Nisa Hardin Pennsylvania

Change starts with you, Mr/Mrs. President

This is my letter to the future president of the united states addressing my opinion on immigration.

Dear Future President Of the United States,

Everyone has a plan. Whether it be for themselves, for someone else, or for hundreds of people, each individual has subconsciously created a plan that will somewhat determine how their future will look. My question is: What is your plan? There are a handful of issues in the U.S deals with that are left for you to repair, but how? Most of them are too big to resolve instantly, so until then how do you ensure the wellbeing of your citizens and future citizens?

Immigration in the U.S is largely known within the country and outside of it. For decades, there have been various groups from different countries emigrating to the U.S, all in search of a more beneficial future (generally). Based on a timeline of Immigration in the U.S providing information from the 1850’s all the way to 2013, we can better see how which groups, exactly, I’m addressing. In 1850, Irish and German immigrants took the position for the majority of immigrants that year, mexico being the minority. Over the course of the next 50 years, we can see that German immigration remained prevalent all the way into the 1900’s. From 1860 to 1890, Chinese immigration arose and fell, and after 1890 there were no signs of Chinese immigration into the U.S. By 1920 Irish immigration had diminished, leaving Germany with the highest ranking immigration percentage until 1930, when instead Italy took the title. From 1930 Mexico has occupied the same area of the U.S before the emigrating expanded after 1970. From then on, Mexican immigration contributed a foreign born population increase of 39.9 million, and that’s just in 2013. What separates Mexican immigration? Unlike the other records of immigration within the U.S, Mexico’s expanded and continues to expand, regardless of the obvious adaptations that were made to decrease the emigration of Irish, Chinese, Russian, German, Canadian, Norwegian, and English people. Why is this? Why did it take less than a century to deplete immigration from multiple European countries that then arrived in even larger groups than Mexicans, and yet it has been well over a century and the only thing we’ve come up with is a “plan” that can barely guarantee a solution?

The first thing people will run to is illegal immigration, so let’s pull up the statistics on that. How many unauthorized or “illegal” immigrants currently reside in the U.S? Many believe that the majority is from mexico, and about the same amount mistake that all immigrants are from Mexico, when in fact, that isn’t true. From a 2013 research, studies found that about 71% of the total unauthorized population was taken up by Mexicans and Central Americans. The remaining: 14% were from Asia, 6% were from South America, 4% were from Europe or Canada, 3% from Africa, and 2% from the Caribbean. How does Illegal immigration affect U.S-born citizens? In less ways than you might think. We often ignore the line between illegal and undocumented immigrants, the mistake being that most undocumented immigrants are labeled as illegal. Another false accusation is the unemployment rate reaching its height if we continue to allow immigrants and undocumented immigrants to occupy low-skill jobs. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), had rules that developing Mexico could not meet the requirements of. When Mexico joined NAFTA in 1994, their poverty rate was over 50%. The same rate stands today. Because it was then that Mexico was tied with the U.S economy, as those standards rose, so did the amount of work Mexican farmers produced. This resulted in many mexicans losing their jobs after having to compete with U.S farmers and jobs in agriculture, most of which initially had a higher demand. If anything, Mexico needs financial assistance from the U.S, whose people are complaining about immigrants taking something they’ll always have. Mexicans have been migrating across the border since the 19th century for agricultural work, and most of the time this was merely short-term.We gain entrepreneurs and doctors, farmers and teachers. Immigrants create businesses, and when they create businesses they create jobs for American workers, in turn boosting the pay for U.S native employees. Illegal immigrants can’t move very far in the U.S, as they will obviously be met with multiple setbacks. Our policy should not be to eliminate immigration entirely. Securing the borders should not mean that all immigrants are forced to live somewhere else. Immigration is what America is built on. It simply doesn’t make sense to move backwards in hopes that it will cause us to move forward. 

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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