The United States of America is profoundly painted with the image of being the land opportunity and living the “American Dream”. The American Dream is a motivating factor for why many foreigners migrate the U.S to receive the social, economic and political benefits that their country of origin is unable to provide. However, there are some foreigners to migrate to this country for the sake of their survival and along with arriving with their children, involuntary. The dispute over illegal immigration has been extremely sentimental and a persistent struggle in the United States, as many Americans are affected throughout the country. For this paper, I will enlighten on political leaders’ opinions molded the perception of young immigrant students from the establishment of the Dreams Act of 2001 to must current dispute over DACA in this very day.
I believed that with the deportation of DACA immigrants makes the economy suffer along with strengthening the discrimination against minorities that already resides in the U.S. There are many immigrants that are culturally-embedded stereotypes (e.g. Hispanics are rapists and drug dealers, African Americans are murders, and Muslims are terrorists). In deporting all these people, it continues to foster into the prejudices and discrimination against all of these following cultures. Since the beginning of the colonial immigration by the early English settlers, America has been the land of immigrants and has welcomed any immigrants that flee from their country of origin. However, many are denied due to such prejudices and stereotypes. It is inhumane to forcibly remove people out their established livelihood in the United States.
During 1990-2016, there was an estimate of how the amount of number of undocumented immigrants in the United States (Fazel-Zarandi et al., 2018). It was discovered an estimation of 16.2 million undocumented immigrants in the United States in the year 2016 (Fazel-Zarandi et al., 2018). Also, in 2016, there was an estimation that approximately 12.0 million immigrants from Mexico residing in the United States and about 45% from that population was in the country illegally country in which is the source of immigrants, composing about 26.6% of all United States immigrants (Pew Research Center, 2018). In Reyes’ (2018) article, it was discovered that the reasoning for migrates moving towards the United States was due to social issues, political oppression, economic issues, and environmental issues.
Focusing on the immigration reform policies, it weighs heavily on the undocumented immigrant rights which cause such clash in this issue. The democratic party supports the idea of granting citizenship whereas, the Republic party is highly resistant in enforcing the immigrant rights. Conflicts arise with the Republic party as they oppose to the idea due to their support that dates back to the anti-immigration movement in the mid-1990s. During the 1994 election, governor Pete Wilson introduced the Proposition 187, that focuses on denying the public services to undocumented residents in California and required for individuals to report any suspicion of illegal immigrants to the authorities (Monogan & Doctor, 2017). Wilson promoted antagonism within the public in relation to the Hispanic immigrant population and strongly voiced out against illegal immigration and proclaimed that undocumented immigrants stole jobs and were an overall great threat to the white voters’ livelihood (Monogan & Doctor, 2017). For the time being, approximately two-thirds of the American citizens perceived undocumented immigrants to cause more harm than good to the U.S economy and due to Wilson’s eloquence was a promoting factor (Swift 2017).
Over the years, there has been an increase of Republicans that has significantly impacted American society by strongly advocating for the conservative immigration reform due to the country being overpopulated. The conservative immigration reform focuses on the requirement of only legal immigrants are good for U.S-economy, no tolerance against illegal immigrants conducting aggressive deportation, separating families, the enforcement at the border, no new immigration laws and no financial assistance towards the immigrants especially with regards to education. The conservatives expect for the undocumented immigrants to do the righteous thing and return to their country and to then be allowed to return the United States legally.
In viewing the Democratic party’s perspective on immigration, in the AJC (formerly American Jewish Committee) in a policy statement retrieved on Feb. 9, 2016, “Path to Legalization for Undocumented Immigrants,” voiced: “There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. It is unrealistic and inhumane to deport these individuals from their families and lives in the United States. These immigrants should be offered a path to legal status and eventually earned citizenship. This track to citizenship should be realistic, rather than being so burdensome that it prevents integration. Allowing these immigrants to regularize their status will not only strengthen our national security but will also stimulate the economy and enhance America’s rich, vibrant, and diverse culture.”
In 2001, Congress failed to pass the democratic legislative developmental of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minor, also known as the “Dream Act”. The objective of the Dream Act was to address the immigrant assimilation to the American society, along with addressing the issue of how young students who are unfamiliar to their parents’ country of origin and who identifies themselves as Americans can prosper while contributing to the American society (Zatz and Rodriguez, 2015). After 11 years of alterations and dismissal of the Dream Act, President Barack Obama in 2012, created an executive order to implement the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program to temporarily shield the “dreamers” who are minor children that entered into the United States illegally under the Dream Act. In spite of the political disagreed towards the legislation, many Americans have joined the movement of supporting the legislation of the long-term immigrant students.
Without citizenship, Dreamers were unable to pursue higher education due to not being able to secure financial services such as in-state tuition and federal financial aid. Due to the high economical demands and competitive global market, it fostered into demands for more access to education so that Dreamers can strengthen the workforce. This led to many political leaders opposing the protection of Dreamers to shift their perception about immigrant rights. Since the implementation of DACA, “beneficiaries have been able to get better-paying jobs, successfully become financially stable, and contribute to the American society (Ortega et al., 2017). It has been observed that due to DACA, increase tax revenue along with fostering exceptionally economic benefits for states, locals, and the nation as a whole. Also, Latino policy makers have been an agent of change within politics, as they have educated their co-leaders on the significances of Dreamers in the U.S (Nienhusser, 2015). As an outcome, there has been an steady increase in percentage of Americans who perceive immigrants to be helpful in the growth of the U.S economy since 2001 (Swift, 2017).
Furthermore, despite of the such evident progress made be undocumented immigrants by their contribution to American society, there continues to be opposing attitudes towards the Dreamers. For instances, the current political climate over DACA has greatly escalated with the election of Republican President Donald Trump. Between the years of 2015-2016, the Trump campaigned has amplified regulation and security of undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S along with the strong desire of building a wall at the southern borders. In 2015, Trump had made racist remarks with regards to the Mexican immigrant population such as identifying them as criminals, drug dealers, killers, rapist and along with the strong in strengthening the stereotyping towards Mexicans, as it fostered into discrimination and polarizing Americans to have his mindset towards this ethnic group. Adding on to Trump’s claims about the Mexican immigrant, they are predominantly false. Regardless, 87% of Americans continue to support the protection of DACA immigrants but to do