America Immigration System-An Incurable Ill or A Political Game???

Adveline Minja
16 min readJan 23, 2019


The ongoing immigration saga at the Southern border with Mexico which has resulted holding Americans hostage by shutting down the government…now the most extended government shutdown ever in America history, and have left many federal employees without jobs while some are working without pay. The decision to shut down the government rests in the hands of the President! He cynically declared that he owns it, proud of it, and will not blame anybody for this shutdown leaving many puzzled, hurting, and some wondering how further this can go on?

For one, the portrayal of immigrants-legal and illegal as a threat to the national security and the economy is false and the biggest lie of the 21st Century!

The current ongoing hysteria talks about immigrants flocking into the country through the Southern border with Mexico is, but a political game intends to hide the truth to the American public.

A wall at the southern border should indeed remain a non-starter, and Democrats get this right this time, and they should lead the way on this issue since the presidential leadership is currently a rare commodity in Washington DC. If this wall was so crucial, why the Republicans had control of the three Houses of Government for two years, and they did not bring forward this immigration issue they now call for imminent action? Or is it because it was a campaign promise He now realizes that it has the upper hand? Is the border wall saga a new hope after the Republicans found victory in the Senate following the 2018 midterm election which wipes away their lead in Congress?

It is irresponsible and unpatriotic to cause government shutdown by using immigrants and American people as a bargaining tool! The Republicans have committed a political crime…a political corruption that is designed to divide the nation…to make American people take sides, and the worse part, to keep His base/supporters standing by Him at the expense of most Americans who oppose the wall funding!

Let’s face it, the allegations that there is a wave of illegal immigrants forcing their way into the country via southern borders is a one-man-made threat designed to create fear and adverse reactions from the public and to give Him room to keep spreading His lies to forge His divisive policies and self-interests.

The claim that immigrants are hurting Americans, they are taking your jobs, they are criminals, and they cost millions of Americans taxpayers money on social welfare, free healthcare and or education, are all but bogus claims. An informed and educated leader of this nation knows that such an argument is false, one-sided and only narrow-minded people are capable of holding such grudges because the well-researched data shows the truth that never deceives. Before you fall into this toxic rhetoric’s of the conservative-reactionary of the Republican party, take a deep pause, seek the truth, and self-educate to be on the side of well informed to make a wise reaction, judgement, and or constructive discussions and decisions even when you engage into conversations with your counterparts on the social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and alike!

First, factually proven and worth the embrace is that America and immigrants are inseparable-you have never had one without the other! America is a heritage of people of all colors, shapes, sizes, cultures, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. Let’s not forget that the greatness of America was found and rooted in the dependence of its diversity.

Former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell defined America coherently as, “America is a nation of nations, made up of people from every land, of every race and practicing every faith. Our diversity is not a source of weakness; it is a source of strength, it is a source of success”.

There is a disconnect about the truth regarding immigrants in the US, both legal and illegal immigrants-how American public understand immigrants in general and the economic and or national security impact of the immigrants in the United States.

It is intriguing to admit, given all the hysteria debates about illegal immigrants caravan wanting to enter the US from the Southern border, that, according to Pew Research Center’s estimate, the number of illegal immigrants living in the USA was lower in 2016 than any time since 2004. This is due to a massive decline in number of new illegal immigrants coming to the country from Mexico although the number of illegal immigrants from Central America-El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala has increased causing the famous “Immigrants caravan invasion” talks orchestrated by President Trump and now holding Americans in hostage with the government shutdown due to wall funding dispute with Democrats.

Also, most unnoticed or uncommonly stated is that a growing share of illegal immigrants were not people who had entered the country illegally but had arrived legally and overstayed their visas. It should also be noted that there is an ongoing problem of nearly a million backloads filed immigration cases currently waiting to be processed! As these immigrants wait for their immigration status to be processed, they are subjected to unfair scrutiny and discriminations as their cases take many years to complete.

According to a more recent data from the federal government, there was a small increase in border apprehensions in 2018. There were about 467,000 apprehensions at the Southern border year 2018 than in any year since 2012. Even with that record, still, the number of arrests in 2018 remained far below the more than 1 million usually captured per year.

As President Trump and Democrats stand their grounds about ways to end the government shutdown, it is worth it exposing how Americans see or view illegal immigrants, as well as their stands towards president’s proposal about the expansion of the border wall and what political leaders should compromise to open that partial government shutdown that is holding Americans hostage.


