American Dream Deferred: Give Undocumented Immigrants a Chance to Succeed

 

Art: Anthony Rosado

Art: Anthony Rosado

By ISABELLE RIQUELME

In a country known as the land of opportunity, millions of people’s rights are being restricted. These people study and work just as hard as we do, yet they are blocked from being able to pursue their dreams, get an education, and work to support their families.

This tragedy happens everyday to the millions of undocumented immigrants, many of them teenagers, living in the United States today.

Some teenagers who were brought to this country illegally as young children don’t even know their status until they begin to apply to college and realize they can’t continue their education.

Even worse, families are often torn apart because undocumented parents are deported and forced to leave their children who were born in the United States.

In order to shield these people from deportation and provide them with the ability to study and work, President Obama issued an executive action in November.

The action offered temporary legal status and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States for over five years.

In addition, the executive action extended existing immigration law to allow people over 30-years old who had been threatened with deportation to stay and study in the United States.

Opponents of the executive action see the president as a dictator who is illegally imposing his will on the population.

They don’t realize that Obama’s actions are legal; he is acting under the authority of the president because Republicans in the Senate have stalled efforts to pass immigration legislation.

There are those Americans who believe implementing Obama’s executive order will only be a burden to them, arguing that their tax dollars will go to pay for illegal immigrants and their children to attend college and get social services, such as healthcare and food subsidies.

But these undocumented immigrants would actually contribute to the economy by working and paying taxes.

Many people agree that undocumented immigrants who want to remain in the country where they were raised have struggled for long enough. They deserve the right to stay in the United States and progress in their lives. After all, the United States was built by immigrants.

Obama’s executive order is necessary to help millions of immigrants who want to contribute to our society.

As Obama said at a press conference in November,  according to The New York Times, “I would be derelict in my duties if I did not try to improve the system that everybody acknowledges is broken.”

Unfortunately, the president’s action on immigration was blocked by a federal judge in February, giving 26 states time to file lawsuits to stop the order from being implemented.

Obama’s administration has filed an appeal, and the court will hear arguments on April 17.

Obama’s plan could help four million undocumented immigrants gain the rights they deserve.

The choice is in our hands. We can choose to support the president’s efforts to help undocumented immigrants thrive, or we can support the unjust deportation of hardworking people who have come to this country to live the American dream.