Among the most contested issues in the upcoming 2020 election is one that has been discussed for decades and lies at the heart of American domestic policy. I’m talking, of course, about immigration. In the context of today’s political climate, candidates are eager to get their positions out there and to form a unique opinion. Trump wants to build a wall, and certain democratic candidates advocate for asylum for any current illegal immigrant. Immigration policy should not be a partisan issue, but should instead be focused on how to maximize the benefits for the most people and more importantly minimize the terrible conditions that so many face on and across the border today. For this reason, the United States should take measures to increase border security to limit illegal crossings while also increasing visa caps (the amount of visas given out per year) and reforming the broken green card system to open up flows of legal immigrants.
There is an important distinction to be made when discussing the idea of increasing funding for border security, as it doesn’t always include building a wall and separating families. Funding for border security should instead go towards better training for border patrol officers so they are better equipped to rescue and protect illegal migrants as well as stationing more personal and establishing new infrastructure on the weakest parts of the border. Doing so will help stop illegal immigration before it even happens, rather than hunting down and deporting immigrants that are already here. Less illegal immigration means fewer asylum seekers and thus less structural violence.
Although we should take steps to limit illegal immigration, that doesn’t mean we should work to limit immigration as a whole. Immigrants are a force for good within our economy and that must be supported. That is why the US has visa programs such as H-2A and H-2B that give migrants opportunities to work legally. And, with proper reform to the green-card system, we will not only allow immigrants to move to the US to help our stagnating economy, but limit the need for attempted legal immigration, thus also reducing crime, suffering, and hiding.