Illegal immigration is a major issue in The United States, and has been for a while.
Since President Trump’s controversial executive orders, the issue has been the basis for many debates across the country.
Trump, who has full intent to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, has taken a stricter stance on immigration law enforcement than many of his predecessors, and has since added some even tougher provisions.
But how do legal immigrants feel about the massive influx in illegal immigration and Trump’s plan for U.S. border laws?
The Independent Journal Review interviewed 20 immigrants who’ve come to the United States legally in the last 1-50 years.
You’ll be surprised when you hear what they think about the issue.
1. Miriam Amselem, a 51-year-old personal trainer, emigrated from Israel in 1974:
“My parents immigrated to the U.S. with three kids in 1974 after the Yom Kippur War in Israel. It took a one-year process to get visas and green cards. My parents were naturalized exactly five years later and with pride!
My brother and I were under 18 so we were automatically naturalized, thanks to our parents. My entire family believes in secure and tight borders (most likely because of living in Israel and knowing the necessity). Additionally, we support legal immigration only.”
2. Waqqas Khan, a 35-year-old physician, emigrated from Pakistan in 2010:
“Both me and my wife moved to the U.S. almost 10 years ago. We worked extremely hard and had to go through tremendous hardships to change our visa status from working visa to permanent residentship. We served this country with our skills and compassion and owe a lot to America.
I just had the great honor and privilege of becoming a U.S. citizen on February 10, 2017. Being a legal immigrant to the U.S., I believe that immigration laws are of extreme importance for the sovereignty of a nation.
I find elements defending and promoting illegal immigration utterly outrageous, offensive and racist toward hardworking, legal immigrants like myself and others of various colors, ethnicities, and backgrounds.”
3. Jojo Reyes, a 57-year-old corporate pilot, emigrated from the Philippines in 1973:
“I came here legally as a student in 1973, as my father wanted us to have a better life, and to escape the dictatorship rule of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
I’m a corporate pilot and have traveled to countries that bring back memories of corruption, poverty, briberies, and crime. The last one being Nigeria. There are places there that you wouldn’t want to get caught walking alone due to kidnappings and terrorist threats from groups like Boko Haram.
We should consider ourselves lucky to live in such a great country, far from the problems of these other third world countries, whose open borders continue to plague their communities with illegal and criminal immigrants.”
4. Nicki Kalantari, a 30-year-old chemical engineer, emigrated from Iran in 2000:
“My family and I got our green card back in 2000 after almost waiting for 10-13 years due to Iran not having a diplomatic relationship with the U.S.
We spent thousands of dollars paying for attorneys to follow up our case and our financial sponsors — who were my uncle and his wife at the time — had to put down an astronomical amount of money and collateral on file for us in the U.S., despite the fact that my dad was a very successful architect in Iran and we were financially very stable.
I do believe there should be laws put in place to prevent not only illegal immigration, but also careful vetting for lawful immigration just like what we had. We worked so hard to earn our U.S. citizenship, and that’s why we honor it very much. Why shouldn’t everybody else?”
5. Hamody Jasim, a 31-year-old terrorism expert and former asset for U.S. intelligence, emigrated from Iraq in 2010:
“In Iraq, we had Al-Qaeda coming into our country because our border wasn’t secure at all. If your borders aren’t secure, it makes it a lot easier for your enemy to come in and take advantage of that. In Iraq, we are bordered by Syria and other nations that create so much chaos.
Mexico is already not difficult to come through. Everyone wants to come to the U.S: we need to make sure they are able to do that, but be safe at the same time. We are the number-one target in the world.”
6. Aly Taylor, a 29-year-old corporate sales manager, emigrated from Mexico in 1998:
“The U.S. has more illegal immigrants than any other country in the world. There is a better way to handle migration and encourage respect for the laws of the land and maintain great diversity.
The U.S. should embrace a talent-based migration system where we find ways to encourage and enable legal migration to those who can bring high talent and skills.
At the same time, the U.S. should tighten up borders as every other nation has in order to protect its citizens and keep illegal immigrants out.”
7. Brad Tonkin, a 32-year-old counterterrorism SME and intelligence and security consultant, emigrated from Australia in 2012:
“Firstly, after living in Mexico for the better part of a year, I absolutely understand — nor blame them — for wanting to improve their families’ lives by any means necessary. But the big picture is, that it is still wrong.
As someone who came here legally, I was put in a position of having to wait two years from paperwork being submitted to legal status change because of immigration backlog due to illegals being processed.
But even if this wasn’t the case — with the legitimate and serious threats from different factions around the world — having open borders is a sure way to invite these threats into our backyard and it increases the risk of attack on home soil considerably. The attacks in France, Germany, and Belgium reflect the risks of undocumented immigration.”
8. Vika Mukha, a 24-year-old legal assistant, emigrated from Belarus in 1992:
“First off, for the sake of order in a country, a nation and its tax paying citizens can only host and welcome so many people at a time.
I immigrated on March 25, 1992. I was eight months old when we moved here. My aunt and uncle just moved to the States last May, nine years after they applied to be reunited with their parents in America. So, it’s unfortunate that people who do it legally have to wait even longer and get less support upon arrival than the illegals.”
9. Michael Scheele, a 45-year-old technology industry marketer, emigrated from Japan in 1972:
“I led the class of newly-naturalized citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance after we all took the Oath of Allegiance in 1978. The United States is the only nation founded on a good idea — that individuals are free and the government is limited.
Anyone willing to adopt that ideal can become an American. To protect that ideal requires limitations on entry. People willing to respect their new home is a must.”
10. Paulina Chang, a 52-year-old former pediatrician, emigrated from China in 1982:
“Borders are a good thing. Immigrants should be admitted only on the basis of how they will benefit the U.S. Those who immigrate need to learn English.
It upsets me when people come and take advantage of the U.S. and want America to be accommodating to their cultures.”
There you have it.
IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION!