Kate K. Pennsylvania

America First

This plan illustrates the importance of rebuilding America and preparing it to handle immigration before we allow more immigrants in. In this proposal, America restricts immigration while it repairs the education system and then opens its doors once more when the country is ready.

Dear Madam President,

I’m glad to hear that you would like to hear my thoughts on immigration reform. I realize that this has been an issue for America for a while now and after much contemplation, I have come to certain conclusions. For years, America has been trying to handle too many things at once. We have attempted to be a global pioneer, leader, and parent, while at the same time we try to provide for our very own nation. This stretch of funds and tools has created strife throughout our nation and it’s time for us to recognize the impossibility of what we are trying to do. If we choose to put America first, take the time to truly reconstruct it, we will not only give our country the time and skills it deserves but prepare our nation to be stronger and more capable in the global community.

In order to make this plan work, we first need to restrict immigration temporarily to only allow a small amount of skilled workers and the family members of immigrants. We must also raise taxes on higher income citizens in order to gather more funds. Once both of these are in effect, we will have funds from the taxes and funds from immigration that we can use to fix our education system. These funds will be used to rebuild America and prepare our country to truly be able to support more immigrants. Using these funds we would finance better buildings and materials, to create a better working space. Furthermore, we would create a country-wide curriculum to use as a base for education. All schools would be allowed to change and vary the curriculum as needed, but it would ensure all schools give a strong base of education nationwide. By funding schools, we not only prepare our education system for the influx of child immigrants, but will create more economic opportunity, higher wages, and more tax contributors.

After our education system is revamped, we would allow immigration to proceed as normal, with some small restrictions. Immigrants are a great benefit to our society, but they do hold down wages and can receive more benefits than they pay taxes for. We must recognize this issue and address to the best of our ability. If we only allow healthcare and benefits to working immigrants we save the US millions and encourage immigrants to continue as contributing members of society. Moreover, because of our stronger education system, the hold down of wages will be countered by the raise due to an increase of higher educated professionals.

Throughout history, US has been a safe haven to refugees and immigrants seeking hard work, there is no reason to ignore our past. Today there are an estimated 11 million immigrants in the country and many of them are helping America progress. Immigrants continually support America by reviving small business, keeping industry costs down, and filling low wage jobs. Additionally, we don’t abandon our global community by restricting those who we allow to enter. We have seen in all through history that exclusion is not the answer. The Chinese Exclusion Act of the past and the possibility of restricting Muslims today only creates more issues and American resentment. By continuing to allow immigration in the US we continue our past as the melting pot and lessen tension between American citizens and immigrants. We craft the image of an immigrant not as a distant and restricted entity, but as a worker, next-door neighbor, and friend.

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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