Garfield Senior High School

Opinion: Moving in the right direction

The United States is known as the land of opportunity, freedom, and happiness. The birth of our nation will always serve as a reminder of the struggle and arduous work it took to build this united nation.

The U.S. is undoubtedly composed of a variety of different ideas and cultures, and diversity is a hallmark of our country. Indeed, this is why America is known as a melting pot. However, times have changed and it seems that now we are altogether restricting whom we let into the country.

Our country was built upon the principles of freedom and liberty for all but that seems to be changing in a world where danger is inevitable whether it is from terrorist attacks or natural disasters. But does that mean we should enforce immigration laws and deny benefits for immigrants who came into this country seeking a better life?

Even though there are millions of American perspectives on immigration, it is always important to listen to other people’s points of view in order to understand the world we come from. I was born and raised in a Hispanic community. I have seen the puritan work ethic of my parents. And even though they never had the privilege to have an education, they knew from the very start that coming to this country was a privilege and an opportunity.

Most Hispanic parents dream of their children receiving a good education and having a better future than the one they had. However, privileges have been suspended for immigrant children and now the dream of having a better future will be impossible to fulfill because they will lack the necessary resources to do so.

Soon protective laws and beneficial social programs like DACA will end and affect many immigrants who strive for a good education and better future. Protecting our country is a necessity but denying people (whether they are immigrants or not) the right to progress and the right to an education is a direct attack and contradiction of fundamental American beliefs. The United States may be the richest country in the world. We may be the nation with the biggest army. But if we are denying people certain rights, then we are certainly below other countries.

As a nation we have always stood up for others’ rights and against injustices. If we look back at our history, we notice how Americans fought for justice and individual rights, such as: the American Revolution, the women’s feminist uprising of the 1950’s, and the rise of African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement.

Therefore, why shouldn’t immigrants and students rise up against the injustices being made against them? Discrimination and legal actions against immigrants shouldn’t be tolerated. I have seen family members and friends terribly affected by such decisions already. For example, immigrant families are unsure of their future because they don’t know if they will be separated or if certain rights will be denied. Young adults that immigrated here worry that they will no longer have a chance at a good education. In moments like these we should recall how America became a powerful nation– by unity, courage, and solidarity not by division and fear.

To determine the best for our country we must not look at the present but rather learn from the past to make decisions for the future. In spite of the danger and violence that has occurred in our country, we must not forget the importance of the principles and ideals that we once stood for in this country.

Our leaders from the past fought for America’s pursuit of happiness, a life of justice, freedom, and opportunity. Yet it seems that as time goes by, these rights no longer hold as much importance as they once did since many people continually abuse these rights and take advantage of them.

As Americans, we cannot forget what this land really represents: freedom. Imposing laws and taking benefits away from immigrants isn’t what our nation should do. Instead we need to continue embracing diversity and continue learning from each other. As long as we stay together and rise together as a nation, we won’t have to make decisions that can hurt us as a country.

We must understand that there is no ideal way to secure our safety but as long as we stay together we can ensure our security and the endurance of our innate principles. But in order to do so we must not deny others the right to education because every child in the world has the right to have a good future no matter where they come from.