As a kid my mom worked in the picking fields gathering fruits and vegetables to be sold to places around the nation. Her parents came from a small town in Mexico and moved to the US for work and to ensure a better quality of life in the 40’s. It was a time where getting over the border was relatively easy and not looked down upon because of the need of workers, but eventually my abuelito did get his papers for himself and his wife. He worked hard for his family during that time, eventually bringing my abuelito this country and fathering two daughters. My family’s history is one shared among many of the of the people residing here now-a-days, but many have also not gotten their green cards. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in focusing on the bad that comes with illegal immigration, we do not often enough focus on the workers who are actually benefiting our nation. Which begs an important question: if these people are all working to help us, how come we don’t work to help them gain citizenship? While that may not be an easy question to address we need these people and they need us, but to do anything we need to first understand the current state of undocumented workers in the US.
Exactly how many illegal immigrants are in US exactly? Well according to various studies done, the number hovers around 11 million illegal immigrants from Mexico. That’s around 4% of the population in the US, but within that 4% is a big chunk of our agricultural work force. Contrary to popular belief most Illegal immigrants are not coming here to join gangs and terrorize natives,but rather are coming here to benefit our economy. A poll taken by CNN asked how many undocumented persons are working compared to not working. The results were that around 76% of undocumented workers were working hard for their families to ensure a better future for themselves.
Illegal immigration is a major problem and nothing is going to change if we just keep saying that all illegal immigrants are criminals when the evidence shows quite the opposite. These undocumented workers came here in search of a better life and are benefiting us hugely, and simply deporting them would put us in trillions of dollars of debt because of their impact on the agriculture market. Since deporting them is not the answer, we should rather look for ways to give these workers who provide us a huge service with full citizenship. The issue of undocumented persons and their relation to crime is still an issue, but with giving citizenship to those who actually work;we could narrow down the list of those who commit crimes and those here just to work. With full citizenship for the workers, we could ensure our own economic stability and give the undocumented hard workers who work not only so their families can eat, but so our families can too.
Mister/Madam President, this country was built upon the backs of immigrants and is still depending on them. Illegal immigration is not just going to go away, but if we could push for undocumented worker citizenship, we could diminish the amount of illegal immigrants coming into the US and increase the amount of workers available for the us. The choice is ultimately up to you as the future president, but please always remember we may be the last hope for these people.