Behind The Scenes of America

There are approximately 1,326,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligible immigrants in this country that have disadvantages just by living. There are 1,326,000 human lives that do not have legal documentation. That’s 1,326,000 lives with daily fear of deportation. That’s 1,326,00 lives that can’t go to college and can’t have the same necessities as their next door neighbor. Hello my name is Alexander Valdez, I am hoping that in this article, you see the impact that immigrants have. I am a Mexican American, son of an immigrant trying to solve the debate of the problem, should immigrants be granted amnesty. This topic has been a vehement conversation for much time now. Some believe that immigrants shouldn’t even be in the country. This all started when President Barack Obama signed the DACA policy on June 15, 2012. Ever since then there have been attempts to take away or abolish DACA. We can thank immigrants for being crucial to our society and workforce and for the economic well being of our country. We must also not forget the cultural benefits like food, festivities, and traditions that we receive from every glorious culture/nation. Furthermore, DACA should be supported and recipients should be able to have a path to permanent residency and later citizenship.

Additionally, DACA recipients should be able to obtain amnesty because without security, they are put in the risk of deportation and deportation is cruel and inhumane especially because it was a decision without consent. Alicia Parlapiano and Karen Yourish, editors for The NY Times, shows their survey in the article, “A Typical ‘Dreamer’ Lives in Los Angeles, Is From Mexico and Came to the U.S. at 6 Years Old” that a large portion of the kids that enter the United States are under the age of 6. Former President Barack Obama said in his public statement, “‘What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send them? To a country they don’t know or remember, with a language they may not even speak?’” These pieces of evidence help support my reasoning because it is callous that people can think about sending a human out of their country to another country that is their native country but since these children were so young they were oblivious or don’t remember where they came from. As well as sending them to a foreign country, this is their home. They have learned the English language and they have adapted to the American environment. They have created or grown with their families for years and established a life. This makes the idea of putting these young adults and children in stress and the fear of the unknown if they or their parents are going to be deported. This would be cynical but sadly it exists in our everyday lives.

Another reason why Immigrants should be given amnesty is because along with the monetary value and work that they contribute, immigrants also contribute their passions, cultures, and traditions as well. According to Adam Liptak, a New York Times reporter, in his article “‘Dreamers’ Tell Supreme Court Ending DACA During Pandemic Would Be ‘Catastrophic’,” he states that there are about 900 DACA recipients serving in the military, 20,000 who are school teachers, and 27,000 who are healthcare workers as well. “Southwest Detroit wasn’t a neighborhood where you could walk down the street,” said Southwest Detroit Business Association deputy director Edith J. Castillo, adding, “Now, you can actually walk down the street, and you can take your family out for ice cream after church.” This piece of text evidence shows us the effect that influx of immigrants had on this poor town as well as the immigrants have on our workforce. Now with the businesses booming with customers and the city flourishing, the town is more inhabitable and people want to go to this city. Southwest Detroit isn’t the only city that has benefited from the efforts of immigrants. As I see in my hometown of Chicago, it is the same effect everywhere. Since we have approximately 1.7 million immigrants residing in Chicago a lot of our everyday lives revolve around immigrant efforts. This impact is shown by all the great and amazing little “societies” with Little Village, China Town, and Pilsen. These are all flourishing neighborhoods with authentic lifestyles from peoples home countries. Again all the delicious food and exquisite cultural differences that immigrants make is a huge factor on why America is how it is today.

Being the son of an immigrant I have witnessed first hand the struggle that they carry on a regular basis. At the same time I have also seen the opportunities that legal status gives you. It is no secret that immigrants can be the hardest working people you will ever meet and that’s why they should be given the same opportunities as their fellow Americans. If the United States calls itself and is so proud of the “Land of the Free” and the “Home of the Brave”, then why contradict ourselves every time the opportunity is invested into others? Why not have equal opportunities for everyone and be happy for others’ achievements?

Alexander Valdez

St. Patrick High School – DMSF Class of 2026

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