Immigration to the US is fought by difficulties (Photo credit: Daniel Dai)


Opinion: To Senator Padilla on our border crisis

Urgent action is needed to address the ever-mounting crisis at the border.
<a href="" target="_self">Daniel Dai</a>

Daniel Dai

November 15, 2023

Dear Senator Padilla,

I am writing to you as a junior in high school regarding the humanitarian crisis on the southern border of our country. Many immigrants have flooded to our southern border, hoping to achieve their dreams in the United States. The issue along the borders is an urgent matter, because many of the immigrants coming to our border are facing natural disasters or violence in their country, and they are in need of a safe place to stay. 

According to The New York Times, our former President Trump made tough policies that made it even harder for people to come in during the COVID 19 pandemic using Title 42, creating a backlog of people waiting to be granted asylum. 

The New York Times also reports that President Biden has enacted tougher border restrictions, despite acknowledging their difficulties and hardships on their journey to the north at the Mexico Border. I support his policy that they must apply legally to come in. I also support his policy on accepting 30,000 people for two years and offering them the ability to work in the country legally as long as they are legal, have eligible sponsors, and have passed background checks. I support these policies because he is giving immigrants a chance to work here and have a better life in the United States. 

However, I also have some concerns, since many of these migrants are not able to fulfill all the requirements for legal entry, and even if they do, there are delays in their applications due to our own backlog. While they wait, they live in a state of displacement and are unable to earn necessary wages. The migrants at the US border are suffering and homeless, after dangerous treks to migrate across multiple countries just for the hope of amnesty in the US. 

Of course, there are calls to “send them back where they came from.” However, many individuals migrate in search of asylum, political and personal safety, and even proper health care. Sending them back will not be effective because they will simply return. Asylum is what the people at the US borders want, and they will keep coming back because they have nowhere else to go.

There are immediate ways in which we can mitigate the problem of the backlog at the border. For one, we should fully utilize online applications, like one which was recently reported on CBS News. With the CBP app that was launched in 2020 by the Customs and Border Patrol, immigrants can already efficiently fill out applications online. Ensuring multiple languages on the app will also help the immigrants to fill out applications a lot easier. Making this option known can increase its effectiveness. And, we should have stations near the border for people without access to electronics to use.

Further, I believe that the legislators should accept more immigrants into the country because many of the migrants that seek to come to America originate from a wide variety of countries and cultures, which can contribute to America’s rich cultural diversity, one of our greatest strengths. Migrant’s drive and purpose are to arrive at a place where their family and children can have freedom and opportunity. These are people who are coming to look for a better life and are ready to work and contribute to our society and our economy — and in fact, America needs them.  

According to the data from the Pew Research Center, 77% of the undocumented immigrants are the ones that take the jobs that Americans don’t want. For example, there are a great number of undocumented immigrants that work in the construction field that most Americans don’t want to work in. Accepting more documented immigrants into the country and providing them a chance to become legal citizens will not just be good for them, it will be good for America.

America is mostly built on the contributions of immigrants, and we will only grow stronger by continuing to grow with more immigration. Most of American economic growth comes from the growing size of the labor force, which is filled with immigrants who contribute to increasing productivity. Despite the falling birthrate in America, our population increases and continues to grow the economy due to immigration. According to research by Brookings, the main reason for our country’s population growth rate is the increase in net immigration from abroad. 

Thank you for your time reading. I hope you can consider my ideas on giving the migrants at our borders humane treatment with efficient processing so that they can begin to contribute to our country as legal immigrants. We can do the right thing by helping them, which will at the same time help ourselves.