Do politicians ever talk with immigrants at the border, asking them why they traveled so far and endured so many dangers to seek asylum in the USA?

Many politicians rush to the border for photo ops in front of the wall, hurling accusations about open borders and dangerous immigrants. They paint a picture of terrorists, drug smugglers, and rapists flooding the country, and threatening economic stability by competing for jobs.

The reality is far less dramatic. Apprehensions by Homeland Security are down, thanks in part to Mexico’s efforts. Many immigrants have integrated into border communities over the years. Often, they take jobs Americans won’t do, for less than a living wage.

While tragic incidents involving undocumented immigrants do occur, some politicians inflate the numbers, creating a perception of widespread danger.

Studies show that the vast majority of drugs enter the country through smuggling by air, sea, and land, not with immigrants, not backpacks.

Instead of fearmongering, politicians should focus on real threats. Consider secondhand smoke, estimated to kill 38,000 annually. 

The right wing remained silent on the opioid crisis created by Purdue Pharma, a crisis that ruined families and took countless lives. Politicians weren’t protesting outside Purdue’s offices then.

Some politicians exploit fear of immigrants to deflect from their lack of accomplishments. The contrast is stark. Look at the violent January 6th Capitol attackers – that’s who we should fear, not the peaceful immigrants at the border.

My advice: Politicians at the border, spend time talking to immigrants and aid organizations. Listen to their stories.  You might find a more productive approach and might learn something valuable.


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