Local & State Voices

Legal immigrants, like me, help make America great

A “coyote” runs along the outskirts of Colonia Delacruz after escorting a group of immigrants across the Rio Grande last August.
A “coyote” runs along the outskirts of Colonia Delacruz after escorting a group of immigrants across the Rio Grande last August. TNS

“Why do you want to go to the United States?” filmmaker Ami Horowitz asked the Honduran migrants as they traveled toward the border. “I am seeking a better life, economically,” “I want to get there and work there,” “Because in Honduras there are no jobs,” they say. “We are looking for a better life, because we don’t have jobs,” one said.

These are all good reasons to want to live in the greatest country in the world. The media focus on those seeking asylum, but many illegal immigrants are coming for other reasons.

My mother, a widow, came to the United States from Honduras with four children, seeking to provide us with a better life. As parents, we all desire to provide a better life for our children. There are millions of us whose lives have benefited because we were welcomed into this great country. However, I speak for those immigrants who came here legally. It wasn’t easy, and many had to wait years before being able to come in. My mother had to show that she had the financial means to take care of her family without having to rely on government support. Many corrupt Honduran officials wanted her to pay a bribe to receive permission to go to the United States. She refused; the little money she had was needed to settle in the U.S. She persisted with her appeals until one official gave her permission and did not require a bribe.

This latest group of migrants at the border are being used as pawns by organizations and political groups pushing the open borders agenda. Most of these immigrants are good people, but there are some who are criminals, murderers, drug dealers and human/sex traffickers.

Undocumented immigrants for obvious reasons are easy targets for human/sex traffickers. One study found that the United States is among the leading countries for commercial sex markets with huge profits supporting a growing industry. The U.S. Department of State estimates that 15,000 - 50,000 people are trafficked to the US every year, making it one of the most sought-out locations for individuals being trafficked. Human trafficking is very profitable. A drug or illegal gun can only be sold once by a trafficker, but rape with a human slave can be sold over and over again, making sex trafficking the most profitable business for them.

We are not equipped to handle the millions who have illegally entered our country. We cannot financially afford it, not while we are $21 trillion in debt. Too many of our own citizens are poor and homeless. Too many of our veterans, who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our country, do not get the support that they deserve yet we spend billions every year taking care of illegal immigrants. Health care alone for illegal immigrants costs taxpayers billions. Even using the most conservative estimates, a $10 billion or $20 billion investment in border security will save us many more billions in the next few years.

We are a nation of immigrants. Immigrants are welcome and needed in our country. Immigrants and the diversity they bring to our nation are part of what makes America the greatest country on Earth. In order to remain the country of choice, the country of freedom, the country of liberty, we must have control over our borders.

Miller is president of the Mecklenburg Evening Republican Women’s Club. dzmiller81@gmail.com