GOP Candidates Rick Perry And Michelle Bachmann Appear At Columbia, SC Veterans Day ParadeGOP Candidates Rick Perry And Michelle Bachmann Appear At Columbia, SC Veterans Day Parade

Dear Governor Rick Perry,

It’s admirable that you are concerned about the well-being of American citizens, particularly in regards to the threat terrorism poses to our safety. No one wants to see another 9/11 or Boston Marathon Bombing, as these were terrible tragedies that will forever haunt this country.

Accordingly, it’s important that we stay vigilant in order to prevent such attacks from occurring again. This is particularly true as the United States moves forward in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Likewise, it’s not that difficult to imagine a terrorist crossing the US border in order to plan and execute a terrorist attack. Drugs and guns cross that border frequently, and thousands of immigrants come across each month.

Simply put, immigration is a very serious issue in the United States, and one that requires immediate attention. Indeed, due to an inactive and obstinate Congress, President Obama will likely take executive action to address this problem.

Recently, you suggested that it’s a very “real possibility” that ISIS and other terrorist organizations are crossing the border through Mexico. Yet, even you admitted that there is no evidence to support this claim.

Moreover, the Pentagon immediately rejected your statements.

When you seem to make the false claim that a large number of terrorists are likely crossing the border, you generate fear and misconceptions among the populace. Yes, it is a possibility, but there is widespread evidence that this is not occurring.

As Joshua Keating of Slate puts it,

Intelligence officials have warned for some time that there’s a possibility of terrorists entering the US from Mexico, and there is indeed some evidence of groups like Hezbollah operating in South America.

It would be foolish, then, to completely rule out the possibility that terrorists have crossed into the United States from down Mexico way. But the frequent claims that this is already a major problem are, well, ridiculous.

Immigrants in the United States are already stigmatized enough, they do not need to be linked to the issue of terrorism.

Furthermore, the odds of an American dying in a terrorist attack is one in 20 million. There are a number of more sweeping issues we should be focusing on before terrorism.

This nation was founded and built by immigrants. We are all either recent immigrants or the descendants of people from somewhere else. “American” is not an ethnicity; it is an invention. Yet, new waves of immigrants have constantly been met with suspicion and animosity throughout the history of this country.

The truth is, the vast majority of immigrants coming into this country do so legally, but the word itself seems to imply the notion of illegality. With that said, no human being is illegal.

Likewise, there are a number of myths surrounding immigration that are perpetuated by the media and certain politicians, despite having no basis in reality. For example, many people seem to have the opinion that immigrants drain the economy, but the Council of Economic Advisors has shown that immigrants actually provide a huge boost to the economy.

If the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US were granted legal status, it would would add a cumulative $1.5 trillion to the US gross domestic product over 10 years.

So, instead of focusing on unsubstantiated hypotheticals, why don’t you pressure Congress to do its job and address this pressing matter?

There is an astronomical number of children from Central America being held at the border and facing deportation at present. Most of these children do not have legal consul, which means they have no one to speak for them.

Their stories are heartbreaking, and the statistics are staggering. Please, concentrate on their well-being, not on generating fear by spreading unfounded rumors.

Thank you.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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