Is the American Dream worth it?
Another deadly voyage last month from the Dominican Republic to the shores of Puerto Rico killed over 70 migrants searching for the American Dream. This is not the first time. In 2008 some 29 people died in a similar voyage and in 2004 at least 50 people died trying to get to the so-called better life in America.
Around the world, there are many attempted voyages to America by land as well as water.
No one records the body count because none of our governments take responsibility for these murders! In fact, depending on the proximity of the event to the country of departure or the country of destination, our governments divide the responsibility of rescue and investigation.
There are attempts by government to deter people from making these deadly voyages. But,
when people believe there is a better life by getting to the shores of America, they will even
take the deadly risk! I won’t talk about how difficult life can be in America because the
comparisons to the challenges in other countries can be like apples and oranges.
Perception is the great motivator for reality.
We need an international effort around immigration. At the foundation of this effort, should be improving the quality of life in all countries, But, in the meantime, people should not be murdered for trying to get to another country. Fair and just immigration policies should be the order of the day in all countries. You should not be able to get into a country just because you have more money or you are a certain race or you have certain professional skills. I think there is something on the Statue of Liberty about the tired and the poor coming to our shores.
Nothing short of “open borders,” the long term solution, can prevent future deadly voyages. The human spirit for a better life is unconquerable. But, all of our countries need to examine their immigration policies not in terms of keeping people out but providing for the safe passage of all those who want to come in!
Some people are able to enter the United States immediately. For some, it takes years. And for others, they can only come into the United States illegally. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to come to America. Justice and fairness demand this. Our immigration policies should reflect these values.