I’ve been a registered Democrat for as long as I can remember. I always associated my party with compassion, unity, a country we can all call home. But lately, I find myself torn and confused. And my vexation stems primarily from the question of illegal immigration and the Democrats’ obsession with open borders.
In 2019, my filmmaking work led me to the story of a young Indian girl who died on our southern border while crossing illegally.
Since I was in India, I decided to find her family and, if possible, to offer help. I figured anyone who would risk a child’s life to come to America must be destitute. But I found the opposite: a relatively affluent family seeking to migrate to America for the “dollar dream.” And this was hardly an isolated case. Shooting around the world, I uncovered story after story of unqualified refugee and asylum cases, all exploiting a dangerously broken US immigration system.
Democrats frame their open-borders stance as compassionate, but their compassion is misplaced: Most illegal immigration is simply an abuse of America’s generous refugee policies, something President Donald Trump recognized when he insisted that would-be refugees apply for asylum where they are, securing the cooperation of Latin-American states in stopping migrant caravans.
President Biden has already signed executive orders to undo Trump’s border and illegal-immigration policies. These reversals are dangerous — and uninformed.
Our system is overloaded and stressed. We have people trying to immigrate to this country legally, with wait times of several years. For those who do choose to come here illegally, the journey is no walk in the park: From deaths on the border to predation by criminals and human traffickers, to long detentions, to less-than-livable wages once granted entry, these poor souls achieve far less than the American Dream.
And for what? So, corporations can have cheaper labor and we Democrats can have a larger voter base?
Meanwhile, our own people are suffering. Millions of Americans don’t have health care. Unemployment is at record highs. Many need government assistance. We don’t have the resources to help our own. And yet the leaders of my party telegraph invitations for more illegal crossings, regardless of how it hurts Americans and migrants alike.
Our cultural elites relentlessly present open borders as the natural order of things, with all opposition dismissed as cranky and phobic. Former President Barack Obama, will soon adapt “Exit West,” a book about immigration, into a film for Netflix. The book’s author, Mohsin Hamid, says, “Migration is what our species does. . . . We need to see the beauty and potential in this.”
But where are the films that present the other side of the story?
Legal immigration isn’t without its flaws, either. The irresponsible messaging from the Democrats has turned America into a lottery platform, as opposed to a country that countless warriors have shed their blood for. A nation that gives and deserves allegiance. An adopted motherland that must be given equal love, if not more, than your birth motherland.
And because the open-orders ideology views the nation as nothing more than a personal-success platform, not much is expected of the new immigrant besides working, spending and enjoying themselves.
There are immigrants who still refer to the country they left behind as “my country”; America as is just the place where they happen to reside. Of them, I ask: Where is your effort? It’s true that when done for the right reasons, with the right sentiments and executed in the right way, immigration can be a beautiful thing, as Ahmed says.
But when immigrants just focus on using America as a commodity to further their self-interest, without investing any love or reverence for this great nation, it becomes selfishly problematic.
America isn’t — or shouldn’t be — for sale or for rent. It’s not a means to get ahead. It’s a nation, with many who worship its history and ideals. Come here and play your part in making America as great as it deserves to be. Start by protecting and serving this country, which includes its borders.
Namrata Singh Gujral directed “America’s Forgotten,” a film about the dark side and high costs of illegal immigration.