The Immigration Crisis

On the Current State of Immigration

Germany has the second highest foreign born population of any country, at slightly over 12,000,000 people according to a 2015 UN report on immigration. The only country that has more immigrants than Germany is the United States, and it’s not very close. According to the same 2015 UN report the foreign born population of The States was just nearly 47,000,000.

Pew Research Center estimates that of those 47,000,000 immigrants, roughly 24% immigrated illegally. Pew also states that 11.6 million, or 25% of the immigrants in America originated from Mexico.

It is estimated that roughly 50% of the illegal immigration into the country from the South is people physically crossing the border. While that still leaves 50% of the illegal immigration coming through other mediums, it is worth addressing the problem of border crossings.

The current president strongly advocates for the building of a wall as a solution to this issue, so much so that he declared a state of national emergency in an attempt to receive the funding for the wall.

Walls seem to work, at least to an extent. In the past 5 years, countries such as Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Kenya, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia have announced or began work on physical border barriers.

Israel was suffering from an illegal immigration problem, and they build a wall, which resulted in illegal immigration dropping to almost 0%.

In the case of the United States, since such a large portion of our illegal immigration comes not from physical border crossings, it seems that a wall wouldn’t do as much towards solving the issue as certain groups believe it will.

Although immigrants from Mexico make up the largest sect of the immigrant population, that could change in a few years. In 2001, immigrants from Mexico made up more than 50% of our incoming immigrant population. By 2016, that percentage has dropped to 31%.

Over the same period of time that immigration from Mexico decreased so dramatically, the percentage of the United States’ immigrant population that was Asian has risen from just above 20% in 2001, to 37% in 2016. Asian immigrants now account for the largest group of incoming immigrants.

Pew predicts that immigrants and their descendants will account for 88% of the population by 2065.

Border policy is and always has been a hot-button issue in American politics because it is a complex issue that has no obvious or simple solution. While the political right’s idea of a wall obviously isn’t an end all be all solution, there isn’t a much better proposal from the other side.

The political left has a large movement swelling inside of it pushing for open borders as well as the abolishment of ICE, which is obviously an unholdable position, as seen in countries such as Germany as well as many of the nordic countries.

These countries have adopted certain open border policies and experienced mass immigration, as well as a dramatic increase in violent crime.

Without a border it becomes increasingly difficult for the government to enforce laws on citizens as well as companies. It is important for a country to be able to account and protect for its citizenry.

Immigration has always been a topic in the American political discussion because immigrants have always made up such a large portion of our population, and have historically played a major role in our economy.