Immigration: A Colossal Issue to Address During Your Term
Although I myself am not an immigrant, both of my parents are, and I feel that immigration is a key topic that, as President, you have to address during your term. I believe that immigrants help our economy grow, decrease the unemployment rate, and are the backbone of our country’s ideals of freedom and equality.
Dear Future President of the United States of America,
My name is Luca Valadares, and I am a Sophomore at Staples High School and one of the millions of future voters in the USA. I was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and have lived in the US for twelve years. The other two, however, were spent in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Although I myself am not an immigrant, both of my parents are, and I feel that Immigration is a key topic that, as President, you have to address during your term. I believe that immigrants help our economy grow, decrease the unemployment rate, and are the backbone of our country’s ideals of freedom and equality.
A good president for this nation should support immigrants instead of neglecting their existence. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there were about 42.1 million immigrants residing in the US in 2015, and the number of immigrants, illegal and legal, goes up every day.
Immigrants might pose the stereotypical problem that they are stealing American jobs. In reality, according to a 2016 study by the National Foundation for American Policy, they founded 51% of the startups in the USA, creating more American jobs than non-immigrants, bettering the economy as a whole in the process. It is also a fact that many illegal immigrants pay taxes despite the fact that they do not have the ensuing rights of legal residents - far from being a burden to the system, these tax-paying immigrants are supporting it. If immigrants living in America were not allowed to have jobs, many businesses would go under and our economy would face a serious labor shortage with dire consequences.
Mr. Trump, I know you plan to build a wall keeping illegal immigrants outside of our country to keep America free from illegal aliens. On your website, you state that you also want to “end catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country” (Immigration, Donald J. Trump). Deporting anyone who came here illegally is, in a way, contradicting everything our country stands for. Immigrants flee their countries for the US because they know that in the US they will be safe from prejudice, harassment, and racism. Your plans to deport all illegal immigrants is the opposite of the ideals promoted by our founding fathers. If they are deported blindly, we will be compromising our ideals of freedom from oppression and discrimination, as well as the ideal of equality, no matter what race or religion the immigrants are.
Ms. Clinton, you have an immigration reform plan that, if put into effect, will benefit all immigrants. You plan to “introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within [your] first 100 days in office” (Immigration Reform, Hillary Clinton), which supports the American ideal of equality. Your plan to give immigrants “a pathway to full and equal citizenship” will bring said ideals to its immigrants, instead of denying them access to freedom and equality. In spite of the good intentions present in your reform plan and the idealistic approach that you embrace, we, as a nation, have to confront ourselves with the reality that millions of people broke the law to come to America. How can you reconcile these two antagonistic ideas?
Along with your different immigration plans, your attitude towards immigrants largely impacts how you are viewed by the American people and how the world views America. I personally revere immigrants because they have the courage and determination to move to a new country and start their lives anew in pursuit of happiness. My mother, who was born in Sao Paulo, lost her father at the age of 10 and her mother at the age of 16. My mother was fearless and managed to raise herself and her two younger sisters, graduate college, and legally move to the USA. Her dauntlessness made an impact in my life and made me realize that immigrating to a foreign land is not as easy as it may seem.
Mr. Trump, you would not have the life you are currently living were it not for immigrants. According to a New York Times article, your own grandfather was a Jewish immigrant from Germany. That paper describes his immigration to the US; “In the middle of the night, Friedrich Trump left his house in Kallstadt...for a northern port city that served as Germany’s gateway to America” (Horowitz, An Immigrant’s Tale). I do not understand how someone like you, whose ancestors and current wife are immigrants, can resent the notion of foreigners so much.
Ms. Clinton, your grandparents were also immigrants from the south of Wales. A Politico Magazine article states, “Clinton’s great-grandparents William and Mary Ann Jones left the South Wales coalfields for Scranton in 1879” (Farrar, Clinton’s Immigration Story). The fact that you have immigrants present in your history, might be the reason why your immigration reform shows the same feelings toward immigrants that I share.
I hope that my views on immigration and the ideals we hold dear in America are reflected in your plans towards immigration reform. If you respect and uphold the law, without sacrificing those ideals, then you will easily obtain the vote of many American citizens like myself.