The Treatment Of Immigrants In The United States Of America

For hundreds of years, America has been idolized and strategically exhibited to portray the perfect country for all seeking abundance in opportunity or even simply seeking a better life than those offered in other countries. America is widely depicted to be a fairly wealthy country where people generally experience “first-world” – or in some cases small and irrelevant – problems. Thus, the commonly held idea within outside countries is that America can grant anyone a life in which enables them to experience having a part of that wealth and opportunity. For this reason, America has seen many immigrants reside in their country; most of which have come illegally. These illegal immigrants resort to partaking in unlawful tactics such as sneaking into the country, because they find it easier than the extensive and difficult process Americans have pressured unto them to be granted American citizenship. Most of our immigrants are from Mexico and South America due to how they are located relatively close to the southern border. Many do so to escape the horrors of their home country. According to Hayes 92018):

“El Salvador was the murder capital of the world with a rate of 104 people per 100,000 in 2015. The country has a higher homicide rate than all countries suffering armed conflict except for Syria, according to the most recent global study by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey.”

“In Mexico, the government has fought drug cartels for years. That war and the battle between cartels over territory have left a trail of destruction and blood. Homicide rate broke records after the arrest and extradition of former drug boss Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman. His arrest allowed other groups to move into the drug trade, leading to a battle for territory and the killings of both criminals and innocents throughout the country.”

In 2018, Trump came into office with one main intention which centered around building a wall along the southern border to block immigrants from entering illegally, frightening those who have yet to reunite with their families and those who wish to immigrate to flee the violence and poverty. Because of Trump’s twisted views on this aspect, he has encouraged and carried out countless deportations with little reasoning as to why. There are thousands of immigrants, legal and illegal, being held in concentration camps. These immigrants include children of all ages, men and women, and elderly people, all who were hunted down and forcibly taken, many being torn apart from families they’ve created here and are being treated poorly and locked behind caged doors. Those who do not see this may still view America as a place in which can offer them a better life; this is not the case. Apart from immigrants who have already been taken by ICE, many are still living in fear of being taken away. This leaves people fearful and weary, constantly thinking about how they can be taken away from their families at any given moment. According to Mezzofiere and Shoichet (2019):

“Most days, she [an immigrant Jamaican mother] thinks even playing outside with her toddler is too dangerous. Afraid of the possibility of immigration raids, the housekeeper and receptionist said she's started bringing her daughter to work more often to protect her. Living as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, she says, feels like living in a horror movie.

'The word 'ICE' in our community just sends us all into panic,' she says. 'I'm not able to do normal outdoor activities with my daughter, such as playing in the park, going to the library, even going for her doctor's visit, because of the fear I have of it being my last day with her in America.'

Though America does not have a dictatorship government, the administration still does not reveal the awful treatment these people are getting; for example, the media hardly exposes the underlying issues experienced and instead, works to conceal such problems out of fear that the view on America will be tainted. Although we currently have a federal government, the actions President Trump has made make it seem as though if he could, he would dictate. According an article overviewing some of Trump's questionable dictator-like suggestions says:

“After losing his battle against Congress to secure funding for his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump is declaring that that the congressional rebuff is irrelevant anyway. The reason? Trump is declaring an “emergency” under the “National Emergencies Act,” which, he says, authorizes him to spend U.S. taxpayer money on the wall without congressional authorization. He’s going to have the U.S. military, which will dutifully follow his orders, construct his Berlin Wall.

Trump’s action is the very essence of dictatorship. Check out other dictators around the world — Maduro in Venezuela, Ortega in Nicaragua, Diaz-Canel in Cuba, Kim Jong-Un in North Korea, el-Sisi in Egypt, and Zi in China. They don’t have to jack around with congresses. They have the authority to just act or order. That’s what makes them dictators.”

This aspect in itself makes America a corrupt system. It leaves many people fearful of being discriminated against and being deported. America does not advocate for legal immigration with the intentions of getting many people to become citizens. If the government had those intentions, the citizenship process would be increasingly easier to manage. The current entrance exams require testers to learn unfortunately extensive, detailed information that even most Anglo-Americans do not know. Not only that, but the process can take up to thirteen years or more. In fact, these immigrants are required to learn English, which is not an official language of America, in order to take their test and be rewarded with their citizenship. It is unfair to force someone to learn a new language in order to gain citizenship, for this reason many languages are dying and culture is being lost. This wouldn’t strike me as unjust, had the United States claimed to have an official language. Although English is common, many other languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese are commonly being spoken here:

“To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must pass the naturalization test. At your naturalization interview, you will be required to answer questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.”

“You will be given two opportunities to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview.”

Although immigrants may bring harm to some countries, everyone holds the power to contribute to the betterment of it as well. In the case that some immigrants prove to be dangerous to America, administration should work to provide useful information and perhaps coordinate intervention-like training to enable the “troubling” immigrants to envision how they can help promote the growth of the nation and not the downfall. On the other hand, if immigrants come from the opposite circumstances - that is, from a wealthy area - then they should equally be granted a position in American society as well. The more people America has functioning towards the goal of success and prosperity, despite whatever background they come from, then the better equipped America is in truly being the opportunistic country. Because America advertises itself as unmatched in all aspects of growth and sustainability, all immigrants should be given a chance without bias or exclusion. The ultimate goal should be inclusion and acceptance so that this ideal American 'better life' is undeniably carried out within its atmosphere. 

Considering all of the unreasonable actions being taken against immigrants and all of the effort American government places on concealing the hardships, America cannot and should not continue to hold itself on a pedestal - much less should it be representative of able to give everyone a better life. That being said, a bigger issue comes into play: we cannot always encourage immigrants to hold the proposition that America is ideal; but instead we must make changes to this wrongful worshipping and expose the numerous disadvantages the country holds, whilst also being considerate of the fact that we have more to offer such as security and freedom from violence. With Trump utilizing violent force as a tactic to make immigrants follow his rules, the only thing being achieved is the perpetuation of the unnecessarily aggressive atmosphere that can be correlated to tyranny. This is exactly what America says it is not, yet is exactly how it is becoming. Instead of forcing people to learn new a new language and learn extensive information, a system that can quickly preform background checks on people to find if their intensions are pure and not harmful would be more successful. In order to do fix the process of becoming a citizen, we first must find those that have been deported and find a way to bring them back legally and quickly. There should also be more programs that protect those on their way to citizenship from being deported. And if there are people who need to be deported because of wrongdoing such as terrorism or continuous violence, then send those people back securely. Immigrants currently residing illegally, should be treated with respect and be taken through the same process I mentioned earlier. Of course it’s still a flawed system and getting to that point is difficult but it can be done through small steps.  

16 December 2021
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