The Cost of Immigration Crackdown

BY ANNIE BOWE



Perhaps one of Donald Trump’s most controversial viewpoints is his stance on immigration; something that many of his voters found appealing. Much of this discussion focuses on immigration between the United States and Mexico. Trump, much like a child with a play set, has his heart set on building a wall between the two countries; somewhat of a plaster solution to a political topic that has seen division, protests and Government shutdowns.

But what has become clear is that this is not an issue of politics, an issue of money, men in suits and meetings. It’s an issue that involves people, families and children. A “zero tolerance” policy on immigration introduced by Trump’s Government meant that anyone found to be illegally crossing the border was to be punished more severely than in the past. This crackdown incites different reactions and opinions; some may say that there needs to be more actions taken like this to control immigration, while others think that quick punishment does not offer long term solutions and rehabilitation.

However, one thing that must be agreed is that the effects caused can go beyond immigration reform. Many families that try to cross the border can now be separated if the parents go to jail, meaning thousands of children have been sent to live with relatives, close or distant, or become displaced and lost in the system. There is currently a group of young boys that have been housed in a converted Walmart in Texas, which begs the question; who is this benefitting?

The Government claimed that there were 2737 families that had been separated at the border, but an internal watchdog recently released a report that said there were thousands more. Trump’s Government has responded by saying that reuniting all these families may be “beyond the realm of possibility”, meaning many of these children may remain displaced for the rest of their childhood. These children now must face the emotional trauma because of a decision based on what? Prejudice? Supposed solutions to immigration policies? Whatever the reason, thousands of children are now without families, and thousands of parents without children. Meanwhile, Trump seems to go about his day, golfing and shaking hands, while young children wait in detention centres, converted Supermarkets and homes that are not theirs, waiting for a reunion that may never come.

Image Credit: Teen Vogue