Damn the Electric Fence!
For hundreds of years, people from all over the world have been immigrating to America with hopes of starting a better life for themselves and their family. In fact, all Americans, with the exception of Native Americans, are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants; almost everyone who has ever lived in America has come from some other country. The first few waves of immigration were mostly people fleeing countries in Europe and entering the United States. However, more recently, most of the immigrants are coming from South America, mainly from Mexico, and millions of these people are entering the US illegally. According to U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, America has always welcomed legal immigration, "but as we welcome people in the front door, we see people crashing through the back door and the back window, violating our laws, flouting our sovereignty and ignoring our process" (Griffin). Every day thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans surreptitiously cross the U.S.-Mexican border carrying little more than dreams of a better life. America has always accepted its newcomers and has offered them opportunities; however illegal immigration impacts the judicial, environmental, educational, economic, and social fabric of the United States.
The opportunities promised by the United States as well as an improved standard of living serve as major motivating factors for people to emigrate to America. Most immigrants come to the United States for higher wages and increased opportunities. These immigrants flock to the United States to claim the "U.S. jobs that on average pay eight times their equivalent in Mexico" (Griffin). With salaries so much higher, people south of the border see America as a land of opportunity where they can become wealthy and better support their family, so they emmigrate, often illegally, soon as they get the opportunity. The US government protects vulnerable low-wage workers by establishing a minimum wage and regulating hours of work. The US also offers education and training programs to help workers improve their job skills and thus their earnings (Martin). These protections and programs set up for laborers are huge improvements when compared to the treatment of unskilled workers in developing countries. In the region around El Paso, Texas, "the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended illegal entrants representing 75 nationalities. (Ninety percent of those apprehended at the border are Mexicans.) Some are driven out of their homelands by war or political oppression, but most are bread-and-butter migrants hoping to trade poverty for prosperity" (Griffin). Immigrants come to America to improve their condition and to enjoy freedom.