Emily L. Washington

Immigration in the U.S.

Undocumented immigrants who have contributed to our country should have the right to gain citizenship.

Nov 6, 2016

Dear Future President,

There are various issues occurring in our world but an issue that stands out to me is immigration. The topic of immigration is very important because it has been an issue for decades, it’s an issue that will affect everyone not just undocumented people, but all of America. There are millions of immigrants living in the U.S., people who have sacrificed themselves, their homes, and family for a brighter future. Undocumented immigrants that have provided for our country should have the right to gain citizenship because they have been a part of this Country for decades and they have accomplished a lot for our economy. The least we can do is repay them by making sure students don't have barriers towards their education and making sure families stay together so they can live the life they have always wanted.

I’ve met a ton of undocumented immigrants over the course of my life. What I can say about them is that they are the most hardworking people I have ever met and I truly admire all the hardships they’ve had to overcome. Hardships such as being brave enough to enter the U.S. not knowing anyone, not knowing English, not having a home, and entering a new world all alone. That is the bravest thing anyone could ever do. Undocumented immigrants try their best to stay away from crime because they know that once they mess up everything they have sacrificed and worked hard for will be taken away from them. Also, immigrants have helped our economy so much it has been stated that legalizing immigrants would add a cumulative of $1.5 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product. Meaning higher wages and better jobs would translate into increased purchasing power which would benefit the economy as a whole (Think Progress). Even if undocumented people aren’t legal citizens they still contribute a ton and they work hard to pay taxes. If undocumented immigrants were legalized tax revenues would have a major increase. Immigrants are not here to steal jobs and live life the easy way on the contrary they are willing to take the jobs that no one else wants. They set good examples that if one is lazy and doesn't try they won't go far in life. One has to push hard and prove people wrong in order to be successful.

There should also be a path to citizenship for immigrants because there are many undocumented students who struggle when it comes to their education. They have fewer opportunities when it comes to benefits of education compared to legal citizens. They don’t get good scholarship opportunities such as FAFSA, although they do get WAFSA it isn't nearly as much. The cost of their college tuition is very high and the government makes it harder for them to pay all of their expenses. Due to this many undocumented students need to find jobs while they are studying and many good paying jobs require social security numbers (ABC news). This is a huge problem because they are struggling with something that shouldn’t be a problem. It’s unfair to allow a legal citizen to get all the help in the world as opposed to an undocumented person who is trying just as hard to have a bright future but gets little to no help.

Lastly undocumented people should gain legal citizenship because many families are being split apart. I hate seeing my parents sad because it’s been over 18 years since they have both seen their parents and they never got to say goodbye to them. They never got to give them one last hug, one last “I love you”. Family is what helps us stay strong, for most of us it's what helps us push through the challenges. I personally work hard for my family to make my parents proud, to show them that all the sacrifices they have made will be worth it. My family is my motivation to not give up because if my parents were able to start in the U.S. with no job, home, car, etc. To having a house, cars, jobs, knowing English then I can do anything. Two loving parents that have been working hard every single day whether that be on holidays, rain, or shine they are always doing something so my brother and I can have a lovely future.

I believe we should provide legal citizenship to all the hardworking undocumented immigrants who have helped provide for our Country. If we do this it will benefit our economy, help students receive higher education and benefits, and re-unite families. It’s important that this happens because it’s been an issue that several presidents have been promising but it still hasn’t happened. Let’s make it happen for this presidency.


Emily L

Foster High School

Tukwila, WA

Foster High School

Gamboa 6th period Civics

6th period Civics and Current Events taught by Ms. Gamboa.

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