By Kaygon Finakin
On Aug. 2 canvassing of Princeton residents exposed a range of views on the ongoing immigration crisis along the United States border with Mexico. The sudden influx of unaccompanied Central American children began in October, due to a spike in gang violence in their native countries. Smugglers promise desperate families that children will be able to stay in the U.S. if they cross the border.
Some Princeton residents expressed sympathy for the children.
“The younger kids were forced,” said John Jones, 17, a student. Jones said the U.S. was “somewhat responsible” for these children, and argued they did not make the decision to come over by themselves.
“They’re pretty much in an entirely other world,” he added. “They had no choice.”
Joseph McHale, a newspaper publisher, agreed with that sentiment. “America is a country that looks out for others,” said the 61-year-old.
But others assigned more responsibility to the migrants.
Mike Souciy, 37, suggested that the young refugees should be deported. He said the U.S. does not have the room or resources to support these “unwanted” Central American children.
Souciy implied that this issue has existed for decades, and said he did not blame President Obama for the situation. “It was the predecessors,” he said.
“We could begin to blame those who created the constitution. [They] shouldn’t have made it such a free country,” Souciy said.
According to Souciy, a solution can be found in “a big wall,” and the immigrants “should go somewhere that wants them.”
However, more residents agreed with Rutgers University professor Holly Nelson, who called the border crisis “a disaster.”
“We should be embarrassed,” Nelson said. “This is a humanitarian crisis.”