Major illegal immigration has been a divisive issue that has remained unresolved by Congress for years, but that has increased during the presidency of Donald Trump. He early on made the border one of his major campaign points, and Democrats in Congress have no interest in agreeing to anything that would be seen as a Trump victory. At the same time, there is evidence some Democrats see a long-term gain in voters from the status quo, especially in border states.
Meanwhile, Trump may have found some success in dealing with the problem through coercing Mexico to stop Central Americans at our neighbor’s southern border. That certainly would lessen the problem of people using fake asylum claims to basically get released into the United States with little possibility they will appear later in court. In the absence of congressional action, that may be a game changer if Mexico continues the practice.
Of course, the United States is a nation of immigrants, but an unrestricted flood from poor nations eventually will swamp the social welfare system in America. Some estimates have the illegal immigrant population now approaching 10% of the nation’s total. Ultimately, benefits for all will have to be reduced, and that is something most Americans will not want.
Meanwhile, the politics of the situation have reached ridiculous proportions. Colleges usually are the center of protest, and that was exhibited last week at Arizona State University. Some students protested the involvement of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a career fair on campus. That followed another protest at the University of Arizona last month over a Border Patrol presentation to a student criminal justice club.
Many Americans work for federal agencies involved in border enforcement, including many living in Pinal County. The trend toward mass migration clearly has not lessened the need for those jobs. Perhaps the new arrangement with Mexico might help to stem the tide, however.
A serious resolution of border problems could be found at any time if leaders of both parties in Congress were willing to embrace it. That should happen sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, Trump is forced to deal with the situation as it is, and he seems to be trying.