US immigration policy has historically been complex. Its constant changes and abrupt additions have been partially responsible for heightened confusion surrounding what it actually entails.
Barack Obama did say in an address that, “We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws.” The Clinton and Obama administration, in their terms, had constantly brought attention to the ‘broken immigration system’. They pushed for immigration laws under which undocumented immigrants would be stopped from crossing the border by increased force along the borders. The deportation of violent offenders would also be emphasised. The immigration policy in its essence has always been under scrutiny.
The Trump administration has picked up on this very same idea but increased the umbrella for immediate deportation to not only include violent offenders but anyone residing in the country illegally. Playing to the weaknesses of loyal Trump supporters, the administration has used it to their advantage, blaming undocumented immigrants for burdening the economic system and misusing taxpayers’ money.
The policy cannot be viewed independently as it is part of a greater movement of economic nationalism and part of the process of putting America and Americans before anyone else. The current border policy is against the illegal entry of citizens outside the US because it has a massive impact on the economic system. There have been previous claims made that the US have reaped tremendous benefits from opening its doors to immigrants. The argument against it highlights how it creates a gaping hole in the legal system, allowing respect for law to diminish while also bringing about serious security risks.
Trump’s deportation laws have been subject to scathing criticism by the left, and very often rightly so. While most of the media focuses on the immigration policy on the whole, the primary issue has been the problematic implementation of these laws without proper planning or foresight.
It is ripping apart families residing in the country and spreading a sense of dread in immigrant communities. Children of deported and detained parents suffer significant psychological, emotional, developmental and economic damage. People in favor of this hardline immigration policy have often brought up how families do not have to be broken up. However, in the case of families crossing into US illegally, the adults are criminally prosecuted, and, in some cases, separation is inevitable. The separated children are then supposed to be send to nearest relatives living in the US, but this is not always the case. The Department of Health and Human Services also admittedly lost track of around 1500 immigrant children and justified themselves by saying it was not their legal responsibility to track the children.
There are many reports on what is happening along the border, but it has become increasingly difficult to discern what is true and what is false. The massive divide between the right and the left has ensured that news reaching both sides tend to be skewed and facts are often subjective, complicating the situation even further.