Tensions grow at southern border


A fence lines the border between the United States and Mexico. As conflicts worsen, the government remains shutdown in dispute over the construction of a larger wall separating the two countries.

Tensions are growing within the United States government regarding border security with Mexico. The conflicts at the border and in Washington, DC appear to be worsening.

Meanwhile, the government shutdown persists, and the wall appears no closer to being built. 

“The tension when I was growing up was over (economics),” social studies teacher Dana Hilliard said. “I remember people were talking about how people– who were legal– were coming into our country in order to gain American jobs.”

Although the blame for tensions has changed over the years, it’s undeniable that conflict has existed along the southern United States border for many years.

“With terrorism, we’re putting a lot of focus on drugs and gang activity. More of the tension is that people are wondering who is coming in,” Hilliard said.

A lot of people aren’t as informed as they should be on the topic.”

— junior Shelby Lester

Trying to monitor who enters the country has become increasingly difficult. Since the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, people have become worried about what may be coming next. However, this is hard to manage with the growing number of migrants hoping to enter.

“There’s a lot of immigrants who want to come to the United States,” junior Shelby Lester said. “We just don’t have the means and resources to help them.”

With the magnitude of the influx of people migrating to the United States, it’s unrealistic that every single one of them will be accepted–especially because of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“Countries have quotas on the number of people who can come into our country legally every year, and a lot of people don’t know that,” Lester said. “A lot of people aren’t as informed as they should be on the topic.”

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 limits the number of people per country who can migrate to the United States per year in an effort to maintain a stable population. Some countries want to migrate more than others.

“A lot of (the tension) has to do with the fact that international migration patterns are going to be from less developed nations to more developed nations,” Hilliard said.

Along with the large economic gap, there are significant cultural differences that can be brought into the United States because of immigration.

“It’s a co-mingling of different peoples, which inherently causes problems to arise because of different values,” senior Rami Bikdash said. “A lot of people are fundamentally against the idea of other people coming in because they view it as a dilution of our values.”

Conflicting values are bound to present disputes. Especially in a population as large as Northwest, however far from the actual border it may be.

“Northwest is a very good depiction of society; we have a lot of students who want tighter border security, and then we have a lot of students that don’t that it’s necessary,” Hilliard said. “We are a pretty good image of what’s going on politically in Washington and the world.”

Northwest embodies a vast spectrum of students socially, academically, and of course politically. Government- centered conversations are not uncommon, but regardless of personal party alignment, everyone wants what is best for the country as citizens of the United States.

We are a pretty good image of what’s going on politically in Washington and the world.”

— social studies teacher Dana Hilliard

“Republicans and Democrats both want the same results. We just have very different ideas on how to reach that,” Hilliard said. “It’s going to cause some tensions and some disagreements among students.

As time passes, and Washington D.C. remains at a standstill, we can only hope that the government keeps its citizens best interests at heart when the decision is made.

“Tensions in the government are reflected by tensions in the people,” Bikdash said.