· Less than half of Americans know that most immigrants in the US are here legally. Majority of immigrants in the US are here in the country legally, and therefore they have legal status and rights that allow them to work or receive some social benefits-health care, education, etc. just like their fellow Americans.

· Both Republicans and Democrats voters immensely disagree that illegal immigration is a major problem facing America today-neither data nor history prove that immigration is a big problem in America today. The problem with America immigration today is that the America immigration system is broken and needs immediate reforms.

· According to the Pew Research, nearly 34 million legal immigrants live in the US. Many live and work in the country after receiving legal permanent residence (also known as Green Card), while others receive temporary visas available to students. In addition, 1 million illegal immigrants have temporary permission to live and work in the US through the DACA-Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status-a temporary status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the US (citizens from some countries affected by political conflicts or natural disasters) allowed to live and work in the US for limited period of times. So, using DACA for the exchange with the border wall that costs billions of Americans taxpayer money is not economically viable-it’s a lousy deal for the deal makers!

· Majority of the American public, including some Republicans Law-Makers from the southern border states, opposes the wall building at the Southern border with Mexico. The funding amount of 5.7 million dollars is not worth it; it is financially irresponsible, morally wrong, and practically useless. 58% of Americans opposed the expansion of the wall at the southern US-Mexico border. Only 40% of Americans support the wall building according to a January 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center.

· As it stands today, many Americans disapprove the government shutdown, and the way shutdown negotiations are handled. While a little over a third of Americans (36%) approval of the Trump’s/Republicans feels about the wall building negotiations, public views and considers Democrats are handling the Trump government shutdown talks amicably better and positively that favor American people who are hurting by the government shutdown.

· Nearly half of Republicans say US taxpayers would ultimately pay for the building of the wall, while overall, seven-in-ten US adults said the US would eventually pay for the construction of the southern border wall with Mexico but see the wall as unnecessary and unworthy their taxes money.

· Democrats are divided over whether party leaders should cooperate with Trump or Trump should work with Democrats leaders in the new 116th Congress over the next two years!

· According to September 2018 survey by Pew Research Center nine-in-ten Republicans (91%) say Trump stands up for his beliefs, while 52% of Democrats doubt other personal qualities, such as being a strong leader, being well-informed and being trustworthy.

The majority of American public are unaware or don’t know a lot about legal and or illegal immigrants, and therefore when leaders misinform and or lies about immigrants, they are amplifying fear with the intent to cause adverse reactions towards immigrants, and in turn, immigrants are usually subjected to discriminations, abusive acts, and humiliations.

President Donald Trump and his administration have been the proponent of the immigrants’ assaults rhetoric to forge for his divisive and discrimination policies. He introduced Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy in April 2018. The Zero Tolerance Immigration policy is designed to deter, catch, detain and prosecute all individuals who illegally attempts to enter the Us from the southern border. The separate of families-children separated from their parents and imprisoned them in a wire mesh compartment, and subject them to inhumane treatment-showing them sleeping on the small mats and covered with thermal blankets on the floor, poor sanitation, and medical attention; and two Guatemalans children even died while detained.

These hush and inhumane policy practices of Trump administration are used as a tool to deter the illegal immigrants from attempting to cross the southern border with Mexico even though the majority of them are woman and children who can not pose any danger to the national security. These people are seeking refuge and asylum of which is their rights when they are facing a threat or violence, in their native countries as it is the case with the people arriving at the southern borders from Central America.

This increase of the illegal immigrants at the southern border is also due to more restrictions that have been practiced by the Trump immigration policy at the “legal-ports-of- entry” that their asylum status has been delayed and or denied without the process and or merit.

The Trump’s Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy has been viewed as another immoral act that defies American values, and all that humanity stands for, it is an abuse of human rights! When mothers with their children in their arms dare to trod through the wildness and into the unchartered territory in search of better life, that was the last resort they have. And having to embark on such long and dangerous journey and uncertain future ahead of you; having to endure unknown only to be faced with humiliation and inhumane treatment-snatching away their babies from their arms is not only cruel but also evil and deplorable policy that demands condemnation and must cease.

Now, the America Broken Immigration System

America immigration system is broken! And because of its brokenness, it causes many ills, and has become a political game, because there has never been a will from the politicians to cure the immigration ills once and for all! But make no mistake, it is by design that the immigration system is as it is today-to exploit and then harass and humiliate! For there is no big problem or ills that such a superpower country as America is, is too big to solve!

