Dear Future President,
As you may already know, illegal immigration has become a hot topic within our country, (especially to you if you turn out to be president Trump). However most people and perhaps you, yourself don’t know that illegal immigration isn’t the real issue, the real issue is how we have dealt with illegal immigration. Throughout the whole history of the United States, illegal immigration has always happened, but the most embarrassing parts of this history is the mass deportations used to solve this “problem”. From president Hoover, using illegal immigrants as a scapegoat for the great depression to president EisenHower’s operation “wetback” whose name alone can be seen as an offensive slur. Though these actions may have been in the past, one would assume that our system for handling illegal immigration has improved, correct. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Illegal immigration is just not as big of a problem it is made to be, rather our deportation system is the real issue.
Many american citizens don’t fully understand how our deportation system works. This is because many of them have don’t have any fear of being deported, so there is no incentive for them to learn about the system. But if some light were to shine on how damaged the system is, then the issue would finally get the proper attention it deserved. One of the major problems with immigration courts is the quantity of them. There are 58 immigration courts across the nation, according to the United States Department of Justice. 58 courts is a small number considering the thousands of immigrants that need to use them everyday. With so few immigration courts, the ones already in place are constantly overcrowded and hectic. Those who have family in america are almost always there to support their family, single mothers or sometimes even lone children can fill the court, while some lawyers who were paid to represent them are “no-shows at arrangement like hearings”, while judges “call attorneys on speaker phone, to ask why they aren't in court” (Dallas News). Due to this, the immigration courts have a tremendous backlog of cases. There is currently 512,190 backlogged cases as of 2016 (TRAC Immigration). It is such a tragedy that a great country such as this would treat its “guests” so badly, regardless of whether they are illegal or not.
In order to prevent the chaos of the overburden immigration courts, there have been many proposed plans to stop the constant flow of illegal immigrants. This will allow the U.S. to finally focus solely on the immigrants already inside. We have all heard about Trump’s idea to build a wall, but have you ever considered how well it will actually work. Everyone is surely aware of the tremendous cost it would be to construct the wall, and the idea of having Mexico paying for it seems amusing as they would have little reason to spend so much money for another country. Not to mention that “40% of illegal immigrants stayed in the U.S. after their visas expired” (Rubio) while others who get through non legal means can go by plane, completely passing the wall with ease. Meaning that the giant costly wall isn’t going to stop anyone coming from air or by visa. If you ever need a live example of the wall, look no further than the Great Wall of China. It was built in order to keep out invaders and was built on the sacrifice of it’s people. The wall however, turned out to be a failure at stopping anyone. Don’t repeat history, especially a creation from history that is known as a failure.
Unfortunately, the U.S. is still repeating its failure of a system to this day. The failure not being on how disorganized and hectic the courts are, but by how many american citizens have been deported through these courts. Though it may be hard to believe that our own country deports it’s citizens, “recent data suggests that in 2010 well over 4,000 US citizens were detained or deported as aliens, raising the total since 2003 to more than 20,000,” (Vice News). Not only are we repeating the same mistake, we are actually making it worse. In fact the rising number of american deportation itself just shows how small of a chance legal immigrants actually stand within system, when american citizens themselves already have a high chance of getting deported.
This may just be one of the many problems you may have to deal with. However as the next president you have a responsibility to the people within your country. This damaged system isn’t getting any better and over time it will become worse. So why not keep this country’s motto as a land of equal opportunity by giving these immigrants and citizens fighting chance to stay. After all isn’t that one of the things that makes our country so great.
Rockville High School, 11th grade
“Chaos, Backlogs Straining Immigration Courts.” Dallas News, 21 Feb. 2016, www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2016/02/21/chaos-backlogs-straining-immigration-courts.
Hoffman, Meredith. “The US Keeps Mistakenly Deporting Its Own Citizens.” Vice News, 8 Mar. 2016, news.vice.com/article/the-us-keeps-mistakenly-deporting-its-own-citizens.
Immigration Court Backlog Tool. TRAC Immigration, trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/court_backlog/.
“Rubio Says 40% of Illegal Immigrants Stayed in the U.S. after Their Visas Expired.” Politifact Florida, 29 July 2015, www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/jul/29/marco-rubio/rubio-says-40-percent-illegal-immigrants-are-overs/.
United States, Congress, House, United States Department of Justice. Office of the Chief Immigration Judge. Government Printing Office. United States Department of Justice, www.justice.gov/eoir/office-of-the-chief-immigration-judge.