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The Border and the Wall Between Our Three Branches of Government

Updated on January 29, 2019
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As an American of Portuguese decent who is pro-LEGAL immigration and as a Marine veteran, police officer with a M.P.A. I provide MY opinion.

The Border and the wall between our three branches of Government

The Border and the wall between our three branches of Government

Opinion Editorial:

As an American of Portuguese decent who is pro-LEGAL immigration and as a Marine veteran, police officer and a moderate republican, I was surprised to find that on MLK day Senator Bernie Sanders actually said something I agree with. Senator Sanders wants the Statue of Liberty to be the icon for immigration not a border wall. I could not agree more with Senator Sanders; now do not be confused I am pro-wall (at the Southern Border), but the Statue of Liberty stands as a symbol of legal immigration.

On June 19, 1885 the French gave the United States the Statue of Liberty as a gift of friendship (The Statue of Liberty . . ., n.d.). As immigrants would arrive at Ellis Island in New York via ship one of the first sites they would see is the Statue of Liberty. Interestingly enough when the United States Government took over the nations borders and immigration in 1891. Ellis Island focused on all of the issues that President Trump is trying to fix today . . . Immigrants were brought in through a central location where they were processed, and part of the processing included a medical inspection of immigrants for infectious diseases (Batemen-House,, 2008), registration of new immigrants, and 29 legal based questions.

During the period that the Contagious Infectious Disease Hospital of Ellis Island was operating fewer than 1% were sent to their home countries for medical reasons (Batemen-House,, 2008). Medical screening of aliens coming to the United States is still conducted to this day; however, infectious disease screening cannot be done when aliens illegally cross the border.

As of January 2015 DHS (Department of Homeland Security) ESTIMATES there are 12 million ILLEGAL immigrants in the United States (Robertson, 2019). There is no way to know exactly how many illegal immigrants are in the country because a Federal Judge in Manhattan has blocked the United States Census from adding the illegal immigration question to the 2020 census (Wines, 2019). So why would it matter how many illegal immigrants are in the United States, and why should we attempt to control the flow of illegal immigration to our great nation?

Aside from the medical aspect of illegal immigration and the diseases that may be brought into our great nation, we still have a society to protect. This protection includes knowing who is in our country and their background. As a limited government, moderate I generally have issue with the government becoming too involved in peoples lives; however, it is of the upmost importance in todays society that we know who is coming into our country.

At Ellis Island, as Sen. Sanders referred to as the icon for American immigration, immigrants were asked 29 legally based questions before they were permitted into the United States.

The 29 questions asked of EVERY immigrant included:

  • What is your name?

  • How old are you?

  • Are you male or female?

  • Are you married or single?

  • What is your occupation?

  • Are you able to read and write?

  • What country are you from?

  • What is your race?

  • What is the name and address of a relative from your native country?

  • What is your final destination in America?

  • Who paid for your passage?

  • How much money do you have with you?

  • Have you been to America before?

  • Are you meeting a relative here in America? Who?

  • Have you been in a prison, almshouse, or institution for care of the insane?

  • Are you a polygamist? Are you an anarchist?

  • Are you coming to America for a job? Where will you work?

  • What is the condition of your health?

  • Are you deformed or crippled?

  • How tall are you?

  • What color are your eyes/hair?

  • Do you have any identifying marks? (scars, birthmarks, tattoos)

  • Where were you born? (list country and city)

  • Who was the first President of America?

  • What are the colors of our flag?

  • How many stripes are on our flag? How many stars?

  • What is the 4th of July?

  • What is the Constitution?

  • What are the three branches in our government?

  • Which President freed the slaves?

  • Can you name the 13 original Colonies?

  • Who signs bills into law?

  • Who is the current President of the United States?

  • What is America?s national anthem called?

These fairly simple questions help immigration officials to weed out bad actors coming to the United States. Please keep in mind during this time there was no INTERPOL or NCIC in order to run criminal history checks on subjects entering the United States. Additionally, this shows forethought of the immigrants to learn about the new culture, understand how the government works. When asked who paid for your journey there to the United States this helps the government understand if there is a possibility for blackmail, if they were spy's, or immigrants who were looking for a better life.

This process of entering the United States LEGALLY had a purpose then and it has a purpose now. The trickle down effect of illegal immigration cannot be ignored, consider peripheral effects of illegal immigration: human trafficking, drug smuggling, infectious diseases, possible terrorist entry into the United States . . . but none of those directly affect you? So why should you, John / Jane Doe, US citizen care about illegal immigration?

What about the gerrymandering that will occur but failing to understand the population in a district, or the increase amount of taxes United States citizens have to pay while illegal immigrants pay no taxes, or the increase to your health insurance, the increase of your auto insurance (in states that do not provide drivers licenses to illegal immigrants), the cost of illegal immigrants attending public school which ultimately drives up your taxes (Plyer vs. Doe), FREE college, in-state tuition and financial aid for college, and in most every aspect of your life.

So what is the answer? Immigration reform- YES, a pro-LEGAL-immigration United States- YES, a hardened border to protect our homeland- YES. So how do we fix this? The answer is in front of us. First extend the border fencing while including technology that allows us to detect illegal entry over a wall (we already use this in many areas), this will allow us to need fewer Border Agents in the rural areas and ultimately permit us to move more agents to the ports of entry to catch the large quantity of drugs being smuggled into the US via the ports of entry. Secondly we need to add new technology and addition Border Agents on our southern border. Will this create a 100% fix, absolutely not; however, by reforming the immigration policies we can create an environment where immigrants WANT to come into the United States legally.

By reducing the cost for an immigrant to become a US citizen, as well as allowing for payment installments (like most of us have for any large payments) we can foster an environment where immigrants want to come here legally. This causes them to pay taxes, like you and I, it allows us to inspect them for infectious diseases, reduce the cost of health care / tuition / auto insurance and will increase an immigrants success at obtaining the American Dream.


Bateman-House, A., & Fairchild, A. (2008, April 01). Medical Examination of Immigrants at Ellis Island. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from

Robertson, L. (2019, January 10). Illegal Immigration Statistics. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from

The Statue of Liberty Arrived at Bedloe's Island June 19, 1885. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2019, from

Wines, M. (2019, January 15). Court Blocks Trump Administration From Asking About Citizenship in Census. Retrieved January 22, 2019, from

To build or not to build, more wall.

Should the US build more wall on the southern border?

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