Face-to-Face is a feature that allows two members of the Redwood Community to grill each other, argue, or simply converse about a relevant issue or event. We provide the topic, and they do the rest. This month’s participants are Morgan Hunt and Layla Isherwood. They are discussing the pros and cons of illegal immigration.
How does the recent murder of Mollie Tibbets relate to the larger issue of illegal immigration?
Morgan Hunt: “I think in matters like in these, America needs to find a way to tighten up its crime system. Unfortunately in this case, the suspect didn’t have a previous criminal history so it was hard to track him down. And also the fact that he was an illegal immigrant made it harder to track him down because he was undocumented.”
Layla Isherwood: “It was not the fact that he could’ve been an undocumented immigrant that caused this. It was because of other things in society, especially because what we have heard so far from authorities is that he murdered her because he made romantic or sexual advances on her and then she rejected them. I think that is the problem. I think that it’s a little callous to focus on bigger political issues, especially because the family is still grieving. The funeral was days ago. Since it is happening, if we are to focus on an issue, it should be on the kind of culture that allows or even encourages that to happen.”
Do you believe that illegal immigrants raise crime levels in the US?
MH: “The problem I have with illegal immigration is that there is no vetting when the illegal immigrants come into the country, that means that the government has no way of keeping track of them and that can be potentially dangerous. I’m a big supporter of immigration in general. I believe that one of the things that makes America great is that people can come in through the citizenship program and they can become a part of this country from all around the globe. They’re not following the rules, they’re not becoming a citizen and passing the citizenship test. Because of that, there is no way to keep track.”
LI: “The US saw a 118 percent increase in its immigration population, documented and undocumented, from 1980 to 2016, but the rate of violent crime fell by 36 percent. In other studies it shows that immigrants, documented and undocumented, are much less likely than native US born citizens to commit crimes. So I think that although the system is flawed, I think that we shouldn’t be punishing the illegal immigrants that are already here for that.”
How big of a role should fluency in English should play in being able to become a citizen and should illegal immigrants be required to know English?
MH: “If you’re to become a citizen of the United States you should at least be able to communicate in English. Another reason I’m against illegal immigration is that if it’s so easy to come in here. Especially in California where we have these sanctuary cities, the illegal immigrants are in no way in danger of being caught by law enforcement and being deported. There is no incentive to assimilate into the culture. Especially living here, I’ve actually known some people who are undocumented immigrants, and it’s very difficult to communicate with them. If you want to come to this country, one of the things I think you must know is, you should be able to communicate basically in English.”
LI: “Although assimilating into the culture is important if people want to be in the U.S., they should be in the U.S. and a part of it, I don’t know if making them learn a lot of English beforehand is necessary. I think that the best way to learn a language is through assimilation, and so by being here, they should learn more and more and maybe eventually become fluent.”
What are positives or negatives of sanctuary cities and should San Francisco continue in its status?
MH: “I don’t think San Francisco should be a sanctuary city. Mainly because my views on illegal immigration, especially deportation, are pretty strong. I think that if you come in here illegally, it is a crime and you should be deported and removed back to your previous country. I think sanctuary cities are actually unconstitutional in that they prevent law enforcement from properly enforcing the law.”
LI: “I think that if people come to the U.S., they want to be a part of the American dream,which hypothetically they’ve come looking for. If they want to come to this country I believe that they do want to be a part of it. I think that sanctuary cities are good because living on your toes, always looking over your shoulder for law enforcement is not a very good existence. Although it’s true that they did not come into this country though the legal processes, I think that they should be given a chance to show that they deserve to be here.”
How does deportation affect our country? How does it affect the people being deported?
MH: “I think deportation is necessary in order to follow the laws of the country. I think a country ceases to be a country when they don’t have strong borders and part of this means that they don’t let people in randomly, when they want to come in. In order to enforce that law, deportation is necessary. I’m a supporter of organizations like ICE because they are enforcing the law correctly.”
LI: “I think that deportation in many cases is a cruel practice. Especially because many of these people have families and fully fledged lives here in the US. I think that if an undocumented immigrant has not committed a crime, then they should not be punished. I think deportation is a little cruel and I think ICE’s practices are bad.”