Although some will immediately think I am a racist, I want you to know I am one of the strongest fighters for racial and social justice. The harsh reality is America’s national security is placed in jeopardy when we do not fight illegal immigration. America is a nation with laws and a nation governed by the rule of law. If you break this nation’s laws, then you should face the consequences of breaking those laws. We should not simply allow illegal immigrants to break our nation’s laws because we want to be culturally, racially, and ethnically sensitive—that’s simply not the way to go about it. A nation without true borders is a nation without order. Let me be transparent from the beginning—this article is not an attempt to argue in favor of the Arizona Immigration Reform Bill. This article has a larger purpose: to have people to understand that the issue of illegal immigration is a serious matter of national security.
As an African-American, trust me I understand how angry discrimination, racism, bigotry, and racial prejudice can make you. Regardless of our race, we all have to be tremendously concerned about those individuals who would wish to do us harm who are living outside of our borders. I would not want a terrorist to come through our vastly unprotected borders, especially our Southern border (the Texas-Mexico border), and do us harm. While we sit around and debate about what type of immigration reform bill would be best, terrorists living outside of America are thinking about how they can enter into our country through our borders. If you are an illegal immigrant, then you are a criminal—it’s that simple. If you enter into this country in an illegal manner, you have violated the law and you deserve to be returned to your country of origin. I do not want to hear all of this rhetoric about we are a nation of immigrants. Of course, we are a nation of immigrants. This nation of immigrants has established laws for people wishing to enter into it.
In immigration reform bills being floated around in Congress, there is consideration of sundry “guest worker” programs. I do not support any guest worker program that will allow people who have entered into this country illegally to remain in this county. If they have children in this country who are products of parents who entered into this nation illegally, then those children should be returned to their country of origin with their parents. It is unfair for us to allow any illegal immigrant to remain in this country when legal immigrants have gone through the long process of formally becoming a citizen. These illegal immigrants should be forced to return to their country of origin, and then they can formally apply to be citizens. I am not against them formally applying for citizenship, but the formal process of becoming a citizen is a crucial process to ensuring our national security. We must have a formal accounting and screening of all individuals who enter into America.
The federal, state, and local government is going to have to do a better job of punishing those businesses that hire illegal immigrants. I have always found the label “undocumented worker” to be quite unsettling, which indicates that we have simply adopted illegal immigrants into our society—such a dangerous phenomenon. By acknowledging that we have undocumented workers, we make a public acknowledgement that we know that these individuals are not legal citizens. Is it going to take one of these illegal immigrants engaging in serious terrorist act before we stop treating the issue of illegal immigration as just another “hot” topic, instead of as a matter of public safety. Many American businesses, not all, enjoy exploiting illegal immigrants because they are able to pay them extremely low wages. Just to gain this cheap labor, many American businesses are putting our lives in danger—we do not know much about these illegal immigrants.
I am often unsettled and unnerved by the argument that illegal immigrants are performing vital work for America, work that we (legal American citizens) do not want to do. Are you kidding me? In an economy like this, people are looking for any type of work to help their families to survive. Many poor African-Americans would love to have the opportunity to have access to these jobs that illegal immigrants are performing for exploitative wages. Because employers know that these illegal immigrants will work for any wage, employers do not need to consider hiring poor African-American workers because they can save tremendous amounts of money by giving the work to illegal immigrants. While without question illegal immigrants performing in many of these jobs work tremendously hard, they are serving in jobs that legal citizens could be receiving income from. When illegal immigrants work for these exploitative wages, they enable employers to cut jobs and slow the rate at which they give pay raises and create good paying jobs.
Many African-Americans are trying to support illegal immigrants because of some of the radical elements of the Arizona Immigration Reform Bill. Although many African-Americans see this bill as racist, this should not cause them to support illegal immigration because it hurts them not only economically, but also when it comes to national security. Even though African-Americans are economically disadvantaged by illegal immigration, the threat to all Americans’ national security is much more important. Do you go to sleep at night with your doors wide open? I’m sure you don’t. Then, why would you allow your federal, state, and local leaders to leave our borders vastly unprotected?
Even though some think that it is not practical to ship all illegal immigrants back to their country of origin, we have to make a strong effort to do this. We cannot allow these lawbreakers to just roam around like they have not done anything wrong—they broke our laws! If you are an illegal immigrant, you need to go back home today! You have certainly worn out your welcome, and your illegal entrance into this country was never appreciated. President Obama seems to be more interested in gaining the votes of these illegal immigrants by allowing them to stay in this country.
While we do not have to solve the illegal immigration problem in the way Arizona has attempted to do it, we can find effective ways of sending them back home. We need to put the National Guard on our borders to help to provide better border security. Yes, we need to militarize the borders. I am not trying to be disrespectful in anyway, but these illegal immigrants were not worrying about being disrespectful when they illegally entered this country. It’s so unfair to those who entered into this nation legally to let illegal immigrants stay in our country. I call on President Obama to see illegal immigration as a matter of national security.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison