Josie Pennsylvania


We need a balanced approach to the immigration process.

Dear Next President,

Around 1912 the Fanini Family sailed the Atlantic to America. They could have taken the Titanic, but we know how that ends. It was fate that brought my family over here. If they didn’t come to America, I probably wouldn’t be standing here right now. My family are descendants of immigrants; legal immigrants. I’m not allowed to vote yet, but immigration is a topic that needs to be clarified. There are a lot of opinions, but let’s explore my thoughts.

Immigration is very personal to me. Some people believe that discussing immigration means we are planning to prevent all people from coming into our country. Allowing people into our country is a good thing. But then there are also foreign people who are coming into our country illegally by sneaking in. How do we know they do not have bad intentions if they do not go through a specific process? My family came to the United States by boat. They sailed on a small, ratty boat. It was dangerous and they probably sacrificed, and risked many things to start a life in America. It is sad we are thinking about not letting people start a better life in America. However, it does seem wrong that people are taking the easy route to freedom by just sneaking in. We need a balanced approach to the immigration process.

Let’s start with the facts. Over 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants were counted as living in the US in 2014. There are plenty of laws against illegal immigration. Right to this very date we seem to keep adding more laws to solve the problem with no success. For example, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all tried to pass laws to reduce illegal immigration. Barack Obama passed laws to allow immigrants an easier process for obtaining a job. Ronald Reagan was the last president to pass immigration reform passing the Simpson–Mazzoli Act. This law made employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants. George Bush also tried to pass a law but it failed to pass in congress. So clearly this is not a new topic.

Why do immigrants want to move to America? One reason is the right for freedom of speech. We are allowed to say our opinion to anyone and not get executed by doing so. My family moved from Italy to America to start a better life and be close to their families. Should we be taking people away from their families? Another reason to immigrate to the U.S. is to escape war or violence occurring in other parts of the world. It’s sensible to move away from violence and conflict. Of course no one would argue with these reasons if they put themselves in any of these scenarios. Despite all these reasons we need to make sure it is safe. The issue is there is no security with the current process, I fear people with bad intentions will come into our country unchallenged and do harm. There are people who wish to do us harm. Terrorist attacks are real.

Our country is a great melting pot. No other country in the history of the world has had a greater outcome with melting different cultures and religions, living together peacefully than the United State of America. However, we are a country. Countries have borders. We are not really a country if we don’t have security with our borders. We need a better system at bringing the immigrants in, while keeping the bad ones out. Our country is not anti-immigration or racist. The way our system is now needs to be revised. Thank you, Mr or Mrs President, for hearing my concerns.


Josie M., Pennsylvania