Immigration continues to be one of the most contentious issues of our times. The inability of counties to maintain a stable economic and political status has forced unprecedented amounts of immigrants to flee their homeland in search of a better life. Currently, right wing and populist lead governments around the world have implemented disgusting policies to try to dissuade the influx of these immigrant populations to their countries.
Unfortunately the United States has lead the way. U.S. Congress has failed to agree on how to address immigration challenges for years, passing the buck and leaving policy questions up to the courts and executive branch. The unbelievably cruel and ineffective policies of the Trump administration only highlights the years long struggle that Americans have had with this issue. It continues to this day.
A 2022 Gallup poll found that 70 percent of Americans surveyed considered immigration to be good for the United States and supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the United States. However, even though most Americans support a sensible solution to immigration, right wing extremists in our government refuse to offer suggestions or support in addressing and changing the situation, instead they have chosen to make a conscious decision to advocate extremist positions to boost their hold on power with a small base of vocal, racist, unamerican supporters.
Internationally the situation is no better and continues to decline. More than 20,000 migrants have perished while trying to sail across the Mediterranean Sea since 2014. These migrants, from places like Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Pakistan, are fleeing their home countries out of desperation-desperation driven by conditions like conflict, political oppression and persecution, hunger, natural disaster, and lack of economic opportunity.
These numbers continue to the rise as the world looks the other way: migrant arrivals to Europe by sea has doubled during the first half of 2023 than during the same period a year ago. It is documented that there has been more than 1,800 migrant deaths in the central Mediterranean so far this year, with an average of eleven children dying every week.
In both the United States and Europe, right wing populism continue to fuel short-sighted and racist viewpoints of what is now a global crisis. Until we as a people confront our governments and demand fair and compassionate treatment of immigrant populations we can not as a global society have a moral consciousness worthy of our calling as human beings.