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The Crisis of Immigration and the Welcoming of Strangers

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Magazine, Immigration, Submitted to the AFRO by Kevin Daniels

As we celebrate the monumental life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who gave his life to dissolve social inequities for the “other”, the partial government shutdown over immigration security has lasted for over thirty (30) days, which is the longest in United States history (9 of the 15 federal agencies closed). Over 800,000 federal workers and contractors are not receiving a paycheck, which is impacting over 172,000 in the entire state of Maryland and costing $4.8 billion dollars in economic impact throughout the nation. Despite contrary data, President Trump continues to assert that the need for the $5.7 billion dollars “wall” along the southern border is partially for a national emergency to stop the flow of drugs and crime into the country from undocumented workers.

From its inception, importation and immigration have been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the U.S. history. Because the United States is a settler- colonial society, all Americans, except a small percent of Native Americans, can trace their ancestry to immigrants from other nations around the world. In 2017, after historically having over 40 laws enacted, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services changed their mission statement from being “A Nation of Immigrants” to “A Nation of adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.” While a majority of Americans do believe that there should be some form of border security, many are challenged by taking American tax dollars to build a wall that Mexico was to provide the resources to build.

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