Now, let’s dig deeper-The the fact that you are an immigrant whether legal immigrant or illegal immigrant you are faced with different sets of treatment standards, and always sub-standards-from workplace, to whatever else you pursue! Let’s call a spade a spade…the anti-immigration/anti-immigrants hysteria repeatedly flared during elections and with every new President at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC is a proof that they (politicians) time after time used immigration policy to gain your vote or wants you to take sides!

American Immigration policy is a “political game”! It is well documented and known that America exists and thrives on the diversity-the representation of an intimate snapshot of unique, different and various people, culture and heritage integrate into a “melting pot” society of America. And without this rich mixture of races, cultures, and religions, America would not be the nation that it is today, founded on the beliefs that freedom and equality is the right that should be enjoyed by all Americans whereby intense, different cultures should coexist peacefully but also thrive to become America the great nation of all.

Now having this principle understanding of our America, that the story of America we know today did not emerge from the vacuum! That America has been a destination of immigrants since its discovery as a new land in the western hemisphere. From the time of Pilgrims, Huguenots of the colonial era, to today’s Muslims flee their native places for rights to be and do what they want, and or the Central Americans mothers and children escaping violence and poverty; and here domestically the struggle and the fight against discrimination by the color of your skin or the gender identity; a desire for decent wage and equal pay among racial and gender. Generally, a struggle for a better life of which millions have forsaken their native places for the often dangerous and challenging journey to America, only to be exploited by the system they expected help from to navigate into this new land- destination America; why the politicians continue tormenting the immigrants as if they never and or are not contributing to making America the greatest country ever?

Let us also principally acknowledge that exploitation of immigrants has been going on for many many years because of the broken immigration system. Many experts on immigration don’t see immigrants as a problem or threat to the national security or destruction to the economy. Instead, they sight the broken immigration system which is used by the politicians to forge their political views and unpopular policies that intend to exploit further, intimidate and humiliate. This manifest itself from the way the Immigration and Nationalization Services process the requests for applications for either permanent residence, famously know as Green-Card permit, and or the application for citizenship. There are several categories for immigrants fillings to adjust their status to a permanent residence or citizenship including the asylum seeker process.

Its one thing, to restrict the process when immigrants apply for the adjustment of their immigration status, and another, when their cases remain unsolved/unsettled, sometimes for a decade or two, claiming “overwhelming backloads” of applications.

The immigration system as it is today prey on the immigrants when they collect all the application fees (which are not cheap), almost majority of immigrants spend a minimum of $5,000 and up to $10,000-$15,000 for forms and layers to process their applications to adjust their immigration status! And then, the process takes a decade or so to complete.

In the meantime, that person, that family waiting for their status to be adjusted has/have to survive! So, they get hired of course, at a minimum or below the minimum wage. They do all kinds of available work because they have no luxury to chose what type of work will accept or not accept for the little pay they are forced to take whether you are skilled or unskilled. And yes, here is where it really get into an exploitation scheme, “the jobs that Americans won’t do, but Immigrants do”!!!

According to the Pew Research Center, the US industries, departments and occupations that have high share of illegal immigrants workers include-agriculture/farming-it is estimated about half of the nation’s workers in agriculture are illegal immigrants; construction, leisure/hospitality, business services and other services (child care and senior care), manufacturing, and or contract labor.

It is not necessarily that they are illegal immigrants and unskilled and therefore they have to do the low-wage-pay jobs, but, they have been squeezed by the immigration system to accept it while waiting for years for their status to be adjusted. Some illegal immigrants may not have the applications in the process, or may as well be unskilled, however, what they do, in the farms to make it possible for the foods you consume daily…or build the roads you drive to and from…or the homes you seek comfort after a long day of hustling…the clean rooms and beds you sleep in when you check into the hotel during your corporate meeting…or your on vacation or honeymoon after your dream wedding…and or the airports workers who facilitate your travels…and many other places-some very sensitive and delicate like caring for your seniors (old and disabled) or your infants and your other children of whom at times even a blood-family members couldn’t care for their own as a stranger could!

Without the immigrants working in those places and on those jobs so-called, “job Americans won’t do,” those places and or those employers could not survive! What immigrants have to toil and endure, the low-pay, the poor working conditions, zero employees benefits; in some instances, they work for weeks even months only later to be told they won’t get paid and of course, you are fired and you can’t do anything! You can’t complain to the authority because you have no rights. If this isn’t a designed exploitation scheme, tell me what it is!

