At what cost? The balance between human rights and security.

by Sarah Hannine, University student

It’s time that our generation starts to prepare ourselves for our grown-up, tax-paying and professional lives that await us all after our approaching graduation. It’s inherent that we educate ourselves of the pressing issues that affect our country and local communities.

Even though the United States-Mexico border is more than 1,000 miles away, the issues and policies surrounding the border and all of those who cross it have a direct impact on our own community. Citizens are paying more for border protection and technologies than all of the other federal and law enforcement agencies, like the FBI and CIA, combined.

However, the monetary cost is nothing compared to cost of human rights and innocent lives that are being lost and forgotten by the current border policies. More than 5,000 immigrants have died trying to cross the border since the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper in 1994, which was proposed to keep unauthorized immigrants from entering the U.S. However, after 20 years of operation and enforcement, there are still immigrants from Mexico, Central America and South America who are crossing the border into our country; they are just being pushed to take more dangerous and life-threatening routes.

Therefore, my question for readers is: At what cost can we keep trying to “protect” our Southern border when we have 20 years’ worth of evidence that shows no reduction in unauthorized immigration, only a heartbreaking rise in missing loved ones, and unidentified bodies that scuff the good reputation of our current border policies and procedures?