November 8, 2016
I feel it’s quite appropriate to say that prejudice is still alive today. Discrimination is something everybody of “colored” skin faces at every corner. Blacks are seen as criminals; Muslims are seen as terrorists; Asians are discriminated against in every way possible, but people brush it off as the truth. Native Americans are seen as aliens in their own country; Latinos are seen as inferior illegals who are only good for cheap labor and “stealing” that which belongs to the “true Americans.” All these people are seen as inferior and/or illegal. People in this world face prejudice for something that’s out of their control, especially those who come to this country in search of a better life. I am writing you this letter as an advocate for the immigrants who have no legal status here, but are tax paying citizens of America.
I am just a teenage girl concerned for the future of her country and her family. As a child of an immigrant, I worry for the future of my family. So many times I have seen my parent cry at the impossibility of becoming a legal citizen; of having to be careful at all times for “la migra”; at not being able to see their family; not being able to be there in person to console their siblings when tragedy hits; facing judgment from extended family for not being able to do more; being sheltered and stressed; not being able to provide for their family the way they want to. So many times I have witnessed the most strong and independent and wise person I know break down at the doors slammed into their faces after taunting them into thinking they could cross the threshold. The issue of immigration matters a great deal to me because I would like the reassurance that when I get home, my parent will for sure be there to greet me.
As the president, what you would like is for America’s children to become tax paying citizens. But how can that be a possibility if all America has done to her children is forcefully tear away family members who seek refuge in Great Ol’ ‘Merica? It’s sad to think that the children of immigrants may never know if their parents are going to be there when they get back from school. It’s a scary thing knowing that your parent can be taken away from you at any moment and you can’t do anything about it because that’s just how the system works, against the favor of America’s youth.
Immigration is seen as a troubling issue in this country, but ironically that’s how the “founders” of America started their lives here. They were the immigrants, the “illegal” aliens. They invaded this country and used God as a way to justify their invasive, colonial ways. They imposed their traditions on the indigenous people because they saw themselves as superiors to them. The natives had their land invaded by arrogant Europeans who deemed themselves superior because (duh!) they’re white! So naturally they would be superior, because how could these tribal, brown skinned “savages” be superior to them?? The logic behind this reasoning is just ridiculous. I guess that’s just the foundation America was built on: superiors and inferiors, whites and everyone else, prejudice and bigotry, invading and justifying, being blind to the immoralities this country was formed on. So answer me this, POTUS: where is the logic in hating immigrants and accusing them of things that the American citizens aren’t willing to take responsibility for, when America was built on invasion and accusation?
There’s talk that immigrants are stealing Americans’ jobs, but could it be that perhaps these immigrants were given these jobs because they are just better at it or work harder? The thing about immigrants is that they risk everything for a better life, which means they are driven, determined. They aren’t in a happy state of complacency. Employers know they will work hard to keep their jobs because they don’t have many options. The New York Times wrote an article on a research report analyzing whether immigrants are really taking Americans’ jobs. The report stated, “High-skilled immigrants, especially in technology and science, who have come in larger numbers in recent years, had a significant ‘positive impact’ on Americans with skills, and also on working-class Americans. They spurred innovation, helping to create jobs”(Julia Preston, “Immigrants Aren’t Taking Americans’ Jobs, New Study Finds,” nytimes.com). As you can see, immigrants have a positive influence in American working environments. There’s nothing bad about their presence, only close-minded people who refuse to think beyond the cons of the situation and openly discriminate.
Which begs the question: what kind of future are we creating for our children? One where they expect discrimination? Is this what has become the norm in the great country of America? A repeat of a cause many people have died for, but we still act as if it’s truly abolished or use prejudicial statements to justify our actions and words? Sure, times are different now and things aren’t as bad as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean everything is all that good either. I am sick of the prejudice and ignorance infecting this world. There seems to be a never-ending cycle of hate, racism, wariness, and prejudice awaiting those who have colored skin and practice different religions and are from different cultures. There’s this white supremacy that just won’t seem to go away. So many Latinos are living in poverty, and it leads to their children suffering. It’s sad to know that so many children in the Hispanic community have so much potential but are dropping out because they have been reduced to inferior, pathetic, aliens just because of their ethnicity. There are so many stereotypes surrounding the Latino community and it’s depressing how, because of words, most of us believe that we can’t achieve anything because we aren’t white and don’t come from good backgrounds. For example, many Latino children don’t go to elite universities such as Harvard for two reasons: they think they are too poor to afford a good education or their parents ask them to stay close to home (Univision). Also, pewresearch.org states, “In a 2014 National Journal poll, 66% of Hispanics who got a job or entered the military directly after high school cited the need to help support their family as a reason for not enrolling in college, compared with 39% of whites.” Change needs to happen now.
To start, the legalization of all immigrants who are parents to American children would be a good idea for the country's economy. If we were to have more working citizens it would be good for the country's economy. It has been stated, “Mass deportation would cost the federal government nearly $900 billion in lost revenue over 10 years” (Ryan Edwards and Francesc Ortega, “The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers,” americanprogress.org). If we have more working citizens, it would be beneficial in raising taxes so that we can get out of our trillion dollar debt. Even though, as stated by Andrew Soergel, “Immigrants illegally in the U.S. collectively contribute nearly $12 billion each year to state and local tax coffers, according to a new report that challenges recent election cycle rhetoric,” (“‘Undocumented’ Immigrants Pay Billions in Taxes,” usnews.com). Doesn’t it seem unfair and a tad cruel to just assume the worst of someone who is contributing to the country, threatening them with going back to a home they purposefully left behind, just because they’re undocumented? I think that undocumented immigrants should be provided with more options because they went through a hell of a lot of trouble to come to America and start a new life. This is just a little food for thought. Please consider these possibilities.
History needs to acknowledge all aspects of prejudice to start making changes. We need to get over bigotry, prejudice, and arrogance to make a better society for our children. America is supposed to be this country overflowing with diversity and culture. A country where everybody’s culture is appreciated not belittled. This isn’t a dream that I want, but a reality that needs to happen. If not for older generations, then for today’s youth. We need to inspire kindness and acceptance for a better future. You need to inspire kindness and acceptance for a better future.
A child of America