OPINION: Immigration, to love or not to love

J&C 9th grader Alana Fields submitted this opinion.

Immigration. A word in today’s America that often leads to controversy about the political policies that surround it. Sparking protests and riots in support and against immigration, U.S. citizens are torn. Americans often perceive immigration as what makes them great and what makes our country a chaotic mess.

In the most recent presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the topic of immigration brought the United States’ immigration problems to light. Trump supported policies that prohibited immigration from other countries, while Clinton supported policies that encouraged immigration. According to Miriam Valverde of Politifact, Trump proposed these three core ideas for immigration reform: build a wall across the United States and Mexico border, increase enforcement of immigration laws and focus on American workers. Valverde also stated Clinton’s core ideas for immigration: propose new immigration legislation, encourage immigrants to become naturalized citizens and change detention policies. Clinton’s position would be better for the country because it favors economic growth.

Often when politicians address the topic of immigration, they think about how it affects us and not the difference it’s making in the lives of immigrants. Immigrants lives are changed after moving to destination regions or more developed countries.

“In the refugee camp in Nepal we lived in some very harsh conditions, but when we came to the U.S. we were given so much more than we ever expected. After arriving in America, I was so happy to be able to sleep next to my mom at night in a nice bed after the poor life we lived in Nepal,” Rika Ghimirey, an American immigrant from Nepal said.

Immigration not only benefits the lives of immigrants, but it benefits America. Immigrants are constantly contributing to American economy, culture and technology. American success would not be possible without the generations of immigrants.

Immigration fuels the U.S. economy. According to a report from the Migration Policy Institute’s “Migration and Remittances Factbook,” immigration unambiguously improves employment, productivity and income. Immigration creates new consumers in the economy. The more things people buy, the more money the American economy generates.

Also, immigrants lead the way in new inventions and patents in America. According to New American Economy, immigrants are involved in 76 percent of patents from top patent-producing universities in America. These inventions lead to new ideas that can help further technological advances in America.

Immigration has a large positive impact on the world. Immigration benefits the countries immigrants have migrated from. The majority of the America’s immigrants migrated from least developed countries (LDC). These immigrants often send remittance money back to their family in their home countries. According to the Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016, in 2015, economists estimated that immigrants have generated over $601 billion in remittances, of which $441 billion goes to LDCs. This remittance money grows the economy of the LDC.

At Manual, we have a very diverse group of students. This environment of cultural diversity helps all students become respectful of different cultures once they exit the educational setting. Without the benefits of immigration, Manual wouldn’t be the same place of excellence and diversity.

President Trump may put immigration policies in place to block certain ethnic groups from entering the U.S., but the benefits of immigration will never change. In order to keep Trump from banning certain immigration, it is important for those who disagree with Trump’s policies to contact their senators and representatives. Immigration is important to America, it is important to support bills in favor of immigration and it is important for our growing adults to support politicians in favor of immigration.

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Hunter Hartlage is one of the two opinion editors on RedEye this year. He’s a Disney buff with an unhealthy obsession with video games. He loves engaging in political debates, and can often be found butting heads with the other, very misguided, opinion editor. You can contact him at [email protected]

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