Zahirah Pennsylvania

A teenage view on Immigration

For my american history class, we were assigned to write this letter recommending our plans for immigration, and how our country should deal with it.

Dear Sir or Madame President,

My name is Zahirah Poree, and I am a 17 year old junior in high school. For the first unit in my U.S. history class, we studied the history of immigration through our country’s history. Throughput the years, immigration has been seen as a beneficial, and also detrimental contribution to our country. On one side of the spectrum, immigration is seen as what America is built on; that immigration is what brings diversity, and other cultures and traditions from around the world to America. We learn from other parts of the world, and our immigrants here are teaching us new techniques and technologies, overall, making us maintain our reputation as “the new world”, and as “the most powerful country in the world”. Immigration=good, right? It may appear that way, but like everything in life, everything good must have a little bit of bad. There are pros and cons to everything, and in this case, there seem to be more cons than pros.

Not everybody in America shares the same thought that immigrants help us. In fact, some people think that immigrants have a big part to play in what is wrong with America today. Some things in this country get wrongfully blamed on immigrants. Immigrants are blamed for most of the poverty in America. Ever since their first arrival in America, immigrants have faced hardship and discrimination. Even Thomas Jefferson himself argued against the admitting of immigrants saying that immigrants will turn the American people into an “incoherent, distracted mass” People argue that immigrants are responsible for the bringing of drugs, new diseases, and gang violence, and that is simply not the truth. Welfare and health care benefits, food stamps, and other government assisted services exist because of the immigrants, you hear people say.

My personal view on this matter is that immigrants are not to blame for the evils in America. There are bad things in every place, and that is fact not opinion. People are not all good, or have good intentions. Gang violence, the introduction of drugs, and poverty were all inevitable. Poverty especially since the economic disaster, that we are still building ourselves up from. If we were a country that did and followed all the laws by the book, then we would never experience anything to learn from. There must be mistakes and darkness to get to the light. Immigrants do add to the culture and vibe of the United States, but we are overpopulated. We are almost at capacity, which sounds strange, but it’s true. I do not agree with suggestions that we should restrict immigration or cut it off completely. People come here to start their lives over, to have better ones, and live happily. So, if we don’t have the space, but also don’t want to turn people away, what can we do?

My recommendation for our country is that we reduce the amount of immigrants we accept each year. If we have less people coming into our country, then we will have the time, and space to fix what’s wrong with us. The US is supposed to be a safe haven for others, but we have our own dark secrets as well, that need to be fixed. We lessen the amount of awarded visas per year until we have built up our economy, military, and resources a substantial amount. Once we have repaired the damage, then we can welcome more people to join once again. That way we can still be available to help people who are looking for safety, and help ourselves at the same time. 


Zahirah Poree

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.

All letters from this group →