A lot of people seem very upset at the border wall President Trump plans to build. Let me just say, that while I understand some of the complaints and I have plenty of reservations about the wall myself. However, I do not see the desire to build the wall as racist. I also do not understand the need for those who disagree with the wall to brand anybody who thinks it is a good idea with the "racist" label.
As somebody who came to this country many years ago as an immigrant from Pakistan, I know better than anybody the incredible opportunities America can offer. I came here with nothing and I was able to become a very successful doctor and live an amazing life. But I came here legally and did everything the right way.
And while I sympathize with those who are undocumented - whether they snuck in unlawfully or just overstayed their visas - there is a reason why countries need to have at least some control of their borders. As much as I want to see as many people as possible come here from other countries and do well, when somebody comes here as an undocumented worker, there are people who suffer as a result.
For starters, there are those who wait in line for legal citizenship only to be bypassed and essentially punished for following the law.
But there are also negative consequences for some American workers, especially those who are most in need. As both Senator Bernie Sanders and President Trump pointed out during the 2016 campaign, there are millions of Americans who are suffering. Unskilled laborers haven't had a significant raise in wages in many years and quite a few of them struggle to find or keep steady employment.
When an undocumented immigrant enters the labor force, this drives down wages for those aforementioned unskilled laborers, because employers would prefer to pay those immigrants the artificially low wages that are far below what an American citizen may accept under the minimum wage laws.
Furthermore, the market becomes flooded with a much greater supply of this cheap, unskilled labor, and fewer jobs exist for working class Americans. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT blaming these immigrants. It is still better for them to make the low wages in this country than it would be to have stayed in their home countries and worked. They are doing what they feel is best for them.
But it comes at a cost to many working-class American citizens. Perhaps the answer is to truly reform our immigration system and find ways to let more people in than we currently do. Maybe we can more effectively screen people so that we can try our best to avoid these problems.
But we do need safeguards and we do need to address the issue. And we cannot continue to act as if anybody who even dares to speak about it is some unconscionable monster. President Trump promised to take steps towards fixing immigration, something both parties in Washington have talked about, but failed to do for decades.
The border wall may or may not be a great solution, but it does at least address the issue in some way, which is something the American people clearly want. To those who strongly oppose the wall, I say step forward with a list of real, comprehensive ideas and present them to the American people.
Complete inaction is no longer good enough. For the good of the nation, let's all come together and really try to fix this problem.