Going back to history, America was built by immigrants coming to this country in hopes of the American dream. Today, immigration is the number one subject every media and politics talk about. Coming from a family that immigrated to America for a better future, I take it personal hearing a topic that brings so much controversy at a national level. Immigrants are always talked about with an aggressive and negative tone, especially to Mexican immigrants. You see newspaper headlines reading “Are immigrants a drain on government resources?” (Lowrey 2018). Unfortunately, the public is fed lies, on how immigrants are here to take over the United States, giving Americans citizens a less opportunity to find a job.
Imagine coming to the United States with hopes for a better life, and leaving loved ones behind. Visualize, crossing the desert with just a gallon of water in a 98-degree weather/temperature of boiling sun over your head, not knowing if you would make it. Think about yourself being close to the finish line and all of sudden you see flashing lights of an officer approaching you. Envision yourself and your child being separated for no reason nor explanation of where you would see them again and how it negatively affect your life. Just like how being labeled a minority and called other names such as wet bag, illegal alien, infest, etc can also affect you personally. An immigrant children work harder to have an equal opportunity in today’s society.
Immigration in America goes back to the 1880’s, during the Colonial Era. The majority of the fellow immigrants came to America for freedom, to practice faith, economic opportunity or against their will. Over the year United States have created immigration laws and have changed who is eligible for citizenship. Unfortunately, rising number of immigration claims Trump’s Administration has taken action to stop this overflowing. Controversial has argued Trump’s Administration is not handling the situation fairly. President Trump has made immigration policies top of his presidential agenda. This issue the most disputable and controversial issue in politics and media.
My parents came to America in 1993, they both were newlyweds and eager to start their family in a land of the free. My mom was the middle child and was the first one in her family to leave her hometown and travel 1,615 miles to a small town called Salinas, California. She left home, not knowing when she would see her family again. She never lost hope. Her status as “illegal immigrant” didn’t stop both my parents, they work hard everyday to provide a better future and higher education for my siblings and I. Even though I grew up as a citizen with immigrant parents, I was still labeled as a minority. My childhood was rough, worked twice hard to prove society. The big picture here is that immigrants are the foundation of the American dream.
Instead of framing immigration in such a negative ways, we should create a new narrative that focuses what immigration has contributed to the economic, social and political process that are fundamentals to the United States because of Trump administration has made it challenging to people view this issue in a different light. One of the most common narratives I’ve heard is, since Trump’s presidential campaign he was using the illegal immigrant, “build the wall” swollen to get media attention and the vote of the people. “We are calling on Congress to build a great border wall to stop dangerous drug and criminals from pouring into our county” (Liptak, Merica and Kopan 2018). His comments are problematic referring to immigrants as being dangerous drug dealers and criminals. However, it is important to realize that not everyone coming into America has a criminal history or background. Majority immigrants seeking refuge Trump’s administration denying. Perhaps their home country economy is not a realistic place to raise a family. A narrative immigrants referred as “pollutants or infested” is inaccurate, but it is also problematic.
David Cisneros’ article “Immigrants as Pollutant” states, “when the nation is convinced as a physical body, immigrants are presented either as an infectious disease or as a physical burden…immigrants are represented as criminals, invaders, or dangerous” (Cisneros page 57). Visualize yourself being called infested in a country that you have built a home and contributed to the economy. Trump has always had strong hate toward illegal immigrants.
Trump brutally honest towards immigrants. Trump’s language referring immigrants as animals when he called them infested is unacceptable and dehumanizing. As the commander of chief of the United States, everyone feels entitled to believe what he says. Recent assumptions towards Trump’s administration when recent news issue a proposal that it would be more difficult for legal immigrants to become citizens or get a green card. It’s hard to see the way the country is turning toward closing all board and not letting anyone in.
A tactic Trump’s administration is procuring to stop immigrants infest the country. The beginning of time, America accept refugees. News media narrative the target of immigrants as the toxic people taking Americans’ jobs or draining government resources. The reality is far dissimilar, immigrants who are authorized to work in the United States and undocumented immigrants do in fact pay taxes too. “The most recent IRS data, from 2015, shows that the agency received 4.4 million income taxes return from workers who don’t have Social Security numbers, which includes a large number of undocumented immigrants. That year, they paid $23.6 billion in income taxes” (Campbell 2018). Sadly, undocumented immigrants are paying taxes for benefits they can’t even receive. It proves many immigrants are here for the better quality life and not for the government benefits. If Trump’s administration would allow them to have some government benefits, knowing they help contribute to the economy, could help the economy grow more.
