Dear Future President,
Hundreds of years ago our nation was built by immigrants. We were built on the idea that we were different. I have grown up believing that to be an American was something to be proud of, and in many ways it is. We have freedoms people around the world only dream about. But I believe many of us have lost sight of what our nation stands for. We are justice, we are strength, but most of all, we are change. As a nation we have pushed boundaries and set new standards; we thrive on differences. Legal or illegal, immigrants bring great things to our nation, and deserve to be treated as equal human beings. I am not saying that illegal immigration should be encouraged, but we need to take a moment to think about these people, especially those who have already entered the country.
These “aliens” risked everything for a chance at a new life. They left everything they knew to come to the United States with the hope of a chance to change their story. These are people just the same as you or me. They are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters. They were not lucky enough to have been born here. Instead, many were born into an almost guaranteed life of poverty and crime. And I think many of us forget that they hate and fear those things just as much as we do. Just because they were born south of the Rio Grande River does not make them any less human or any less deserving of a chance.
I understand that much of the concern around illegal immigrants is that they are criminals, and ruining our economic system. The truth is, if you look at the data, illegal immigrants are not doing much more damage than any of our legal citizens. When it comes to crime, numerous studies show that they actually commit less crimes than people of different races of the same socioeconomic status. And along with that, an article in The New York Times Magazine titled, Do Illegal Immigrants Actually Hurt The U.S. Economy?, states, “Nearly all economists, of all political persuasions, agree that immigrants — those here legally or not — benefit the overall economy,” (Davidson, Adam). I am in no way encouraging inviting everyone to come in without documentation, but for those already here it would be immoral to boot them out without a chance to do it right. Illegal immigration is an issue in our country, and I do not have all the answers, but the negative effects of illegal immigrants are being blown out of proportion.
Our nation needs a great deal of change, and many of those changes cannot happen through legislation alone. When it comes to illegal immigration, though, legislation is a large part of it. As president, it is your job to decide how to approach this issue. I am no expert in politics, but I do know that you have countless different things to think about. I only ask that you think about what will happen to them if they are forced back across the border. I ask that you consider this issue from not only an economic point of view, but from the view of a fellow human being. What it boils down to is that as Americans we have a duty to serve not only our nation, but the world around us. History has shown selfish, tunnel-visioned leaders destroy nations. Leading our nation means being a leader of the world, and as such you have an obligation to think of every person, citizen or not.