All over the news today, the topic of immigration is forefront. In an Associated Press article on November 16, 2018, it was stated that there are about 3,000 Central American migrants who have reached the Mexican border across from California, and thousands more are anticipated. The mayor of Tijuana has said the city is preparing for another influx that will last at least six months, with no end in sight.
Furthermore, American border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego, creating long waits. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants that had more than 3,000 names recorded even before the caravan arrived.
Obviously, this is a very serious problem that has few answers. Many people resent this influx and would like to stop it. Others strongly believe in allowing immigrants to enter the USA.
Having lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for many years, I have observed a variety of reactions to immigrants. It is important to note that over half of Santa Fe’s population is Hispanic. Nonetheless, there is prejudice, with pressure to deny further entry and even perhaps to deport those already living here. I am moved by the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, which provides free legal services to immigrants to promote economic empowerment, community development, family unity, and liberation from detention. They are elevating the voices and narratives of immigrants, and their work is centered on the belief that supporting immigrants makes the entire community stronger.
This endeavor is one I support. In my view, we are all descendants of immigrants to this country—at its heart, America is a nation built by immigrants. At the same time, other reactions to immigrants strongly differ. What is your perspective? Are you a supporter? Do you think this is a step forward or backward for the United States? Can you feel the divide in this country and perhaps even in yourself?