Kaya Wisconsin

Immigrants Need a Swifter Route

Mass deportation may be the quickest route, but this doesn't make it the wisest.

Dear Future President,

   Given the ever increasing amount of illegal immigrants present in America one can conclude that something must be done in order to dwindle down these numbers; however, I strongly believe that mass deportation isn't a smart route to take. Instead, a road to citizenship should have easier access rather than adding more obstacles and challenges to encounter before finally receiving legal status. This aid regarding citizenship is crucial in order to decrease government spending and rid the negative connotation with illegal immigrants.

    The most common complaint I encounter is that illegal immigrants are "stealing jobs" or "increasing taxes"  - basically anything regarding profit since money seems to be the main priority of most American citizens. In order to combat this claim one must look at the larger picture. In 2015 the government held roughly 30,000 undocumented people in custody on any given day, mostly in privately run prisons. This would cost about one-hundred and sixty-four dollars per inmate per day. While it would cost as little as thirty cents per day to release the same individual to community supervision, where they are required to attend court hearings and, in most instances, face deportation. Taxpayers are paying more to hold all the individuals in prison than they would by allowing them to achieve citizenship. Realistically, sorting through and only deporting high-risk criminals would take a very long time but I think it's time to be spared rather than grouping and deporting everyone at once. Not to mention that this deportation yet again is accompanied with excessive cost, about five billion per year, or roughly $12,500 for every person shipped home. Helping grant citizenship to illegal immigrants with clean records is much more cost efficient.

   On a more emotionally connected stance, mass deportation is separating families simply for lack of citizenship.  This over-complication has created the concept of mixed-status families, if they're fortunate enough to even keep their family together, however, the issues with this type of family are also lengthy. This fear of status separation within families and other side effects of a family being deported is also negatively affecting the relationship of immigrants and legal enforcers. For example, the Secure Communities program requires local police to check the immigration status of everyone arrested, even for the most minor infractions such as a parking ticket. This means an individual could face deportation at almost any given moment, which in turn only creates distrust and fear of local police. Another overlooked factor is that so many illegal immigrants are neglecting themselves of healthcare and putting their wellbeing at risk in fear of deportation. No one should have to live their lives in fear or immense uncertainty.

   In conclusion, this umbrella term of illegal immigrant needs to redefine itself. Each illegal immigrant isn't a drug lord or mass murder, some people are simply seeking new opportunities for themselves or their families. With all the additional trials to get citizenship, illegal entrance into America may be the only swift way. A different legal route needs to be made if you truly want to enforce the amount of illegal individuals coming into the United States.


   Kaya LaBine