Even though Immigrant endures countless abuses and inhumane treatments in search of survival and better/decent life, they are hard working people. And by the way, the majority of immigrants do pay taxes, they don’t get welfare benefits if they don’t have legal/lawful immigration status, and they contribute to the economy of this nation immensely according to the economic experts. If there is a better life in America for the immigrants who have no legal rights to defend or protect themselves, if the system continues to threaten, intimidate, silence, and of course the cycle of exploitation goes on, but still they endure all, it doesn’t make it right! Immigrants are resilient people, but also they have needs just like all of us and helping them to adjust their immigration status rightfully, and quicker will mean acknowledging them and accounting them as members of American society and fair contributors of the society.

The border wall funding saga is a proof how immigration system is broken and how politicians use immigrants for their political games! President Trump’s demand for border wall has nothing to be proud of! It defies the America values. The wall will be a symbol of divisiveness and discrimination that continue to exist in America.

The border wall is a perfect incurable ill in America immigration politics today. It disregards the rule of law, the respect of the US Constitution and it fosters the violation of human rights. And, not paying Americans their wages or freezing their jobs indefinitely is irresponsible, negligence, and abuse of power of the Presidency’s office. People empowered the President to work with them, to listen, learn, and lead them not to play political games and make people’s lives miserable and uncertain about tomorrow and or what future holds for them after the government shutdown ceased.

The claim by the President and supported by his Republican party that there is a humanitarian crisis at the southern border and that the wall will solve it is a political game that has become an incurable ill! The immigration crisis at the border is a manmade-make-believe crisis that instead of addressing the broken immigration system that delays many immigrants status adjustment applications and denies asylum seekers their rights to enter the country through the legal ports of entry it promotes cruelty, and the wall facilitates that cruelty!

Indeed, the immigration crisis at the southern border is a humanitarian nature that could well be handled by following the humanitarian laws in place as well as ensure that the legal ports of entry are operating under the established laws and regulations. Deregulating the laws and introducing counterproductive rules, and policies such as zero tolerance Immigration Policies are what is wrong with the American Immigration system…it is the incurable ills and the continuation of political games on immigration and immigrants.

The imminent need for Immigration Policy Reform cannot continue hiding in the open-sight! Comprehension immigration policy reform, not the wall is MUST and paramount if the leaders of both parties, Republicans and Democrats are honest and willing to solve this long and overdue America immigration ills that is bringing so much shame and suffering to the nation, affects all Americans, not just legal or illegal immigrants.

Humanity in leadership not only matters, but it is also necessary, and it is required more so during times of political crisis as is now. The quality of the actions of the Presidency’s office rests not on one-man but the entire political system that ensures the proper conduct and the preservation of the integrity the presidency’s office and the integrity of American people.

The Comprehensive Immigration Policy Reform, Not Wall or Party-Politics

If the majority of Americans don’t support the wall at the southern border with Mexico; if the majority of Americans want Dreamers (DACA) to stay and adjust their status towards legal and US citizenship, why the leaders we put into power not listening and responding accordingly?

Twice the Comprehensive Immigration Reforms was tabled in the Senate: 2006- Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, 62–36 and 2013-Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, 68–32; 2006 under the Republican President George Bush and 2013 under the Democrat President Barak Obama. Both times, it was the Republican House of Representatives refused to take actions, to address the Senators’ proposals on the House floor.

Now it’s a time for the people-the American public to demand actions from the 116th Congress. American people are tired of being played by politicians by taking our votes for granted. All that were proposed and discussed in the two previous Comprehensive Immigration Policy Reforms should be tabled again to address all immigration problems once and for all!

The immigrants both legal and illegal are only asking the politicians to see immigrants as human beings worth your consideration. Bring the Comprehensive Immigration Policy Reforms back to the table and solve these American immigration ills sooner than later.

If all the previous Comprehensive Immigration Policy Reforms failed because of the Republican Congress refused to take actions, the 116th Democrats Congress MUST reintroduce and pass the much need immigration policy reforms; because President Trump too, declined to lead instead opted to hold Americans hostage by shutting down the government and disrupt thousands of American families’ lives by playing political games with the unpopular wall.

The current political administration tells and shows about what America immigration politics and American leadership can be! Trump forcing policies that are deserving American people and its institutions is a disturbing political betrayal. He is a reminder to the whole world how democracy can be conned and hijacked and used /manipulated by the few people who harbor radical beliefs and ideas that elicit fear and anxiety among the public, especially among the people of colors, immigrants, and even among the children as they witness adults not leading by examples.

Time is now for Congress to take actions and easy the public anxiety that Trump and his Republicans are cultivating.



Adveline Minja

I am an educator. I am a woman. I am a parent. I am passionate about teaching and learning things that made us whole and great!