“My name is Cindy Featherbottom… Let’s put up this wall!” This quote comes from the long awaited 4th season of Arrested Development, where a prevalent topic is putting up a wall in between Mexico and the United States. Viewers watched along and many (well myself at least) found the idea of putting up a wall between Mexico and America hilarious. Walls are meant to keep people out and protect the people inside, but what about fences? And to what extent does the show’s commentary reflect America’s politics surrounding the issue of immigration?
Recent immigration reform that is passing through Congress right now includes a 30 billion dollar plan that adds 20,000 border security guards, and an additional 700 miles of fencing. Usually reform comes in times when there is a problem, and it needs improvement. However, illegal border crossing is at the lowest that it has been since 1971, and a majority of the people performing large drug trafficking are American born citizens. Yet, we must keep in mind how the bill is introduced at a time where America is in crippling debt and the recent military furlough is already affecting families. Don’t get me wrong, there are still great components of the immigration reform such as the 13 year track to citizenship, but why all the other add ons?
People will find some way into this country if they really want to. No amount of fencing or a wall can keep them out, so introducing such reform when undocumented immigration is at its lowest that it has been in over 40 years does not make sense. I think that the new border enforcements are meant to send a message: stay out. Not only to people that wish to cross over without documentation, but also to those who wish to come over with documentation and follow a path to citizenship. Is it possible that we feel threatened about a foreign presence and want to try everything to get them to stay out? Following the popular television trend, I feel the need to quote the Parks & Recreation beauty pageant episode: ”I think we should call it our America and not their America.” While everyone does not identify with the views presented in Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation, coupled with the new immigration reform, the message our policies send are negative and discriminatory.