Thursday, November 29, 2007

The American Dream via Puerto Rico

Illegal immigration is a serious issue affecting many countries in the world. The hope for a better life, and the search for economic opportunities, has driven many people to abandon their countries and begin a new life abroad. The Mexican border might be the most publicized frontier in which illegal immigrants enter the U.S. However, as the recent arrest of a group of Asian human traffikers in Puerto Rico may indicate, the "island of enchantment" is also on the radar. This latest incident involves a group of 15 Asian men, mostly of Chinese origin, who are accused of smuggling at least 11 people in a period of nine months. The smugglers received between $11,000 to $15,000 per person.

In this case, these illegal immigrants' long journey began in China and involved making stops in faraway places, such as Italy, France, South America and the Dominican Republic, before arriving in Puerto Rico. Eventually, most will make their way to the mainland U.S to fulfill their American dreams. Illegal immigration is a controversial topic in the U.S. There is no easy solution to this problem. I don't believe the construction of a taller concrete barrier or the increase of border patrol officers, and the coast guard will deter the drive and ambition of those who desperately seek a brighter future. Debates regarding this topic will only become more heated as the 2008 presidential elections draws near. This is an extremely important topic, and I think we need to be honest with ourselves. The U.S economy, as well as Puerto Rico's, depends on illegal immigration. We need to have a discussion and come to an agreement on how to resolve this issue. Furthermore, it also involves the dialogue and cooperation between the U.S and countries, such as Mexico, which most illegal immigrants originate from.

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