Dear Future President,
My parents had lived their whole lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They were born and raised there. Both my parents worked for Ethiopian airlines. Around the time I turned six years old, the Ethiopian government and my dad weren’t seeing eye to eye. A friend of his who worked for the government told my father that he was at the center of every discussion, and not in a good way. That was when my parents decided that we had to go somewhere else. Anywhere else. So, we decided to come to America, a land full opportunities and where immigrants were welcome. We sought asylum, which we received. But we will never forget that night when we had to leave our country, a place we called our home. We will never forget as my uncle, and my great grandmother (two of the few people that knew) cried, not knowing what would happen to us. Even to this day, we do not like to think about what would have happened to our family if we had been caught by the Ethiopian government.
I am writing because I wanted to let you know about my views on immigration. I believe that immigrants are a part of the U.S that belong here as much as the next person does. What I do not understand is how a country founded by immigrants could say that immigrants do not belong here. That is not only immoral but also very illogical. Most immigrants came to the U.S for opportunities that early settlers (including the founding fathers) came here for: a place where they can live their lives as they wish. Most immigrants come to America, because it is known around the world as a place where immigrants can start new lives. How can we take that away?
Some American citizens are suggesting that we continue to deport illegal immigrants back to their countries of origin. This plan would cost the U.S. government an estimate of 400 billion to 600 billion dollars. Another problem with deporting immigrants is that once they come to America and start their lives, many have children on American soil, making the children American citizens. So, the U.S. government can deport illegal immigrants, but they can not deport their children who are American citizens. Imagine if you were in that situation. If you are a parent, would you leave your child in a country all by themselves, not knowing if you were ever going to see them again? Or would you take them back with you to a country that you left for a very good reason? And think about the kids’ futures. Either way, it would not be very bright.
What we do not realize is that illegal immigrants are a very important part of our economy. Citizens in the U.S. are benefiting from the labor work that illegal immigrants do. Illegal immigrants work jobs that not many citizens want to work. A Pew Study shows that ⅓ of illegal immigrants worked service jobs, 15% worked construction, and 14% worked in production. As you can see, the majority of illegal immigrants were working jobs that are not preferable. They also work jobs in agriculture. If these immigrants were to be deported, what would happen to the states that rely heavily on their crops? In 2011, Alabama passed a law called HB 56, that made life very difficult for illegal immigrants. So, they started fleeing to other states. Alabama was cost $10.8 billion in lost income and taxes. Farms and towns had dried up, because illegal immigrants who provided cheap labor, had moved out. Georgia also tried something like this, and farmers lost 40% of their workers. Think about how much that would affect the economy. My point is, if harsh rules for illegal immigrants did not work, why do people assume that deporting all illegal immigrants will work?
Another thing that we can’t forget is that even though illegal immigrants are living in the U.S. they are also paying the taxes that other citizens are paying. About 8% of their income goes to paying their taxes. This proves that illegal immigrants are paying taxes, even when some citizens are planning to kick them out of the country. The surprising part is that wealthy citizens pay about 14% or less of their incomes. So a wealthy citizen only pays a little more than a poor illegal immigrant.
Deportation of illegal immigrants is a serious issue, and many are depending on you to make the right decision. We all want America to be great, but that does not mean deporting millions of people. In fact, you just read about how it will hurt the economy. You must also understand that it is hard to leave a country you grew up in to start a new life elsewhere. So many people come to America to escape their pasts, like us. Millions of people are counting on you, so make the decision that will truly make America great.