Student Story: Immigration Isn’t As Bad As People Portray It

Commentary By: Ashley Aguilar, Camden Academy Charter High School, Camden, N.J.

Coming from a Mexican family full of immigrants, I never quite understood why people dislike immigrants. Of course, when I was younger, I didn’t understand at all, but even now as a teenager, I still have some trouble trying to comprehend the fact that there are people against immigration. 

My family are Mexican immigrants that came to the United States in hope of making some money so that they could send it back to their struggling family back in Mexico. My dad was only 16 when he came to the United States by himself, looking for work so that he could help feed his family. He was the eldest child in the family, and it was up to him to help his parents feed nine siblings. Luckily, with the help of his aunt, he managed to start a life in the U.S. and become a citizen. 

There are many reasons for immigration. The most common one is people wanting to find work. According to the U.S. Immigration Law Center, “the U.S. is still the number one destination for people who are looking to fulfill their dreams.” Based on news that I’ve seen on the TV and stories I’ve heard from my parents, this is pretty accurate because I know people wouldn’t risk their lives just to come to the U.S. to do nothing. In fact, my mom said that if they didn’t need the money, she would’ve never left Mexico. But if she never left Mexico, she wouldn’t have met my dad.

Another important reason for immigration is because there are some people who want to escape their troubled countries. Right now in the world, there are lots of horrible things happening in other countries. “Naturally, people living in those countries would want to go far away to escape danger and dire conditions,” according to the article The Most Common Reasons Why People Immigrate to the U.S. Whatever is happening in their country may not affect us, but it definitely affects the people living in that country. So it would make sense for them to want to leave and move somewhere else to have a better life. 

A third reason for immigration would be to get a better education. My parents said that when they came here, they didn’t think about education. All they thought about was getting a job. Later on, they told me they regret not getting a better education because they could have had more opportunities, and I agree with them. 

In lots of developing countries, there are not that many good universities that students can go to to get a good education. According to The Most Common Reasons Why People Immigrate to U.S. article, “It is a dream of any ambitious man and woman to get their degrees from one of America’s top universities and colleges…” That’s why many of them tend to go to the United States to be able to get a good degree.

Some ignorant people think that immigrants come to the United States to do bad things. But to be honest, I don’t think people would come to the United States even if it was just for fun. They would never leave their family just because they wanted to. An example would be my mom. Back when my grandmother was healthy, she would come to the U.S. to visit us. But now she has become sick, and my mom is always worrying about her because she can’t go visit her or help her. Of course, it breaks my heart knowing that, but there is nothing we can do for now. 

In the meantime, we can raise awareness about immigration so that people won’t get the wrong idea about it. You don’t have to exactly find a hundred people. You can just tell at least two people and the word can spread from there. Always remember that by just spreading the word you can help thousands of immigrants so that they won’t be considered as bad people and get locked away.

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