by Yurika Chiba
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mexican Americans were 10.8% of the population of the United States in 2011. There is a huge number of immigrants from Mexico in the U.S. because the distance is very close between Mexico and the U.S. In addition to Mexican immigrants, America has more than 50,000,000 immigrants. However, it is a fact that America has also a lot of “undocumented immigrants.” One of the reasons is that the pay in America is better than that in their home countries. But, why are they “undocumented”? In America, it is hard for foreigners to get VISA.
ALBS JAPAN explains that the American government does not want to increase the number of immigrants because it thinks that undocumented immigrants cause American economy a great loss. In addition, America pays careful attention to immigration after 9.11 attacks. I think that the system of immigration intake in America has a problem to increase the number of undocumented immigrants.
Of course, they are illegal immigrants because they do not have the permission to get into America. However, some undocumented immigrants are doing jobs which American citizens do not want to like the 3Ds: Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult. In fact, their workings sustain the American economy even though some American citizens discriminate against them. It is clear that a lot of undocumented immigrants have a hard time in America.
How about their children, called “undocumented children”? They do not have their own passport. They can’t prove their nationality and can’t work legally. It is difficult for them to get their own driver licenses. Before they graduate from the high school, they can take the education. However, entering the university is difficult for them because most state university do not accept their entrance and they do not have enough money to enter the private university. That is why college-going rate of undocumented immigrants is really low. I watched the video about Jose Antonio Vargas whose parents are undocumented immigrants during the class. He hadn’t known he was an undocumented immigrant until he was 16 years old. After that, he has lived in America with hiding his citizenship. He is talented. But, he could not do an internship because he did not have American citizenship. In other word, he missed a lot of chances to do what he wanted. I think these children should be given the equal opportunity to live in America because they are innocent.
In order to help these children, the American government has suggested the “DREAM Act”, the idea of giving the right of living in America. Recently, the president of America, Obama, promotes this bill. It provides permanent residency to undocumented children. For example, the condition of application is given to people who enter into America until 16 years old and have lived in there for more than 5 years. Even though there are some more conditions to apply it, this bill is really beneficial to undocumented children. However, it has not passed yet in the U.S. If it does, undocumented immigrants who contribute to America would increase more and more. I think that this bill will give advantages to both American government and undocumented children.
On the other hand, opponents against DREAM Act insist that undocumented immigrants should get the green card by the legal process. They also explain that the opportunities of having green card should be equal to legal immigrants. However, in my opinion, undocumented immigrants do not have equal opportunities from the beginning. For undocumented immigrants, having the green card is much harder than other immigrants. I think DREAM Act has very important role to correct the gap between undocumented children and documented children because they did not do wrong at all.
In conclusion, the problem of undocumented immigrants in America should be solved as soon as possible. I do not mean that American government has to force undocumented immigrants to away from the U.S. Rather, American government should consider the policy which these immigrants can live in there at ease. As one of the solution, DREAM Act needs to pass for undocumented children. If undocumented children can have the right of permanent residency, next generation can live in America as American citizens. I believe that it would lead to a positive outcome for undocumented immigrants.
U.S. Census Bureau:
Retrieving June 23, 2013 from
ALBS JAPAN: Retrieving June 24, 2013 from http://www.usavisa.jp/howto/faq_visa07.html
NYT, Mexican Data Show Migration to U.S. in Decline: Retrieving June 24, 2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15immig.html?pagewanted=all
NYT, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant: Retrieving June 24, 2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html?pagewanted=all