LETTER: Do we really need a $5.7 billion wall?

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019

There is no U.S. Hispanic invasion. 

Per the PEW Research Center, there were approximately 10.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2016.  Of those, 5.4 million were Mexican, which is a decrease of 1.5 million Mexican immigrants since 2007. 

Yes, we’ve had an increase in Central American immigrants fleeing gang violence and poverty in recent years.  However, we need to accept responsibility for much of this migration.  Over the past century, the U.S. has backed numerous military coups in Central America.  Our actions have created power vacuums in which drug cartels have created violence that drives people to seek asylum in the U.S.

We don’t have thousands of terrorists crossing our Southern Border.  Per Home Land Security’s own reporting, DHLS personnel prevented 3,775 suspected terrorists from entering the U.S. in 2017, mostly at world-wide airports, none at our Southern Border.

Actually, 80-90 percent of drugs seized along the border in 2018 came through legal points of entry not wide-open border land where Trump wants his wall.  The biggest fentanyl bust ever, 254 pounds, was recently seized in a semi entering the U.S. at a port of entry.

Trump’s statements about immigrants being rapists and murders implies illegal immigration means crime.  There is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans.  In fact, first-generation immigrants are predisposed to lower crime rates than native-born Americans.

Here’s how to strengthen border security:

• Purchase electronic surveillance tools to detect border incursions. 

  Focus on ports of entry. 

• Hire more judges to reduce the 800,000-case, immigration backlog.

• Accept responsibility for immigrant migration by helping countries grow jobs through market access and loan forgiveness. 

• Practice humane treatment for legal and illegal immigrants: provide decent detention facilities.

Our country’s decisions should be based on facts not fear. 

Ken Peterson