Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
President Donald Trump signed executive orders mandating the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, increasing border patrol forces and taking away federal grant funding from sanctuary cities.
“A nation without borders is not a nation,” Trump said in an address to the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday. “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders.”
Mission sophomore Stacy De Leon lives about 10 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border and lived in Mexico from age 1 to 7. De Leon does not think a wall is necessary because she thinks people determined to cross the border will find a way.
“Many people coming are coming as families and will do anything to secure a better life for their children,” De Leon said. “A wall will not stop illegal Mexican immigration to the United States.”
De Leon said she thinks America should have more lenient immigration laws and allow more people to come in from countries such as Mexico with a greater need and demand of immigrants.
Both of De Leon’s parents grew up in Mexico, and she goes back about four times a year to visit family. She said her town near the border is rich with Mexican culture, and she loves her Mexican community in the United States.
“Mexican immigrants, legal or illegal, do a lot of great things for America,” De Leon said. “Americans don’t want the jobs like maids or landscapers, but the Mexican people are desperate for a better life for their children. They will do any job just for their children to be raised in America.”
Trump said that the Department of Homeland Security along with himself and his staff will start the construction of a wall at the border immediately.
“We are going to get the bad ones out,” Trump said. “The criminals and the drug deals and gangs and gang members and cartel leaders. They day is over when they can stay in our country and wreak havoc. We are going to get them out and get them out fast.”
Trump’s executive orders also call for an immediate end to the “catch and release” policy at the border. Trump said in his address to the Department of Homeland Security that he will require countries to take their criminals back if they come to America illegally.
Flower Mound sophomore Alex Masucci said she understands the need to stop illegal immigration, but she does not think building a wall is the answer.
“I don’t see how a wall is any different from a fence,” Masucci said. “Building a wall is a waste of government resources. Immigration is a complex problem, and something as simple as building a wall will not solve it.”
Masucci said she does not think building a wall is worth the financial or environmental consequences it would cause.
“Trump says Mexico is going to reimburse us, but they won’t. Why would they? They’re saying they’re not paying for it now; they won’t pay for it later,” Masucci said. “We also don’t know the environmental impact the pollution will cause on the communities near the border. It’s just not worth it.”
Masucci said she supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the illegal immigrants currently living in the United States.
In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security estimated estimated that there were 11.4 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Of those 11.4 million, they estimated that 62 percent of them came from Mexico.