Are immigration raids what we really need?

Are immigration raids what we really need?

Immigration has been a contentious topic in our country since the start of the 2016 Presidential campaign. Today, the focus seems to be on the country’s southern border even though most people here illegally are from overseas on expired visas. However, demonizing a certain group of immigrants is nothing new in our country’s history. In the 19th Century, Irish and Italian immigrants were being openly discriminated against even though that seems unimaginable today. It seems that every generation or so, certain politicians seem to inevitably stir up anti-immigrant sentiment and today’s climate is no exception.

In a move that seems more like an intimidation tactic than a law enforcement operation, the government has made it known that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be conducting raids against thousands of undocumented families. According to the New York Times, investigators might even detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids. The government already knows about many of the families who are here illegally and have given them notice to leave the country. However, these raids may be mostly pointless as ICE officers have no legal authority to forcibly enter someone’s home.

Instead of expending resources on these raids, why isn’t the government trying to make the path to citizenship to easier? Wouldn’t it be better to have new groups of taxpaying citizens rather than having a targeted group of people fearing for their well-being?

As we previously mentioned in this post, immigration scares are nothing new in our country but they go against one of the tenets of our great nation. The poem on the Statue of Liberty known as “The New Colossus”, seems to be falling on unironically deaf ears.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Now it seems that the Government is trying to close that golden door on the very people that the Statue of Liberty is supposed to welcome.