Ajanae M. Pennsylvania

Dear Future President of the USA

This is a letter about immigration policy and its beneficial affects on history and the future.

The recent presidential campaign and debates which followed, expressed one of the biggest concerns in America which is immigration. Some may say we need to allow immigrants, some may even say we need to stop immigration as a whole and although our perspectives on immigration and migrants themselves have changed, we still need to take into account the historical precedence immigration has had on the US. Starting with the multitude of immigrants who came to the United States in order to help and control the amount of workers needed for low budget jobs. The Mexicans, who populated half of the United States at one time found jobs which took care of the multitudes of things some American’s thought they were entirely too good for. For example, picking fruits at neighboring farms which were close enough to the border that US citizens could round them up, bring them back to the United States and have them take care of these very low paying jobs. Also, Mexicans who worked on factories which were also low paying jobs and faithfully committed to it all while being treated as outcasts and people of low worth. Alongside with the Chinese, who had jobs in the US as low budget laundry washers and restaurant workers there warm welcoming while gold was prosperous became quickly deterred as gold was hard to find. Animosity and frustrations began to direct itself towards the Chinese and other immigrants resulting in violence amongst them and eventually leading to a law passed in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited all Chinese workers/immigrants into the US. This act was one of the most influential immigration policies by far in US history. This last historical example of US immigration policies is the immigration of the Irish who were claimed to be used as a substitute of black slaves in the South. Irish women who were prostitutes in the North and Irish boys who were used as indentured servants in the South filled the gap between what it meant to be a free white person and an enslaved black person. Not really having a place in society but just knowing they meant more than the blacks but less than whites. Irish were still treated unfairly by surrounding citizens. Although all of these examples of immigration happened to have a bad end, we can still see that immigration in itself has benefited US citizens in multiple ways, labor especially. Having open borders isn’t the best, but neither is completely restricting immigration in itself. Of course we have a long way to go when it comes to immigration and changing its policy but we have to live in the now and in the now immigration in America has brought on a lot of positivity. One, with the constant growth of technology due to brains and smarts from migrants we as a nation have been able to push forward in the world as 3rd leading nation in technology. Two, the meaning and definition of culture in the US has changed due to immigration. So many people of different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds have come here and spread their traditions, religion and fashion amongst all of the US citizens and have created a thing we may know as a melting pot of so many different people. All and all, despite our many trials and tribulations when it comes to immigration policy we all need to take into account and remember that immigration is beneficial and that throughout history it has helped us prosper and become the nation we are today and also the nation that I have lived in for 16 years. 

Science Leadership Academy @ Center City

Science Leadership Academy @ Center City

We are high school students from Philadelphia! We've been studying immigration in U.S. history so many of our letters include our opinions on this issue.

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