Dear Future President,
John F. Kennedy once said, “Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.” He was right. Immigrants are not a threat to the country. They help make this country great, be it documented or undocumented immigrants. The culture, arts as well as history of the U.S. is flourished by immigrants. And all this also includes undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants face a lot of injustices, but despite that, they still keep on fighting. We need to make a stand for them. We should help the undocumented immigrants get equal opportunities, similar to those that each and every citizen receives.
Undocumented immigrants pay taxes despite the fact that they won’t get any returns. These returns include retirement benefits as well as many other government benefits. It is estimated that these undocumented immigrants pay a total of $12 billion every year in state and local taxes. Meg Wiehe (State tax policy director of Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy) said, “Regardless of the politically contentious nature of immigration reform, the data show undocumented immigrants greatly contribute to our nation’s economy, not just in labor but also with tax dollars.” (usnews.com). Meg Wiehe’s institution’s studies also found that 75% of undocumented immigrants pay into the U.S. Social Security System, but they will never be eligible for the benefits of that system. They have contributed as much as $100 billion in this system over the past decade. “Without immigrants, the Social Security Board of Trustees projects that the system will no longer be able to pay the full promised benefits by 2037.” (money.cnn.com). So without these undocumented immigrants, the country would lack an essential part of the population who are contributing to the country’s welfare as much as any other U.S. citizen.
The only documented and legal people in the United States are the Native Americans, and all the rest are undocumented immigrants. Hence, all the undocumented immigrants should be treated equally. The colonists came to the new world in search of natural resources and to conquer this land that belonged to Native Americans. Those indigenous people are the only ones that have a legal right to live in this country. The colonists came undocumented, forced the Indians out, then took control of the land and then established their own government. After knowing who they are and what they did, the so called “Americans” (colonists) are no one to actually label anyone undocumented. Before deporting the undocumented people, can one truly look at himself/herself in the eye and say that they are not undocumented?
People may argue that most of the undocumented immigrants are criminals. However, in reality, according to ICE, in 2015, there were 138,894 undocumented people who were convicted as criminals and deported (ice.gov). This isn’t a small number, but when compared to the whole 11 million undocumented immigrants, this number accounts for only 1.3%. This means that most (98.7%) of the undocumented immigrants are non-criminals and are working hard just to get a better living for their family. Yes, those 1.3% are to be punished and hence deported, but that doesn’t mean the whole bunch are lawbreakers. One cannot and should not label the whole lot of undocumented immigrants as criminals.
Undocumented immigrants aren’t a threat to this country, so please stop deporting them and start treating them as equals. They are not criminals and they make important economic contributions to this country. They are the same as any other citizen because everyone is undocumented. The only documented and legal people are the Native Americans. Undocumented immigrants are faced with critical issues like fear of deportation, separation from families and not having the right or ability to go to college. We have always been a nation who fights for the rights of everybody such as the right for women to get equal wages, the right for maternal leave and the right to gay marriage. So, now it is high time that we help the undocumented people.