In his first address to Congress on Feb. 27, President Donald Trump made many promises to the American people. He took stances, dug in his feet and set out a road map for his administration.
He tackled big issues. He heavily appealed to emotions by featuring many military family members during his speech. I don’t agree with everything he’s doing or said, but there was one topic that can’t be ignored: immigration.
“While we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” said Trump early into his speech. Words meant to unite the room eased well into what could have been the slippery slope of an immigration discussion, but Trump persevered.
During his election, he picked up many southern votes because of his promises to build a wall. Now he’s announced that we will soon begin construction of the wall along our southern border. Now, I don’t think the wall is what we need, I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s going to be efficient, but what it represents is fundamental to America: our law.
This country is great, it’s strong and beautiful and being born here is one of the greatest blessings of my life. As Trump put it, “Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.” The wall isn’t really about immigration; it’s about holding true to a campaign promise too big to let go and building a symbol of American power.
I’m all for immigration, that’s what America was built on, but there are legal processes that ensure the security and integrity of our nation. I think Republicans get a bad rap when it comes to immigration. I don’t want to keep people out. I don’t want to stifle diversity. I don’t want everyone around me to be exactly like me, but I do want to be safe. I also want people coming here to be safe, too.
I want there to be an efficient immigration system, but the road to a better America starts by ending the old process. People here illegally are not citizens. They don’t respect the country in the same way. I understand that many immigrants, no matter what country they come from, are hard workers who are looking for a better life, but that doesn’t make it OK to break policy and hide from the law.
If the law made emotional concessions for everyone, there would be no place to draw the metaphorical line in the sand. Laws exist for a reason. Immigration is great and liberating, but it must be legal. It must be processed and controlled.
Trump didn’t say he wanted to end immigration. He doesn’t want to block everyone who isn’t white from entering the country, but he and many people who support him want a clear and concise series of legal actions to be the established path to citizenship.
America is great and eventually it will be better, one person at a time.
Featured Illustration: Antonio Mercado