The Broken System: Illegal Immigration


Feature Photo by: Melanie Aguirre – The American flag represents America but it doesn’t do it accurately if 10.5 million of its’ population is made up of illegal immigrants.

Melanie Aguirre, Opinion Reporter

I would like to point something out. I’m not bothered in the slightest by the undocumented immigrants in the United States.

I do not see them as an issue. 

It doesn’t make sense to me why people who have spent the majority of their lives in the United States have to go through a process that takes years to legally obtain a green card and citizenship when it’s nearly impossible to do that without a “valid” reason for being in the country.  I don’t understand how America can be so dismissive of immigrants when it was built on immigrants. 

In June 2015, the President of the United States, Donald Trump committed the hasty generalization fallacy when he stated that Mexico was:“sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” 

I am aware that there are immigrants who are criminals and drug dealers, but the majority are here for an education, a job, and a better life. Data shows that all immigrants—legal and illegal—are less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans relative to their shares of the population. Therefore, the argument that immigrants are “criminals” and “rapists” from the current president Donald Trump is invalid. 

The system has become entirely pinned against immigrants becoming citizens. The whole topic about “build a wall” and “deport the illegals” is absurd. If there’s no reason to deport someone, then they shouldn’t be deported.

The graphic above shows that expanding the border wall is not what Americans want; it is not in the public’s best interest to spend so much money on this project (Pew Research).

Senior Monserrat Roman added, “my parents came [to the United States] with a goal in mind: to give their children a better future and reach the American Dream. It was never to harm this country in any way.”

Illegal immigrants work countless jobs in the United States and while a large argument is that they are stealing American jobs, it’s clear that they are doing the jobs that Americans will not do, and they go to school even if there are limits on their dreams. These people live in fear and yet they are helping the American economy by still paying taxes, and on a larger scale, are boosting the country as a whole by working jobs that would not get done without them. 

These workers play vital roles in the U.S. economy, erecting American buildings, picking American apples and grapes, and taking care of American babies. Oh, and paying American taxes.  

There is a lot of uneducated people who believe that 10.5 million illegal immigrants cannot be deported, but they don’t realize that that isn’t the point… the point is that any illegal immigrant is subject to be deported if ICE shows up to a place asking for status within the country because they have no way of proving that they are here for a “good” reason.

Immigrants constitute 15% of the general U.S. workforce, but they account for around a quarter of U.S. entrepreneurs (which we define as the top three initial earners in a new business). This is comparable to what we see in innovation and patent filings, where immigrants also account for about a quarter of U.S. inventors.

It is unreasonable to deport every illegal that is in America, and many of them might never get caught. But I am speaking for those who have been “caught” and deported, and for the families that have been separated. There is an uncountable number of people who have been deported and forced to leave their whole and everything that they built here. 

The United States has mandatory and disproportionate deportation laws that needlessly separate families. Reform should restore discretion to consider the equities in every individual’s case.One facility in particular, the Aurora Contract Detention Facility (ACDF), violates the basic human rights of its mainly asylum-seeking detainees through medical neglect and abuse, which has led to at least two deaths, according to a report released today by the ACLU of Colorado.

“We should try to figure out how to give them better lives and find space for them. I just don’t think that’s correct. My parents are immigrants so this resonates very closely with me and I feel like we should give them more opportunities because not all of them are here to sell drugs and commit crimes,” Senior Beatrise Martinez said.

The United States is not wrong for having restrictions on who can become a citizen, but right now, it is unreasonably difficult, if not hopeless, to even try to obtain citizenship for those who would like opportunities beyond the ones they have of living in the shadows of Americans.

Martinez explained, “I don’t think [obtaining citizenship] should be like a twenty-year process where you submit your application for citizenship and find out a lifetime later that you can’t get citizenship or residency.”

 It’s discouraging to come to a country wanting to build a better life and you can, but only to a  certain extent if you don’t have citizenship or are not here legally. Therefore, I am simply implying that you cannot blame a portion of the American population for being illegal when they cannot become citizens through a reasonable process.