Another common narrative I see in news is immigration is having the “problem” for crime wave. The Trump’s administration regularly asserts that undocumented immigrants are threaten public safety or national security. “They found that dramatic influx of undocumented immigrants similarly, did not drive up rates of drug and alcohol arrests or the number of drug overdoses and DUI deaths” (Burnett 2018). In a study research that looked at nonviolent crime and found no evidence that undocumented immigrants increases crime wave. In recent news, caravan Central America immigrants referred by Trump “stone cold criminals” (Gomez 2018). The caravan are seeking refugee in American while Trump calling them criminals and denying entree. It shouldn’t be viewed that undocumented immigrants are the cause of the crime in America. Numerous of the immigrants try to stay under the radar to avoid getting deported. They live in fear everyday. Trump should not entitle the whole caravan population. America has not granted any more immigration acts since 1996, however in recent years President Obama granted a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) whom protected eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States against their will when they were children. This gives young undocumented immigrants, protection from deportation and work permits. This was a deal for young teens wanted higher education. “About 690,000 young adults are currently protected under the DACA program and officials are processing more that 34,000 additional first-time application, according to the latest government figueres” (Shoichet 2017). Sadly, since Trump’s campaign, he vowed to dismantle the program, but once he took office he suggested a different approach. Still this didn’t stop many young adults to fight and file lawsuits for something that had help them so much. Imagine receiving the news their a possibility you can get deported to a country that is unknown to you. DACA was made to be only a temporary solution. This is a huge issue because majority of are working people or doing something that is benefiting the United States economy. Trump’s administration noticed this can affect the economy and they can potentially contribute to the economy. Obama’s administration also accomplished a Deferred Action for Parent of American or short for DAPA. This plan was to help qualifying illegal immigrants avoid immediate removal and find a chance to apply for residency. To be eligible your children must be birthright citizenship in America. This was to help prevent any separation of family if the children was under 18. From the moment it was conceived, it has been heavy controversial. Sadly, DAPA never actually happen. It was estimated that around 3.6 million undocumented immigrants would had benefit (Akula 2017).
The Trump administration has introduced a “zero-tolerance” policy, “These include largely eliminating gangs and domestic violence as grounds for asylum and introducing a “zero-tolerance” approach to border enforcement that entails prosecuting..” (Meissner 2018). This affected parents getting separated from their children when they enter the country together. More than 650 children were separated from their parents during a two-week period. Prior presidential administration, families were detained together and sent back immediately. “A viral photo of a small child crying with his hands gripping the side of a cage has sparked outrage as the national debate on immigration toils on” (Conner 2018). This type of inhumane policies need to stop trying to aim for better immigration policies. Children are detained like prisoners. Visualize if that was your child in the a cage like an animal. Trump Administration revived backflash. Merit-based migration is based on the concept of bringing in migrants with valuable skills. The rationale for this change is to verify that people will be contributing member of society and not depend on government resources. “Each year, the U.S gives out more than 1 million “green cards” permanently allowing foreign-born individuals to live and work in the United States” (Flinchum 2017). The current proposal Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) act is based on awarding points to applicant based on, job offers, types of skills and ect. Immigrants are always narrative to “draining on government resources” still with existing laws which already bands many non-citizens from accessing public aid controvest to what society labels immigrants.
Trump’s administration is trying to close the border for any migrant trying to come to America and work, it would definitely impact the economy. America has to consider looking outside of the United States for employees to work jobs like agriculture and meat packing jobs since employment rates are low. Immigrants come to America with hope for a better wage job, even if it means working long hours under the hot sun. My dad worked the majority of his life in agriculture. Everyday I would remember him working from dust to dawn, not a single day did he complain. “Agriculture is one of the United States’ most important industries, employing more than 24 million workers or 17 percent of the country’s total workforce” (Bertone 2017). Most of the employees working under the hot sun are illegal immigrants. There is nothing wrong with that though, they are hard working people just here to make a living. Getting underpaid to be under the sun and still never complaining. Farm workers are the key to the United States food system, and although our population relies on their labor to put food on the table, these workers lack basic rights, face exploitation and live in fear of deportation. The most common narrative I hear is immigrants students perform worse academically. The Achievement gap believes immigrant perform poorly.
However, reality is latino immigrants living in poverty affect them from getting the best education. “Growing and developing in a society where income is correlated with access to education and opportunities, Latino students in the United States are showing far different educational outcomes than their white peers and are facing inequitable opportunities that lead to inequitable lifelong outcomes” (Davillia 2016). The challenges that minority children also have are language barriers whom speak little or no English. Growing up I was labeled a minority. I remember having to work twice as harder academically and to feel accepted in today’s society. First generation immigrants have increased over the years receiving a higher education. That number is 10.5 million immigrants had a college degree or higher representing about 29 percent of the total 36.7 million immigrants in the United States (Zong and Janne 2016). DACA has help many first generation people achieve a higher education and contribute today economy.
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