Immigration is a two-edged sword and it has been wielded with negligence and incompetence for far too long. Our laws and procedures for immigration are obsolete at best and, far more often, grossly inadequate. The one place I am in full agreement with Trump on this issue is the need for serious reform - though I disagree with him considerably on how this should be accomplished.
I wholeheartedly agree with "Trust-Buster" Theodore Roosevelt's proclamation that "a hyphenated American is no American at all". This is not racist, xenophobic, or any other such term which lobotomized liberals love to lob about, but an open and honest criticism of an individual's lack of commitment towards the Nation of which they are a part. You rarely (if ever) hear anyone to proclaim themselves to be an Irish-American, Italian-American, Scottish-American, Polish-American, or any other such nonsense - they are AMERICANS! Their allegiance is HERE and nowhere else. To be a hyphenated American is akin to marrying one person only to sleep with someone else.
What's more is that TRUE Americans immigrate to our shores all the time. People who are actually from Africa or India or Brazil who come to America for a better life, embrace the national identity for which they came, setting down their former affiliations, and donning the mantle of American Citizen. These people are among the most successful of Americans because they know first-hand what the rest of the world is like - unlike many native-born hyphenated Americans who strangely idolize/embrace a foreign culture they've never known.
In fact, it is this incessant clinging to these hyphenated monikers which are the greatest detriment to the social and economic success of many minorities. There are a great many Americans of Latino origin who have climbed the ranks to the echelons of power and prestige, same as there are a great many Americans of African origin who are music superstars, prestigious actors, and even President of the United States. Those who infantilize themselves by suckling on wishy-washy hyphenated identities are the ones who face the greatest difficulties in education, employment, and even their day-to-day social lives.
Part and parcel to immigrants and minorities embracing their identity as Americans is renewed application of the Pledge of Allegiance. As a purely secular ritual (with each freely opting to omit "under God" or to cite a similar sentiment of their own choosing), there is no conflict of Church and State. The Pledge has served well for well over a century to unite people of all creeds and origins with their shared identities as American citizens - indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Insofar as Latino immigration and the American border with Mexico is concerned, the proposed wall won't accomplish anything. In fact, it would only serve to exacerbate the problem and lead to a sizable INCREASE in illegal immigration.
The REAL solution in this regard is three-fold:
- Unfortunately, the first step would indeed be harsher punishments and penalties for illegal immigration. Laws are laws and, despite mostly being good honest people, they ARE breaking the law. Reasonable laws which need to be enforced.
- The second step would be to look past the symptom (illegal immigration) and crack down hard on the root cause - those within the United States who prey upon illegal immigrants, actively encouraging such violations in the process.
- The flip-side of this is that the harsher enforcement would be accompanied by broadening and streamlining the process for legal immigration. The actual process for citizenship, as well, should be swept clear of obstreperous red tape and simplified as much as possible.
The biggest liability of obsessive border control is that no defense is ever foolproof. A border wall would make things more difficult to enter the United States, yet that would actually do more to keep illegal immigrants within our border than keeping them out.
If we become more liberal with things such as work visas these immigrants can come to America LEGALLY, earn a respectable wage for a time, then return home to Mexico to share the bounty with their families. If we instead clamp down our borders, not only are they more likely to bring their families with them and never go back but their fugitive status actively curtails their earnings - forcing additional hardships upon them as well as encouraging them to engage in other criminal activities simply to survive.
The exact rates for permanent immigration still need to be determined (overseas as well as domestic), though I expect that legal migratory immigration (not as citizens, but temporary residents with employment and civil rights) can and would increase considerably.
One of America's greatest virtues is the freedom to worship as you choose. Of course the caveat which some people have a tendency to overlook is that freedom comes with the commensurate obligation to show the same tolerance towards others. For centuries, numerous faiths have interacted and coexisted peacefully throughout the United States - even a great number of Islamic Muslims.
As with the hyphenated identities, the problem comes from those who do NOT respect the rights of others. The 2016 terrorist attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida which left 49 people dead and another 53 wounded. The back-to-back butchering in Bangladesh of a university professor simply because he was atheist and two gay rights activists for "promoting homosexuality". The list goes on and on and on! These attacks upon innocent Americans have escalated in both frequency and severity since the terrorist attacks upon the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and White House.
Our government has both the right and the obligation to protect its citizens against such dangers, both foreign and domestic. This is not a case of 'a few bad apples' - most reliable sources cite that 20% to 30% of Islamic Muslims are emphatically dedicated towards the utter destruction of western civilization. That's at least one 'bad apple' for every man, woman, and child in the United States!
I would need a fair amount of time and a great deal more information in order to try to formulate potential solutions, but the only surety is that this situation simply cannot be permitted to remain unaddressed. In the meantime, this would unfortunately necessitate a temporary moratorium on immigration by Islamic Muslims. Some problems in life, sadly, lack satisfying solutions and sometimes have no solution at all.