t care. Some employers are actually penalized, but it depends on where they are and what kind of business it is. In California, few illegal alien employers are penalized at all. My son-in-law is Guatemalan and he was deported. I’ve actually asked him if he would have come here illegally if he knew he couldn’t get a job. (He was here illegally on a technicality, but the question was in general.)

          He said yes. He said that there is always some sort of work, even if it is cleaning out stables, mowing grass, and shoveling snow. Even if there wasn’t, he said that most of the food that Americans throw away is better than the average citizen there gets to eat, even if they are employed. Also, American’s cry when they ‘only’ make $10 an hour. In Guatemala, a person making $10 a day feels very fortunate.

          There is a different mindset. American’s tend to be far, far more selfish and self-centered.

          • If you look at immigration, you see the pattern repeated. They go where the money is. If they were running for their lives, it is first water wash. Many go for the $$.

            One can get legal farm workers from Jamaica. We have a whole governmental program and every year X number go up to America or Canada for work and come back.

            It can be done legally, but the employers don’t want to do it legally.

        • That is true. Despite this, though, about a million people immigrate to the US every year, legally. There is a means to do it. Many more enter the country on Visa’s or green cards. Like you said, they come here, work and earn, then go back home.

          • From WWII there has been the ‘Farm Work’ program as we call it. Those who want to participate go to the Ministry of Labour when it is announced, and those who are chosen are flown to the US.

            They are picked up by the Farm Manager, taken to the housing provided, and they work according to American laws. How many hours, and stuff like that.

            Then, they are flown back to Jamaica.

            But it’s cheaper to get illegal aliens one doesn’t have to house and feed who get medical coverage, days off, and stuff like that.

        • Yes. Agricultural laws aren’t handled in the same way as the laws in most other industries in the US, unfortunately. The issues are a lot more complex than most people realize, too. The law often provides very harsh penalties to employers who hire illegal immigrants. However, in many states, employers are actually prevented from demanding proof of citizenship.

          In fact, in some states, even the police are prevented from determining a person’s citizenship status. That is especially big in places like California, which typically uses a huge amount of migrant agricultural workers. Until laws are changed to require proof of citizenship or a valid green card or work visa, even harsh penalties have little impact. Relying on ICE to do periodic sweeps doesn’t work well because the US is a big place and illegals often just relocate until after the ICE sweep, then they move back.

          • My discomfort with the wall is that it won’t be that much of a deterrent. A tunnel, for example can thwart the wall; as well as the other methods I mentioned.

          • There need to be multiple things in place. The wall is only one of them. The laws that are in place need to be enforced, too. Mandatory proof of citizenship would be a good idea. There are many other things that need to be done. Any one of them, alone, will only help a little.

      • By the way, Rex, the numbers of employed and unemployed Americans are the highest ever. It is in the top five all time, but there are several years with much higher unemployment. The basis of that is from the PUBLISHED data from the US Labor relations board and the US Department of the treasury.

  4. Such a tragedy for us and them Rex. Nobody can blame Trump for this, therefore it is not talked about. I’m just sayin’. It is crazy to be against the wall. Putting it out there for all to read. Just how I feel.

      • As to Wall…. let me give you a head’s up…. Jamaica has been sending ganja and a handful of bad boys on every one of the ‘unscheduled’ flights. The plane takes off with the ganja and the bad boys and drops below radar, lands, off loads, flys back up is picked up on the radar and legally lands at an airfield. This has been going on from the 1970s to this morning. Put up a wall… planes and submarines.

        The Wall is not a complete solution…

        • In no way do I think it is a complete solution. It would only be a tremendous start and one that could save a lot of lives. Coyotes, as they are called in Mexico and the southern US, honestly don’t care if people die, as long as they make money. Even if the deaths were just cut in half, that would be a good thing and very worthwhile. No life is worthless.

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