By Angelina Newsom:
It’s no secret that the Department of Homeland Security recently carried out raids aimed at rounding up illegal immigrants. In the first major sweep since President Donald Trump took office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) picked up over 680 immigrants. After all, one of President Trump’s major campaign promises was to crack down on illegal immigration and two of the main threats it poses: terrorism and drug trafficking. Although these aren’t the only risks that accompany illegal immigration, they have taken to the forefront of discussion of late.
Human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights violations in modern times and is still happening across the globe. One flight attendant’s account of how she thwarted one case of human trafficking while in the air was recently released. Though the story happened years ago, it highlighted an atrocity that happens even in the United States. Many of the individuals involved in human trafficking are operating on false or invalid documentation.
As activists protest and express their outrage, I am personally okay with raids that target criminals. In fact, the recent raids are an extension of the policies and priorities that already existed under former President Barack Obama. Although he designated those who would remain relatively untouchable, this administration has shown that illegal means illegal, no matter how you slice it.
Targeting criminals that are in the United States illegally is not something that should be tampered with or protested. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) recently released instructions in various languages on how to combat cooperating with ICE agents in the event of a raid on their residence. I’m all for civil rights, human rights, and any right in between that guarantees freedom to individuals in their pursuit of happiness. What I find slightly discouraging is the stigma towards federal agents who are carrying out their duties. Encouraging those criminals who are in this country illegally to resist, even if legally, sends the message that ICE agents are not to be trusted.
The mass hysteria that has consumed many citizens of the United States needs to be redirected towards support for the efforts being carried out to make the country safer. While many claim that President Trump has swooped into office and initiated an all out war against law abiding immigrants in the United States, there are those who argue that former President Obama is the one who got away from addressing the issue. Did he let illegal immigration slide for eight years? The fact is, even under former President Obama, ICE carried out raids to round up illegal immigrants.
Activists will always find ways to blow their cause out of proportion without taking into account the bigger picture, or even the history of the operations being carried out. One would do well to research some of the issues that have made headlines and caused outcry. Staying informed is key to every American citizen’s well-being, as is as remaining aware of one’s surroundings at all times. When threats like illegal immigration go unchecked, they lead to bigger issues and massive human rights violations of horrific proportions. The public needs to realize that there are other dangers aside from terrorism where illegal immigration is concerned.
Angelina Newsom is an OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran. She has ten years experience in the military, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She studies Criminal Justice and is still active within the military community.
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