Emily S. Pennsylvania

America's Structural Reboot

America needs to fix issues within the country before focusing on those who try to enter. By changing America's structure and fortifying, it can lead to more promising outcomes for even more immigration in the future.

Dear Mr./Mrs. President,

Immigration policies in our country are currently not at a beneficial standard. Reform is necessary in order to protect American citizens as well as the immigrants in hope of venturing to the land of the free. As of current in 2016, there are approximately 11.5 million legal immigrants. They come for job and educational opportunities, or to start a new life. While it is important we value this ideology, we must primarily focus on the national interests and economic well being of American citizens. If we do not fix issues within our own walls, for example the failing education system and poverty rates, by having more people who rely on such problems to be fixed will only cause more issues. In 2001, on September 11th which is referred to as 9/11, this was an event where national security was brought back as a central focus of the immigration debate. Although it did not stop the U.S. from continuing to accept immigrants, it did create a more cautious tone within the population.

There has been hesitancy to immigration for hundreds of years. During a dark time in America’s past, racism was prevalent and there were enormous social divides. It was often overlooked just how brutal our racist views were towards the immigrants hoping to lead a better life here. There were many acts created to limit entrance, like the Chinese Immigration and Exclusion Act. This targeted the Chinese who were a large population coming into the U.S and made them coming illegal to cut down on a certain race dominating American culture. This came from a place of hatred and jealousy. Citizens became worried they would steal all of their jobs, as did other immigrants who came before them. This act only lasted until the U.S. realized how heavily our society relies on immigration.

Although I fully understand the situations such immigrants may be coming from, it is not a price we should be willing to pay to sacrifice our personal security. The United States reaches out to many countries and provides aid, but is not responsible for fixing failing countries and giving their governments an alternative route out for when they fail their people. Our economy cannot sustain the amount of immigrants trying to come. Unemployment and poverty are already issues, meaning we cannot even employ all of the citizens already here. This idea pulls from one of the options given in class when doing our immigration policy debate. Option 3, which I do not fully agree with, stated that we must make sure America is stable in itself before we can offer our country as a safe place. It is not safe for anyone if we are losing money and stability and it is a fine balance that could easily be tipped and no longer be able to support a single immigrant, or the citizens. I disagree with the portion of the policy that said we should only pull the educated scientists and engineers from countries, because I agree that it will only make other countries weaker and not solve this problem. Immigrants who enter should be people who truly need to exit the situation they currently live in, or can offer something to America, like by being educated or skilled in professions we need more of.

I myself come from a family of immigrants, and know how differently my life could have turned out if not in the United States. I know I have amazing opportunities, and a mindset I could not get in any other country. I am learning and growing each day, thanks to my education, finances, and living in a country that can support me. I wish to have an immigration policy that can open my opportunities to others who need it as well. Before this can happen, we need reform and structural changes in the United States. Reorganizing ourselves within our own country will only fortify us and give even more promise to even more people. This will take time, and will be painful to get through. But after the reconstruction, immigration will be able to go full steam ahead and America can continue to be the land of the free and hold promise to millions around the world.

Science Leadership Academy @ Center City

Science Leadership Academy @ Center City

We are high school students from Philadelphia! We've been studying immigration in U.S. history so many of our letters include our opinions on this issue.

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