Conor B. Pennsylvania

The Immigration Issue

Immigration has been brought up many times in this year's election. What will you, as the next president, do to fix this issue?

Immigration has been a controversial topic in this year’s presidential election. One of the candidates, Donald Trump, has said he wants to build a multi-billion dollar wall spanning the entire Mexican border to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. He also said he will temporarily bar immigration from countries that have a threat of terrorist attacks. I think that this is a terrible idea because the United States was founded on the basis of immigration. The colonists immigrated to the new world, and founded the thirteen colonies. Over time, many different people from many different ethnic and racial groups came to the U.S. for different reasons, like religious freedom, or for a better life. Now, the United States of America is a mixing pot of different cultures and religions. That, along with the freedoms are U.S. citizen is guaranteed is why this country is so admired. To cut off immigration from countries defies the principles of the countries that the framers set up, and the country that is still doing well more than 200 years after they created the Constitution.

Most of the illegal immigrants that are from Mexico (and other countries) are just looking for a better life for themselves, and more for their children. They are surrounded by violence, drugs, poor education, and little opportunities in their countries. Going to the U.S. provides them with a safe environment, a better life, good education, and a good future for their children. To go through the border legally, you need a passport and a valid visa, which many people from Mexico don’t have the money to get a passport or a visa. The average salary per year in the US is $58,714, compared to Mexico’s average of $14,867. That is a difference of $43,847, which is a lot of money. Here is the full process of becoming a legal US citizen: First, you have to get a green card. To get a green card, you need to be an immediate relative of a US citizen or a family member of a green card holder. You could also get a green card through a job offer, or if you were a refugee or an asylee. Anyway, it is very hard for someone in Mexico to obtain a visa. What if you don’t fit into any of those categories and are just looking for a better life? Once you get a green card, you have to live in the US for five years, be 18-years or older, and pass U.S. civics and English tests. That takes more than five years to become a US citizen, and it costs a lot of money.

But it is not just about Mexicans. In Syria, there has been a civil war for more than five years, and it doesn’t look like it is going to end very soon. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is now controlling large portions of the country, and many people have fled the country and become refugees. As of March 2016, there are more than 6 million Syrian Refugees, and around 13 million more people need humanitarian aid. The US needs to step up as a world power, and accept more. Currently, we have taken in around 10,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict, and not saying that isn’t good, but we need to do more. Turkey, who has suffered from many attacks from ISIS, and had a failed military coup has taken in an astounding 2.5 million refugees! And Lebanon, which is definitely not the richest country in the world, has 1.1 million refugees, and Jordan has taken in more than 635,324 refugees. Those are three countries that are poorer than the US, and are definitely more troubled than them. We need to take in a lot more refugees.

The next president has a lot of work to do in terms of immigration. They should take in a lot more Syrian Refugees, establish a quicker and easier process where immigrants can live in the US, and eventually become US citizens. We need to establish a quick but thorough check of everyone that enters the United States, preventing terrorism and drugs, and promoting immigration. We also need to help every undocumented immigrant obtain legal status, and put them on a path to citizenship. We should only deport people that are committing crimes, and we should do whatever we can not to split up families. As the next US president, I am confident you will be able to help solve this country’s immigration trouble.