OPINION: Illegal Immigration: The Rule of Law

Timothy Kandow, Contributor

Beginning in October, a migrant caravan started making its way toward the United States from Central America. They come in hopes for better opportunities as well as to escape the hardships of their own countries. These individuals are en route to the U.S., where they hope the U.S. government will allow them to stay.

The United States is a nation built of immigrants. We began this nation with individuals seeking a better future in a new place and escaping the tyranny of rulers. Because of this, America has been founded with the principles of accepting those people who need help or seek a better future in the United States. We hold the most generous immigration system in the world. There are some — such as those in the caravan — who choose to come or stay in the U.S. illegally. These are individuals we would describe as “illegal immigrants,” immigrants who break the law.  

One’s judgment could be clouded when empathizing for these illegal immigrants. They are fleeing persecution, seeking asylum and a better future for themselves and/or their family. However, once you examine this issue, it becomes evident that illegal immigration is antithetical to the principles this nation was founded on. The respect for law and order are concepts that form a nation and are undermined when illegal immigration is accepted.

According to the Pew Research Group, as of Sept. 2018, immigrants account for over 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population, which is quadruple the percentage since 1965. Since its birth, the U.S. has been acceptant of immigrants. In comparison to the world, on a per-person basis, the U.S. far exceeds other countries in allowing immigrants to reside in the country. To claim that the United States is a nation that doesn’t accept immigrants is false by all accounts.  

It’s interesting that these immigrants in the caravan expect the United States of America, a nation that has over 4 million immigrants on their waiting list, to accept them even if the first act they did as new “immigrants” was break the law. It would be as though a mother rewarding disobedience with a sucker. If these immigrants don’t respect the first law they have to abide by and respect the sovereignty of a country, who is to say that they will continue to do so when accepted into the country?

Being the son of a legal Mexican immigrant, it is unfair to all the legal immigrants who respect the rule of law if people think they can ignore the sovereignty of a nation to simply get what they want faster.

As stated in the introduction, the United States is a nation that was built on the idea of immigration, the American Dream. However, along with this principle, we also believe in the rule of law and respect of that law. We also believe in being fair to everyone. It would be unfair to the immigrants who wait at times years to come into this nation if we simply accepted those that choose the easy path: breaking the law.

Respect for the rule of law is why immigrants love this country. The peace, success and opportunity are things immigrants seek. If illegal immigration is accepted, America will be seen as a nation that doesn’t have respect for its own laws.