Immigration is at the top of the news on a daily basis. It is a major election issue for the race to the presidency. It has been that way since the days of Ronald Reagan.
Today, there are more than 11 million illegal aliens walking around our nation. It is a problem without a cure.
The problem, however, is not exclusively an American issue. Nations have borders for many reasons. The biggest reason is to protect themselves from unwanted visitors.
What motivates people to leave their country for another? Usually it is related to the local economy. People want to eat and have a quality of life that includes basic shelter and a true democracy.
Practically all of world’s immigrants come to find work or to build their own business. You cannot do this under a mean dictatorship or a weak economy that may even lead to hunger and starvation. Oppressive regimes will also make people leave by the thousands. Who wants to be beaten, imprisoned or even murdered?
Desperate people who decide to flee will go to the border of least resistance. Our southern border with Mexico has very little resistance, and people come over by the hundreds of thousands on a monthly basis. It is not primarily Mexican citizens coming over the border. Rather, it is mainly Central Americans who are fleeing the violence and poverty in the nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Unfortunately, some of them are also violent. The notorious gang known as MS-13 was founded in El Salvador. They are now in our largest cities wreaking havoc in our neighborhoods. We deport a large number of these illegal immigrants but they just turn right around and come back in the same way they did before.
Another popular destination for illegal immigrants includes the Mediterranean nations, particularly Italy, Greece and Spain. People running from the blight and violence of African nations such as the Congo, Niger, Sudan, Somalia, Chad and others are coming via small boats.
Often these boats will collapse during their travel and the lucky ones are rescued by the navies of the aforementioned nations.
Like America, the increasing number of these illegal immigrants is becoming a politically sensitive issue for each of these nations. This is causing an even greater problem. Once these immigrants recover from their dangerous travel, they begin to once again go on the move. The new destinations are France, Germany and even England. Most of them are Black, and therefore stand out in European surroundings.
The boldest are those headed for England. They brazenly find their way to the underground tunnel known as “the Tube.” This tunnel is for trade via trucks driving under the 28-mile stretch of the English Channel. They jump on trucks or even walk along the narrow shoulders of the highway. Many are captured by British authorities. Some die along the way in truck accidents.
But most make it through and spread out to English cities where they connect with relatives or friends who have settled in after their legal immigration or illegal trips earlier.
From the Middle East
Another immigration hot spot is the Middle East. Afghanistan is a place still ravaged by the Taliban and other rebel forces. People send their kids away to avoid the oppression and violence.
Most travel to Turkey, a country that allows them to enter, and then exit to Eastern European nations such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, etc.
Joining this passage are now those fleeing from the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria. We are talking more than 2 million refugees and counting. Many of these people are Christians who are being threatened with genocide by the Muslim extremists.
Fleeing Christians have found another passageway. Learning about how easy it is to cross the Mexican border into the United States, they are now showing up there. Keep in mind that Mexico has no tolerance for illegal immigrants. But if the immigrants show that they are headed to the United States and are willing to bribe Mexican officials, they get through.
As long as there is unrest throughout the world, there will be immigration. The key to ending the illegal side of it is through accountability of sovereign governments. We aren’t going to have that until the United Nations and the top 20 economies of the world get together and start showing strong leadership.
No one wants to leave home if home is happy. The greed and evil of certain leaders are causing this and those leaders must be removed. It is only then when we will start to see an easing of immigration.
Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Contact him via www.nationalbcc.org.