MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - As Central American violence has created an influx of immigrants, including children, that continue risking their lives to cross the border onto US soil, Americans’ views on immigration have been souring, following recent reforms and border-control failures, as is illustrated by a letter from Lee Lucas to the South Jersey Times.
“Their goal is the elimination of the American worker because business thinks our labor is too expensive. These greedy employers don't want good workers, they want good servants. They want to change America into a South-American-style country where you have a small aristocracy ruling over a large peasantry,” wrote Lee Lucas to the editor of the South Jersey Times.
Lucas views the current immigration problem as a political situation, stating in his letter that both Republicans and Democrats will use the crisis to gain voters. According to Lucas, employers are also to blame for using immigrants as cheap labor, causing the elimination of the American worker. The letter describes an American future that mirrors South-American countries, in which a small group of individuals hold power over a much larger lower class.
“House Republicans suggested that since they don’t expect to pass a bill I can sign, that I should go ahead and act on my own to solve the problem,” President Barack Obama said of the current situation.
The Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project published a report in 2012, estimating the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States at 11.7 million. The report names California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas as states where approximately 60 percent of illegal immigrants in the United States live.
Obama’s plan is to grant amnesty to immigrants who are eligible for a kind of relief granted to young immigrants in 2012 under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. An estimated 4-5 million illegal immigrants with children, who are US citizens or current beneficiaries of the 2012 program are also included in the potential legalization. The number of years an immigrant has lived in the United States can also potentially determine their status.
“Illegal immigrants broke laws to come into the United States and we're simply supposed to just let them stay with no punishment? What about those people who came here legally and who did fill out that ‘little piece of paper?’ Why is it that the people who did wrong are rewarded by staying and the people who pay taxes, also gave up their whole life to live their dreams are turned away and denied for citizenship over illegals, who fill meaningless jobs like cutting our lawn because they have no education,” wrote an anonymous commenter in response to the question “Should illegal immigrants be deported?” on the discussion website, debate.org.
A whopping 78 percent voted ‘yes’ as opposed to 22 percent who voted ‘no’ on the website. Commenters supporting the deportation of illegal immigrants listed several reasons for their votes, including wasted taxpayer and government funds. Commenters were also angered that unauthorized immigrants attend schools free of charge and receive healthcare as well as other benefits, attributed to American citizens. Some note that illegal immigrants create employment problems, since those living illegally are willing to work for much lower salaries.
“We’ve seen significant increases in violence in Central America since the beginning of 2014. In Honduras, for example, the murder rate of children specifically has been going up every month since January. The femicide (defined by feminist author Diana E. H. Russell as ‘the killing of females by males because they are females’) rate there has gone up by 30 percent since the beginning of the year,” Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) said in an interview with FRANCE24, claiming this is the cause of the recent spike in border crossings.
Brané, along with the UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency), describes the situation as a humanitarian crisis. In response to the rising rate of asylum-seekers, UNHCR tracked the increase, finding most individuals travelled north from El Salvador, Honduras and Gueatemala, contributing to an over seven-fold increase in asylum applications in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize combined, from 2008 to 2013.
The US administration recognizes this is a humanitarian situation, but has made clear its main objective is to detain and deport these children and their families.
In March, US President Barack Obama commissioned a review of the country’s immigration enforcement policies. The review was delayed in May to allow Congress to make a decision regarding immigration reform. Congress did not pass legislation to provide funding to improve the border issues before leaving on August recess.