By Melanie L.
The United States is a country comprised of immigrants. Over the past few years, immigration has been a topic of debate within the country’s government, and among the residents of the country. Some people think that immigrants are taking our jobs and that they are wreaking havoc on our economy. However, others feel that they are helping our economy and immigrating to escape the wretched conditions of their home countries in search of a better life, and are in need of asylum.
On November 25, many Central American migrants attempted to unlawfully cross from Mexico into the United States at the border between Tijuana and San Diego. In reaction to this event, border agents fired tear gas at the migrants. Tear gas causes severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and in some cases blindness.
This event has sparked debate among students. Some find the government’s action at the border to be cruel.
“I think it’s really messed up,” said senior Allison M, “because people should not be separated from their families and search for shelter or live in fear.”
In response to the question as to whether this tactic was effective for deterring refugees from passing the border senior, Korryn L. said “ In order for something to really change, something drastic would have to happen, and if the government did something as drastic as to kill, war would break out.”
Allison M. also said, “No, it makes people fearful of coming to the United States but there’s no way to stop people from seeking asylum to a country that’s relatively safe compared to where they are coming from.”
This ongoing conflict has been tough for the government to decipher but, students believe that because America is the “land of the free” people will continue clawing for this freedom. Allison M. says, “If our country [becomes] unsafe and we stop offering refuge, then migrants will try not to come to the US but until that happens we are still considered the safest.”
For an opposing view, senior Cammack S., says that the situation was handled well, given the circumstances.
“I think it’s unfortunate that it had to get to that point,” said Cammack, “but the situation was resolved in a non-lethal manner when it could have been a very dangerous, deathly situation. I’m glad that it was resolved mostly peacefully.”
He continues, ”It won’t stop, [and] this was a good short-term way to handle the situation.”
Another senior, Mike D., says, “The government did not overreact, “because they used a non-lethal method to prevent illegal activities.”
Though there are a number of differing views in regards to this situation, immigration is unlikely to cease, and many immigrants coming to the US have a goal of escaping their painful home circumstances.