Living and Surviving: The American Dream for the U.S. illegal immigrants

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Undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are not new. Many of them came to the U.S. as minors by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with their parents, or forced to leave their home countries. They grow up in American society and go to American schools, just like any other Americans. However, it is difficult for them to find legitimate jobs or housing because they are not U.S. citizens.

Since Trump was elected the next president of the United States, the anxiety of being deported has rippled over the undocumented immigrants community. In the November. 22 edition of the New York Times, Elizabethan A. Harris explored an immigrant school in Brooklyn in New York, which 83% of them come from China. Many of the students there are trying very hard to learn English and get familiar with American cultures. And their parents, are working extensively to earn money for the family and applying for U.S. citizenships in order to obtain status living in the U.S. 

The USCIS introduced a new policy to allow additional applications for provisional wavier process in July this year. This policy indeed brought more hope to the undocumented immigrants for applying U.S. citizenships. However, Trump’s deportation policy has wiped their hope of getting legal identities in the U.S. out – they are not sure how possible they could obtain legal status living in the U.S. 

The deportation is just going to divide people in the U.S. It is inhumane, irrational and irresponsible – and it shouldn’t be happening.

The illegal immigrants are making great economic sector of the U.S. economy. Especially in the fields of leisure and hospitality and construction, there are more than 2.4 million undocumented immigrant workers. If Trump really deports up to 3 million undocumented immigrants back to their home countries, American economy will crash. Experts predict that there will be a decline of 9 percent in agricultural production and declines of 8 percent in construction and leisure and hospitality over the long term; and a decline in manufacturing output of $74 billion will be followed by somewhat more modest declines in wholesale and retail trade and financial activities. Trump has been attributing illegal immigrants as “rapists” and “people stealing out jobs”, while he doesn’t realize how American economy and labor force will shrink if these illegal immigrants are deported. 

The illegal immigrants in the U.S. are not having easy lives. Children who came along with their parents holding DACA did not really have choices, however, they will be deported if they still don’t have legal status. What will happen is that they will have nowhere to go. Their home countries are no longer “homes” for them because they have been raised in American society, not to mention that they can’t stay in their home countries legally anymore. The deportation policy is  a promotion of American exceptionalism that Trump has been always embracing and advocating. Of course the concerns of U.S. national security come to the political decision-making process, but they should be should be build upon humanism. The U.S. president shouldn’t force illegal immigrants to give up everything they have earned, or cloud the American dream they have been making great efforts to, or even deprive their rights of fighting for their families.

I think Harrison has a good exploration of the immigrant school P.S. 160. This piece provides a great overview of how immigrants’ lives are and how hard they are working for their families. For a feature writing, it is great that it doesn’t put too much political constrains, while it is necessary to write another story or a follow-up to critique Trump’s deportation policy from a humanistic perspective, which I believe will be very appealing and strong.

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Living and Surviving: The American Dream for the U.S. illegal immigrants

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