Immigration Debate: The Land of the Free?


Logo for the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which is under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Illegal immigration has always been a problem, but recently the problem has exploded in both the political and mainstream climate.

The issue is: do we, as Americans, look like hypocrites if we disagree with illegal immigrants entering the country?

Our country is supposed to represent freedom, and, on top of this, we define ourselves as a country of immigrants. But, many find immigration as a threat, with the president even trying to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering our country. With such a politically heated climate, the intentions surrounding whether or not to accept illegal immigrants is difficult to figure out, making the amount of “yes” and “no” votes and proposals for letting immigrants in the country just confusing.

The individuals who are for allowing illegal immigrants to come into our country and seek asylum or citizenship think America should follow the motto that founding father Thomas Jefferson wrote in the first draft of the Declaration of Independence: “Men are created equal and independent.” Supporters believe in the mentality that men are created equal and that everyone has the same opportunities. By not allowing illegal immigrants into our country, they believe this philosophy is not really showing and makes our country seem ‘stuck’ in being progressive and accepting. If America is really all about “men are created equal” and “we all have the same opportunities,” don’t you think we would have let immigrants in and create equal opportunities for them? Pro-immigration Americas feel that taking these opportunities away from anyone makes us a country of hypocrites.

However, those who are against illegal immigrants entering the country without going through the proper steps believe it’s unfair to current citizens and those waiting for citizenship and visas. On this side of the debate, many are worried about the effects illegal immigrants might have on the economy. The arguments made against immigrants are that they won’t pay taxes, they are stealing jobs, they are driving down wages and welfare, and they are coming here to get free healthcare.

There are points from both parties that ring strongly for many who are on the fence of the immigration debate, like myself. As a child of an American immigrant, I understand and believe in America being a free country for all to enter. However, I stand by going through the process of entering the country legally. My dad and his family had to wait 4 years to get their visa and come into the country. It is upsetting to those that had to wait for their legal and fair passage into the country that others show up at the border and demand to be let in without due process.  This way people will actually have the same opportunities as some of the people in this country. 

Both sides have some really good points. Which side do you fall on?