In the time that Trump has occupied the White House, the changes made to immigration and the laws originally coupled with it have been drastic. While debates occur in the government over whom to accept as a citizen, it is easy to forget that these inhabitants are people. As per decades of U.S. immigration policy, the U.S. used to call for countries to “Send me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free.” Where is that call for action now?
America needs immigrants. Immigrants provide new opportunities and jobs. Rather than keeping out those from other nations, America needs to let more immigrants into the country and ease the processes necessary for them to get visas. All people should have the opportunity to begin the life they seek in a new place, and this should not be denied to them due to the bureaucracy of the immigration process.
Many immigrants cannot get higher paying jobs due to their status, and are forced to work longer hours at less desirable jobs. As thus, they have become an integral faction of American society. Without them working in places such as farming and other lower paying jobs, our economy would begin to fail.
The United States in recent years has begun forcing illegal immigrants to return to their own countries and apply for a visa like everyone else should. These circumstances seem outrageous when considering the actual process it takes to become an American citizen. According to a Forbes investigation, just to receive their visas, a computer programmer from India waits on average 35 years and a high school graduate from Mexico must wait an average of 130 years.
To make matters worse, Trump has recently endorsed legislation that would cut immigration in half for the U.S. The bill, known as the Raise Act, would create a skills-based system that scores immigrants based on their qualifications like education, income, job prospects and proficiency in English. After the test was evaluated, it was determined that only about two percent of American citizens would successfully complete this test. How can we expect immigrants to know more than we do in our own country if we do not know that information either?
Many people against immigration laws are obstructed by misconceptions about the people themselves. One misunderstanding about newcomers arises from immigrants being perceived as lesser. While they bring hard work and determination, many current residents of the colonies regard them as unclean, less educated, and sometimes criminal.
Yet, this is an unfair stigma to associate with newcomers to this country. Immigrants bring their culture over with them, contributing to the melting pot that is America. Many immigrants have given America aspects that many consider truly patriotic. Some of these include basketball, hamburgers and hot dogs. Without these pieces of our culture, we could be an entirely different society.
Like many people, I am a descendant of immigrants myself. My mother’s family worked tirelessly to escape persecution during the first World War and my father’s family did the same during the second World War. As they sought for better futures, America was an open world for them to flee to. Had it not been for their struggles to make new lives for themselves where their family would be safe, I would not be as fortunate as I am today. These struggles have not changed too much since then.
America began as a country of immigrants for immigrants. Without everyone coming together to find freedom and create new lives for themselves, America may not be as successfully cultivated as it is today. America relies so heavily on the innovations, opportunities and products that immigrants provide for the country just like any other citizen.
Rather than make it more difficult for them to make their mark, we need to make immigration a more straightforward process with better results. We need to be more inclined to accept rather than turn away. We need to say yes to immigration.