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Children of illegal immigrants, are you enjoying life in the U.S.A.?

July 28, 2016

 

Recently, I watched New York senator, Adriano Espaillat's speech through C-SPAN in Philadelphia. Even though I am an international student and I don't understand Spanish, I was moved and inspired by his speech. As an illegal immigrant, he finally turned out to be a Congressman and then a Senator, proudly serving for the states. But lots of children of illegal immigrants, with legal citizenship, are not treated equally. I believe that the United States must do something to save them. 


For so many years, polarizations in the U.S. between parties split Congress apart and blocked the government from making long-term, effective actions towards domestic and international affairs. When President Obama attempted to change the current situation with immigration, Republicans quickly opposed the executive order and criticized Obama's abuse of power. Nowadays, nothing can be done in federal government level regarding the issue of immigrants. Since evidence has shown that nothing can be done for immigrants within the government, I believe that schools should take responsibility of this issue, mainly through bilingual classroom and counseling programs. 


Additionally, children of illegal immigrants often don't feel a sense of belonging in the community they now live in due to language barriers. They are confused and even ashamed of their identity. Language is a powerful weapon to voice people's identity and appeal to a specific group of people. Senator Tim Kaine, who is not the child of an illegal immigrant, speaks Spanish during his speeches, and campaigns to bridge understandings to minorities. By creating bilingual classrooms and increasing interactions in classes, those children can embrace their identity and merge into the community. 


I believe that educational counseling programs are incredibly vital to the healthy development of children of illegal immigrants. Counselors must create an open and warm atmosphere so that a positive relationship can be built between each person. The counselors I propose could also be responsible for making sure these children graduate from high school and complete their education. 


As a real outsider of US government and politics, I'm fully aware of the drawbacks of my proposal and the barriers towards the legalization of illegal immigrants. We need to raise the graduation rates of their children or the cycle of poverty will continue. The United States must act now. If not now, when? 

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