Korobov: U.S. deserves secure borders


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While most countries tend to bicker with their bordering entities, America has historically shared favorable relationships with its two neighbors, Canada and Mexico. Canada is our No. 1 trading partner, and Mexico is the third.

That’s why when the Mexican president begins to lecture the United States on its own “formation and historic origin,” it’s worth examining the statement’s validity.

On Oct. 5, Mexican President Enrique Nieto appeared on CNN with Zakaria and stated that “this is a country whose origin to a great extent is one of migration, and that’s why it’s unfortunate to hear this exclusionary and discriminatory tone regarding the migration flows …” The implication, of course, is that Americans should feel guilty about any hesitation they may feel regarding the millions of undocumented residents in their country.

It is true, since the days of Ellis Island, America’s population has relied on a diverse stream of immigrants. At no point in time, though, did the United States have open borders. At Ellis Island, immigrants were processed for diseases and their potential for contribution to society.

As humane as it may seem to allow everyone in, borders serve a purpose. Space and resources are scarce, and as a society, we need to decide whom we want and whom we don’t.

No one disputes that many of those crossing the border illegally are honest, hard-working people. Yet in a world of Ebola, ISIS, and drug cartels, are we really supposed to accept an open-border solution?

Despite Nieto’s accusatory statements, Mexico has very harsh laws regarding illegal immigration. In Mexico, illegal immigration is a federal offense, while in the U.S. it is a civil one. Translated from Spanish, Article 123 of the General Law on Population states that the penalty for illegal immigration consists of up to two years in prison and fine of several hundred pesos. If a Mexican marries a foreigner to aid her or him to live in the country, the punishment is up to five years in prison as stated by Article 127. Additionally, Mexico is known for using its troops on its southern border.

In the same interview, Nieto goes on to say that there is currently a zero balance between those going to the United States and those coming back to Mexico. While this may be true, this August, activist James O’Keefe crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on video dressed as Osama Bin Laden. The video would be amusing if it didn’t show just how weak the security at the border really is.

The Pew Hispanic Research estimates that there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States as of 2010. This brings the percent of the population living illegally to over 3.5 percent, the highest of any country in the world. The next country’s percentage, Austria’s, is more than seven times less.

The United States is not exclusionary or inhumane. The numbers show that we clearly have a major problem with illegal immigration in this country. Attacking those who are simply concerned about today’s situation is unfair and unproductive. The dialogue must shift to which characteristics we should be looking for in the immigrants that we allow as well as how to finally make the border completely secure.

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