Olivia California

Issue of Immigration

Balance must be found in order to resolve immigration problems.

Dear Future President,

Since 1965, with the passage of the Hart-Celler Immigration Act, the American population has greatly diversified, previously being about 85% white, now with one-third of the population being ethnic minorities. One of the reasons that the United States had been able to be a successful country is because of the many different influences and perspectives that such minorities bring. If the United States continues to tighten its policies on immigration, the negative effects will far outweigh the positive, as families will be separated, the economy will suffer, and America will destroy its own reputation of equal opportunity that has been built since the Civil War.

Obtaining American citizenship has only become increasingly difficult throughout the years. This system of legal citizenship is unethical and ineffective, as it does not deter those seeking refuge and new opportunities from entering the country, whether legal or not. Often motivated by desperation, feeling they have no other means for getting in the United States, those who would normally avoid committing illegal acts do so anyway by immigrating illegally. Once they are here, the threat of deportation looms overhead. If caught, families can be ripped apart without any consideration of how the separated members will be able to support themselves or each other. Although the issue does not have a solution so simple, if a way of easing the citizenship process was found, this problem could be avoided as many would not be driven to illegal acts.

Many will argue that while letting anyone who wants to come into our country sounds fine and dandy, it really cannot happen, as once too many immigrants come, there will not be the resources or money needed to support them. Illegal immigrants will take jobs from American citizens, or just live off of the dollars of taxpayers. This argument is invalid, as most illegal immigrants prove to be much more American than the citizens actually are. Illegal immigrants are not stealing jobs from anyone, as usually they perform the jobs that most are not willing to do themselves, but are still necessary for our society and economy to thrive. They work harder than some Americans, even being payed much less than most Americans would be willing to work for, just doing all they can to ensure a better life for themselves and those they love. Without the humility and willingness of such immigrants, industry would suffer, with Americans stubborn and unwilling to fill the holes.

America was founded on the principle of equality. The idea of equality as we know it today was not brought forth until after the Civil War, and is still not entirely prevalent even within legal citizens of the United States. But, the idea of the “American Dream” is something that this country has been built on, an idea that has echoed throughout the world, causing many to come and try to achieve this dream for themselves. If people from other countries are denied this opportunity, then how can we uphold this idea? Without this opportunity being equally applied, is the United States living true to the very ideology it was built upon, and fought for in countless wars?

There is no complete and effortless solution to the issue of immigration. I believe that although it cannot be entirely resolved, improvements must be made in order to strike a balance and maintain civility.


Olivia S.

Newbury Park High School

English 11IB period 2A

High school English IB course

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