Immigration has become another hot debate in this country and among my generation. Even though I know there will always be borders between people, I refuse to see the easy way out in this situation. Arizona’s law that police officers can question people’s citizenship is an example of an easy way out. Humans are at stake here, people I know and love.
This is what draws me to this topic and these words.
According to CNN, in the year 2010 there were 12 million individuals who came to this country illegally. The majority of these men, women, and children came from Mexico—seven million.
Also, in 2010, around one million children were brought to the United States illegally, according to the Los Angeles Times. These children will more than likely be raised in this country as I was. They will go to elementary school like I did, middle school like I did, and high school like I did. They are America’s children just as much as I am.
But they don’t count according to our country’s government.
They are not a part of the voting process like I am, they can’t go to college like I am, and they are not heard by politicians like I am.
Sometimes, I am afraid. I do not want my country to fall backwards. Even though we come from across borders and different cultures, every human is connected by the common emotions we share in life. Treating them like a number or a problem is something I cannot bring myself to do. Especially when this involves children.
I do believe that a country needs to have regulations and rules on how to cross its borders. These steps are supposed to ensure the country’s current citizens’ safety and its future citizens’ safety. But today, America has a definite problem with its immigration system.
The wealthy Mexican immigrants who are able to afford visas in Mexico, and get citizenship in America, are in a much better position than the poorer Mexican immigrants who do not have the money or the connections in their own country to obtain visas. America is not providing for these people who want a new life but do not have the money to get it. Freedom should not hold a price.
The number of Americans who want a more restricted immigration system seem to be wary of foreign people and different cultures. This is a problem that has been around for a long time. The unknown scares people.
However, people need to be reminded that they are dealing with human souls, families, and children. Not cockroaches that have invaded our houses.
In this country’s past people have struggled to make peace with one another and accept one another. I do not want to watch this great nation fall back. Returning to hatred and misunderstandings like we had in the ’60s is not the answer. With African Americans, whites struggled to change their viewpoints and accept them into their lives. They saw them as foreign and not like them. Some even thought them to be a lesser type of human. They did not call them equals. This is what this nation is coming to in dealing with immigrants if we continue to use words like “aliens” or “illegals.”
With individuals always assuming someone brown is from Mexico, and a Mexican is a dirty drug dealer, I am afraid of this type of prejudice turning into discrimination.
In the novel The Help, Kathryn Stockett expresses the need to show human compassion and understanding between different races and cultures.
“We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as I’d thought.”
We need to be more accepting of immigrants and treat them as people. Do not let this country go backwards. We have come so far.