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A Nation Divided

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A Nation Divided

Bryce Rhodes, Writer

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A group of approximately 5,000 people from Honduras is currently heading to the U.S. border as they flee economic and political deterioration and crime in Central America. This has added to ongoing discussions of how to deal with illegal immigration to the country, and President Trump has recently threatened to close the border as a border wall is still being pushed by some Republicans.

Sophomores Jimmy Cerutti and Josie Roach disagree fundamentally about the best course of action, but both agree that the situation is reaching climax and will heavily influence the country’s future.

Cerutti claims that America should have a controlled border defense.

“I do firmly believe that the border should be strong and that we should deport illegal immigrants,” Cerutti said. “They’re not attacking, but they’re heavily pushing with a lot of people at once, [and] if it comes to a point where it becomes violent or they go around a border check, then yes, the border should be closed.”

Roach disagrees with the idea of a hard line separating people from the help they need.

“I do not think illegal immigrants should be deported,” Roach said. “I don’t think America should have a strong border.”

Trump’s border wall is being pushed again by the Republicans in Congress, and Cerutti supports this plan because he believes it will be effective.

“If we had a wall, it would take time, but in the long run it would stop illegal immigration and force legal immigration,” Cerutti said.

Roach does not doubt the effectiveness of the wall, but fears that this extreme measure will negatively impact Americas in ways unseen.

“The wall would decrease illegal immigration, but will create more bad than good,” Roach said.

America is a nation born of immigrants, but Cerutti doesn’t think that this fact should give leniency toward those coming into the United States illegally.

“We’ve advanced so much as a nation and have been long-standing,” Cerutti said. “If you go to many other countries, they don’t let you in and will arrest you if you are illegal. Not everyone who comes here should be a legal citizen.”

Roach thinks that America’s apprehension to help refugees from Central America is shortsighted and hypocritical, considering our history.

“Explorers that created America had the same issues these illegal immigrants are having,” Roach said. “They both feared something and wanted freedom. We built our country on those ideas but reject people doing the same thing.”

Cerutti does not deny the hardships of immigrants, but he thinks the slow process to citizenship is necessary to maintain order.

“I’ve had people tell me that the citizenship process was hard, but they still became a citizen,” Cerutti said. “If there is a will, there’s a way you can get through the citizenship process. It may take longer for you, but that’s something you must be prepared for.”

Roach counters that the citizenship process is intentionally difficult, especially for those escaping violence.

“A solution would be to make it easier to come here legally and make a safe place for the time in between that doesn’t feel like a prison,” Roach said. “We have to put ourselves in the immigrants’ shoes. They know nothing. They’re coming because they’re scared and running.”

The caravan of migrants is coming toward the border, and Cerutti believes that the necessary action is military defense.

“Troops are in place trying to keep people up, and we should tighten border control around where the refugees are coming in.” Cerutti said.

Roach emphasizes that America has a duty to be the democratic protector of Latin America and the rest of the world. She believes that the refugees should be accepted and aided instead of threatened by the U.S. military.

“America should be a sanctuary for people escaping violence,” Roach said. “We create ourselves to be high and mighty but shut the doors to people that don’t benefit us. You’re supposed to accept people. The refugees should not be turned away, and they should be assisted with medical care and anything they need. They should be able to seek asylum. Give them the opportunity to become legal.”

Both Cerutti and Roach fear the implications of the migrants’ arrival, whether it be from a national defense standpoint or a sympathetic one for the desperate people heading to the border. Cerutti is worried about illegal immigrants currently in the country and their impact on American society.

“There are some jobs that are being taken, so that’s a slight problem that is happening,” Cerutti said. “A lot of the people getting these jobs are not planning on becoming a citizen.”

Roach simply does not support the wall or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which many are currently questioning for its harsh treatment towards immigrants while deporting them. She believes that the current treatment of immigrants in America is immoral and against our national values.

“I truly believe that the wall is morally wrong,” Roach said. “Those here illegally have started a life, but are being deported by ICE, which is an outdated system. The wall would help us in a selfish way but would harm our reputation.”

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