Azshane  McCray


Protect or Prejudice

Imagine you and your family living in a war stricken country such as Syria, living in poverty, or living in fear and your last resort is to flee the country. Immigrants are people that migrate to another country to escape violence, poverty, or just for better opportunities.The issue of immigration has been buzzing around the nation while creating quite a division between U.S citizens considering the debate of pro-immigration and anti-immigration. Immigration has always been a heated political issue due to its effect on our country’s economy, politics, and population. The United States does not support immigration reflecting on the rigorous screening process and deportation laws.

Immigration has an huge impact on today’s population. Illegal immigration makes up about 4% of the nation’s population. According to Krogstad and Passel, the amount of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S has reached it’s highest at 12 million from years 2005 to 2010. That’s 2,440,000 illegal immigrants per year from 2005 to 2010. Question is, why is the unauthorized immigration rate so high?  “Nearly 14 million new immigrants ( legal and illegal) settled in the country from 2000 to 2010”  (Steven A. Camarota). If 12 million out of 14 million immigrants are illegal then that means only 2 million legal immigrants have been accepted through proper screening. The population of unauthorized immigrants now remains at 11 million. Although the numbers decreased it still remains solid and lofty. Some U.S. citizens seem to not taken well to the fact that the undocumented immigration rate is booming. “With recognition that many of those 11 million immigrants are here to stay/ That’s tough for many Republicans to swallow, since they count on anti-immigrant voters” (Brack). Without the support from the United States government and citizens it only leaves families to migrate illegally. The United States lack support by the low legal immigration acceptance rate which could possibly be the cause of the high rate of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

The United States rigorous screening process and deportation laws justifies their lack of support for immigration.  The screening process includes 3 new federal agencies which is the Customs of Border Patrol (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). “CBP prevents drugs,weapons, and terrorists/ ICE enforces criminal and civil laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration/ USCIS oversees lawful immigration to the United States and naturalization” (Source 1). This is just ⅓ of the screening process and to add on it takes 2 years minimal which is a long time for refugees seeking safety. Some people may argue that the exhaustive screening process is to stay proactive to terrorist attacks. The screening process continues to grow rigorous in hopes for protection of the United States. It’s well said that, “The emphasis of American immigration law enforcement became border security and removing criminal aliens to protect the nation from terrorist attacks” (source 1). The fear of terrorism is completely understandable but since when did literacy test help prevent terrorism? According to source 1, the 1917 act required immigrants to be able to read and write in their native language. The U.S should take in consideration that most immigrants are refugees and has not been given the opportunity to excel in education. Being able to read and write shouldn’t be a  requirement and it surely doesn’t protect the U.S. from attacks. This just plays as another obstacle created for immigrants seeking citizenship in the U.S. This emphasizes the minimum support the United States has towards immigration.

It’s definitely strenuous to get accepted into the United States as a legal immigrant but it may be even harder for things to stay that way. Upright productive immigrants have been hauled in and deported for rather minor and non-violent offences. “Immigrants also have been deported for relatively minor and nonviolent crimes, raising the question of whether deportation is a penalty to impose on top of the criminal sentences they have already served” (Human Rights Watch).  Noncitizens convicted of an aggravated felony can face deportation. Yet an aggravated felony includes crimes such as failing to appear in court or something as simple as a bar fight. The laws regarding deportation of criminal immigrants are not only cruel but they are senseless. Such a harsh and aggressive punishment such as deportation is being tossed around like it’s community service. Compassion is a worthwhile human attribute when applied rationally. Immigrants deserve the same compassion and support that is given to native born americans, and that is what the U.S. is failing to give.

There is no question that the immigration system in the U.S. is broken. People come to the United States for freedom and opportunity but instead they get restrictions and misfortune. Innocent families are being separated due to deportation while some people would rather die trying to cross the border than be tussled through a long rigorous screening process. The United States screening process and deportation laws is a reflection of their lack of support for immigration.


I am 17 years of age and I attend Aurora Central High school in Aurora, CO. I am very active in my community and academic community from volunteering at Mississippi Baptist to committing to 3 of my favorite sports and clubs.

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