Every American should be concerned about the crisis unfolding at our southern border. Despite not making headline news daily, the situation is dire and demands urgent attention. As the Mayor of Yuma, Arizona, Douglas Nicholls witnesses firsthand the impacts of this crisis on our communities.
The current situation is twofold. On one hand, it is a matter of national security and law enforcement. On the other hand, it is a humanitarian crisis that deserves compassion and care. Both aspects are equally important and should not be treated as mutually exclusive.
Unfortunately, the federal government’s response to this crisis has been far from satisfactory. It has essentially washed its hands of the matter, leaving local governments, non-profits, and border communities to handle the consequences. This approach not only betrays the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens but also leaves border towns like Yuma in a precarious position.
Yuma is a city with strong ties to agriculture, relying heavily on legal workers from Mexico. The current crisis has disrupted this balance, causing widespread distress. Furthermore, the lack of control and regulation at the border has left room for human trafficking, drug smuggling, and other illicit activities to thrive. Such activities have profound implications for both national security and the wellbeing of individuals involved.
The federal government’s passive stance and lack of effective policy enforcement have allowed the situation to escalate. Current immigration laws are not being enforced, leading to a surge of individuals making the perilous journey to the U.S. in hopes of a better life. However, this journey often leads to exploitation, abuse, and even death. By not enforcing immigration laws effectively, we indirectly contribute to these atrocities.
Moreover, the current policies have resulted in a system that is easy to game, leading to an influx of people trying to exploit the immigration process. This situation is not only unfair to those genuinely in need of asylum, but it also strains our resources, making it difficult to provide effective aid to those in need.
This crisis also has significant economic implications. It is estimated that drug trafficking through the Yuma sector alone brings in about $12 million a week, contributing to the expansion and empowerment of drug cartels. This is a dangerous trend that threatens national security and public health.
The situation calls for a proactive approach from the federal government. We need policies that balance border security and humanitarian considerations. We need to ensure that the process of legal immigration is fair, efficient, and transparent. We also need to address the root causes of this crisis, including violence, poverty, and instability in countries of origin.
Mayor Douglas Nicholls urges President Biden to declare a national state of emergency and take immediate action. This declaration would unleash resources and allow for a more coordinated response to the crisis. The federal government should handle this situation as it would any other national emergency – with urgency, resources, and a comprehensive plan.
In conclusion, the border crisis is not just a local issue but also a national concern that affects us all. It is time we treat it as such and work towards a solution that ensures the security and prosperity of our nation while upholding our values of compassion and justice. The crisis is here, and it is real. It is time to face it head-on.
Listen to the full episode here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-potential/id1661043438?i=1000621542570