The Pirate Speaks

Immigration Debate

Sofia Gongora, Staff Writer

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A very controversial topic that has been around for a while is immigration in the United States. Immigration is simply the action of going to live permanently in a foreign country. Immigrants and refugees are entrepreneurs, job creators, taxpayers, and consumers.

Immigration is one of the best things that can happen in a country. Immigrants enhance America’s rich, vibrant, and diverse culture.

Immigrants bring many attributes to the U.S. By having different life experiences, perspectives, and traumas, they feel very lucky to be here. This drives them to work harder than most Americans. They trade their whole culture and everything they’ve ever known to come here for a better life. Most of them come from countries where they might not have a very promising future, or where there’s crime around every corner. Not every country has laws to protect their citizens like ours does.

Many of our country’s finest minds are forged when dreamers come to this unfamiliar place with unimagined possibilities. There’s a creative spark in that convergence. They come with a hunger that doesn’t subtract from Americans but adds to them. An example would be that the U.S has more than 350 Nobel prize winners, more than 100 of them were foreign-born.

Every year since 1980, the MacArthur Foundation has given out “Genius grants” to more than 20% of the country’s most talented scientists, scholars, artists, and writers. Out of 965, 209 of these scholars were immigrants. Immigrants or children of immigrants have also founded/co-founded nearly every legendary American technology company such as Google, intel, Facebook, and Apple.

It seems to me that the most anti-immigrant people are always the ones going to get manicures or pedicures from Vietnamese or go to a Mexican restaurant with their families. Lots of people think that immigrants are just a bunch of criminals and burdens to tax paying, law-abiding citizens. First of all, every ethnicity or race has their fair share of criminals. Statistics actually show that Americans vastly outnumbered both legal and illegal immigrants put together in crime rates from 2014 and 2015. This data is based on defendants sentenced under the Sentencing Reform act.

Another topic that has been questioned is whether or not immigrants are stealing American job and tax money. This is not true because most immigrants are forced to come to the country undocumented. This means that they don’t even qualify for most American jobs. Because of this, most immigrants end up doing Americans “dirty work” like working on farms, picking vegetables, gardening, working at chicken plant, etc.

As far as tax money, a misconception is that there are many immigrants that live off of welfare and are too lazy to work. This is wrong because illegal immigrants can’t even apply for most government help like welfare. Many are even too scared that by applying for it, they’ll get discovered and deported.

President Obama has been very helpful with immigrant rights these past few years. He passed an act called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA for short. Many Republicans say that illegal immigrants shouldn’t be rewarded with documents and tax payers’ money. What they don’t understand is that it’s actually the other way around. The only thing DACA does is give anybody that entered the country as a minor a renewable 2-year work permit. This gives them a legal status. These dreamers actually have to pay a fee of $500 every two years. If people would give these immigrants a chance to work and succeed, they’ll be able to pay their taxes and further their education. Eventually, there will be many successful and tax-paying immigrants. Other programs that help immigrants are SNAP, TANF, SSI, and AFDC.

Something people can do to help immigrants is just to be compassionate. That includes being kind towards them, spreading awareness, and just being on their side. The only real way to fix this problem is for this country to have an Open-Door Policy. Why would you want to deny anybody their basic human rights or even the right to follow their dreams?

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