Changes in Immigration


Connor McKenzie

It’s sad to see how America’s view on immigration has drastically changed from the past.

In the early 1800’s, Ellis Island was full of millions of immigrants trying to register as citizens. The richest Americans of the time wanted more and more immigrants, because the more immigrants that arrived in America, meant workers available for them. With high hopes and ambitions they were ready for the American Dream. I feel that the foundation of our country is based on welcoming immigrants into our country to allow them to share their talents and pursue the American Dream.  Recently, the path to becoming a legal citizen has become more difficult, and I feel that we should change the idea of coming to America for a better lifestyle into a reality that is easier to achieve.

Immigrants from the 1800s knew very little about America so they thought they could get any job without discrimination and be safe from injustice which was far from the truth. Though today the American Dream is now a bit watered down. Immigrants don’t expect to become millionaires by moving to America. However, they expect a job, a chance, and to be free. Though, this is harder now with so much hate going around for the immigrants.

The reason for this is how hard it is to come through the border legally. It sometimes takes 20 years just for the government to reject your application. It takes this long because if you don’t have family in the U.S. that are already American citizens or you are not an athlete that could make it into a national sports team, or a million dollar investor, then it is looking like a very long and slow process to becoming a U.S. citizen for you. All though an applicant may have waited 20 years to become a U.S. citizen they are not guaranteed to become accepted.

Our current president, President Trump supported banning Muslims from entering the country because they may be terrorists. He has even signed a travel ban to ban immigration from Syria,  North Korea, Iran, Chad, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Venezuela. With more and more of Trump’s executive orders it feels like it’s getting harder and harder to immigrate to the U.S. every day.

To get a better grasp on the situation, you also have to understand why the illegal immigrants come to the US. People have to realize that immigrants that come into the US don’t just come in to commit crimes and steal our jobs. As stated at PBS.Org, they are running away from harsh conditions. They come from places that don’t support all religions. They come from places where they are oppressed. They are from places that are in constant war. They are from places where they are forced to think and talk in a certain way. They understand these harsh conditions and they don’t want that life for their kids. So if you had a small break like a visa from this terror, would you go back?

We should keep current illegal immigrants, because overall, they are law-abiding people with a few exceptions. For evidence we can look to a 2007 study that was conducted by the immigration policy center. The study showed that immigrants do commit less crimes than someone born in the US. This is due to the fact of if they commit any crime, they will be found and deported.

People have a tendency to say illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs. In many cases these immigrants  take the jobs most Americans don’t want to do such as highly intensive labor with low wages like fruit pickers, roofers, manicurists, drywallers, maids and nannies. Unfortunately, these workers may be exploited, through low wages, long hours, and lack of benefits. People may say that to get rid of all these problems we could just deport all of the immigrants. This would be a big hit to the economy because all of the farmers that employ illegal immigrants  pay them less than what they would pay a U.S. citizen. Therefore the prices of products like fruits would go up.

They should be paid equal to everyone else who is employed by that company and doing that same job. They should also be given the same access to healthcare and other political rights. People may say that not even all Americans have that yet.

There is another reason why we shouldn’t deport all of the illegal immigrants. That is the dreamers; the dreamers are kids currently under 18 that crossed the border as a baby. These kids have now grown up in America and don’t know life anywhere else. They didn’t choose to not be born in America, nor did they choose to live in a poor family. It’s especially not the dreamers faults. If you deport them back to their home country, the dreamers will have no understanding of the culture, the food, the language, the lifestyle. Now, if you deport only the parents, then those kids will never see their parents again and the parents will never see their kids again.

Deporting all of the immigrants back to their home country results in a loss of opportunity to America to utilize their talents and ideas. We need to come back together as a country and embrace our melting pot origins. We can do this, but everybody has to be on the same side.