Immigration has become a major issue in today’s mainstream media. This topic stood out to me because throughout the US history immigrants have been mistreated. I also selected this topic because as a Hispanic/Mexican-American it is common to be asked if I was born here in the United States or if my parents are immigrants. As the daughter of immigrants, I understand the anxiety and fear of my parents leaving the house with the possibility of never returning. This takes a toll in not only my mental health but theirs too which can be shared by many families who have or are undocumented immigrants. This issue continues today and is brought out through trump. Under Trump’s administration, society has become aware of the treatment of immigration. Children are being separated from their parents at our borders and put in cages. Furthermore, in Arizona, a bill was proposed that would deny US-born children of immigrants citizenship.
The Platform – The What
We do not treat our immigrants with open arms at the borders. As seen in recent years families are being torn apart at our borders. According to Detached and Afraid: U.S. Immigration Policy and the Practice of Forcibly Separating Parents and Young Children at the Border by Benjamin J Roth, Thomas M. Crea, Jayshree Jani, Dawnya Underwood, Robert G.Hasson III, Kerri Evans, Michael Zuch, and Emily Hornung, in May of 2018, 2,300 children were taken from their parents. These kids are being put in crowded camps where they are held in cages and receive minimal care. They are essentially treated similar to outdoor dogs with negligent owners.
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Society has been outcasting immigrants until recent years because of Trump’s administration. Still, immigrants are being badly misrepresented and portrayed. As told to us by Victoria M. Esse in “Uncertainty, Threat, and the Role of the Media in Promoting the Dehumanization of Immigrants and Refugees.”, the media has painted a picture with immigrants as possible terrorist, have poor hygiene, and have diseases. Society has tied images of bad character to good people in search of the American dream. With many laws being proposed, even citizens are in danger of deportation. Robert Templeton informed us in, “Baby Baiting” that bill SB 1070 will cause a denial of US-born citizens of illegal immigrants. This bill is a violation of the fourteenth amendment which grants citizenship by birthright. Not only do lawmakers want to remove immigrants, but want to remove any remnants of their existence.
Values – The Why
These immigration policies are families are tearing apart families, orphaning children, and forcing children into a broken foster care system. Society doesn’t accept immigrants as part of the United States as seen in bill SB 1070. I picked this topic because I don’t think it is okay to put immigrants through inhumane conditions that came to the United States for a better life and future for their children. Instead of given them a chance we put them through traumatic experiences when that is what they were trying to escape. How are we supposed to be a civilized nation when we take people away from their homes and jobs? Many people like to say “well why don’t you just get legal” or “why didn’t you just come legally” but it isn’t that easy. When people immigrate from their countries they are escaping from a corrupt government or a bad economic state. Counties don’t just give you a green card or a visa you first have to meet all the requirements which include the individual having a good income. People that get deported have to wait at least ten years to be able to apply for a green card which is if they even granted. What happened to “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” if you are just going to discriminate against them? This country began with immigrants how can we just turn our backs to them when our own ancestors were in their shoes at some point? Most of the individuals that come here to the United States are in search of the “American Dream” and equality. Although people assume that immigrants are just coming here to ruin our nation they actually affect multiple aspects of our society and economy in a positive way. I will admit that there are a handful of individuals that come here and waste their time on doing useless things but that is not all immigrants. Immigrants come here to work and give the following generation what they never had which are opportunities. The individuals that come to the United States either legally or illegally decide to leave their home and family because they want a better life and find more opportunities. They leave everything they know to come here, go against all odds, and then they have to deal with all the discrimination. Most of the individuals that immigrated here come to make a difference for the better and they bring their own culture and norms that help create the unique society we have in the U.S. they come here to create a new beginning.
Action – The How
Since I am sixteen years old I don’t have much to offer but I do post about immigration and its effects on children in social media. I share many stories that I come across and share posts about the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to help promote them so that maybe someone would come across this organization and donate money to help. Recently I have been sharing posts about our rights to raise awareness and to help immigrants know their rights especially with raids that ICE will have in twelve cities one being Houston that is around four hours away from my home. In support of orphaned children, I would like to start an orphanage for immigrant children in the future. With the separation of families and deportation of parents, the main place for them to go is into the foster care system. Foster care is known for being very corrupt and damaging young children. Starting this orphanage will help give children a very safe place to stay. I would like to offer them psychological help as well this can affect the mental state of many children that have their parents taken away at a very young age. I have been considering getting a degree in psychology for this reason. The only that I can do right now is volunteer and continuously share awareness on this topic that many people don’t consider to have such a big impact on people.
As expressed, immigrants are people who deserve to be here. Even though they are portrayed awfully, they are some of the most determined, hardworking, and kindest people you’ll ever meet. It is also important that we keep our morals and keep families together in their dangerous path to finding safety. We are all humans who want better futures and lives. We should understand that immigrants are people who are trying their hardest to make the best life for not only them but often their families. Often doing jobs that most Americans would never work, in pursuit of the American dream.
- Esses, Victoria M., et al. “Uncertainty, Threat, and the Role of the Media in Promoting the Dehumanization of Immigrants and Refugees.” Journal of Social Issues, vol. 69, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 518–536. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/josi.12027.
- Roth, Benjamin J., et al. “Detached and Afraid: U.S. Immigration Policy and the Practice of Forcibly Separating Parents and Young Children at the Border.” Child Welfare, vol. 96, no. 5, Sept. 2018, pp. 29–49. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=135040244&site=ehost-live
- Templeton, Robin. “Baby Baiting.” Nation, vol. 291, no. 7/8, Aug. 2010, pp. 20–24. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=53033519&site=ehost-live.