Immigration: Not a one-sided topic

An immigration reform rally with a vast number of attendants. (Photo via

An immigration reform rally with a vast number of attendants. (Photo via

By Michael Balbuena

America, being the land of opportunity, is a country where hopes and dreams are said to have the ability to become a reality. Those that immigrate to America from all corners of the world believe that there is a better future waiting for them here rather than in their own country due to whatever restrictions may be in tact at the time being, and or unlivable conditions in their homelands. Saying this is not intended to mean that there are no hardships in America, but rather immigrants believe there is a hope for a brighter tomorrow in the U.S.

American history is proof itself of the fact that some of the first people ever to migrate to the Americas were those who were in fact seeking freedom from persecution both religious, and European. American freedoms are intended for all, and not just those who claim to be original citizens.

When traveling to America one decides which manner of entering suits them best. But there are those who do not have the proper methods of entering legally which leads them to arrive through in a way a backdoor, or illegally causing a harder living because of the fact that one must lie about who they truly are. Those who enter Illegally live their lives as all others, but are in constant fear of being caught or being deported to their own land. Currently in the U.S. there are eleven million undocumented immigrants looking for work to provide for their loved ones. These undocumented citizens are people of all ages; many, which are of such a young age that they do not even, remember what their original country is like due to their quick adaptation.

Currently in the month of June in the United States there is an unemployment rate of 7.6% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data. Due to this vast number of workers who go unemployed there are thousands of families that are struggling to keep roofs over their heads and food on their tables. In many worker unions and organizations the key ideals, which are held in play, are to make as much profit with the least amount of input.

This meaning that current workers pay and salaries are as low as possible, and are not damaging the reputation of the certain group. Citizens and workers who have the higher salaries are the people who are at the moment being targeted to be replaced by workers who will do the same job for a much cheaper cost. This is where many undocumented workers come into place due to their desperation for an acceptable and dependable way of receiving income.

When taking the story to the public, many unique situations and perspectives arise, which can sway the mind of any which do not hold a strong standpoint on how immigration is affecting citizens.

Emilia Lopez, a Mexican American women in her mid fifties, spoke in Spanish, being her main language of choice, on how she saw the entire immigration situation as a way to improve relations with other countries allowing new doors to be opened to those who do wish to come to America, but hold too strong a fear to actually commit to the change.

Born in Mexico Emilia was ten years of age when she was brought to America with her father under legal methods a traveling visa. Interested in mathematics she attended a public high school, but never got the opportunity to attend college due to financial obstacles. Her mother who remained in Mexico sent her in hopes that she would have a better life than she ever could; one that she could be proud of.

“It’s been a challenge, but it’s worth it” Emilia said when asked if she would have preferred staying with her mother rather than coming to America.

Emilia then said that even though there are a lack of job opportunities if one tries hard enough something will turn up when least expected. Currently a mother of two herself Emilia works her hardest to show her children that with hard work comes reward.

Next came the voice of a fifty-year-old man named Miguel who always held a passion for environmental science which had a somewhat more difficult experience when coming to America. Born in the Dominican Republic Miguel was accustomed to his home since it was in fact all he knew, and his family for the most part all resided there with him. The only relatives who did live in the U.S. were two of his sisters, and three cousins.

Initially he entered America illegally and attended a public high school where he got along as well as everyone else did. But when it came time to begin his career as an adult lacking proper documentation he said, “I decided to marry one of my cousins to obtain citizenship.”

As soon as his citizenship came through he decided to divorce his cousin so that he could be free to do whatever he pleased. “I have no regrets because if I hadn’t done what I did I would not be where I am today” in Spanish which is as a long time employee of an editing company.

“Life here has been an adventure” Miguel said when asked what he could say to sum up his experiences.

Carl Sanchez, a middle aged Puerto Rican man, sitting in the park gave his views on immigration and immigration reform which is currently in the works of the government. Being born in the Bronx Carl did not have to go through many ordeals to reach where he has today since he was born a citizen of America.

Knowing of the lack of job opportunities in the market today when asked if he thought that undocumented workers were taking all the jobs away from regular citizens he replied “No they are not taking the jobs they are just more passionate on getting them.”

Carl said that if everyone held the passion and devotion necessary to get a job they would in fact get one, but the true factor behind the lack of employed workers is the lack of will. Attending only a few years of college Carl was able to get a job, which he honestly enjoys. Next he said that “Everyone should be given equal opportunities no matter legal status.” Carl, a man from the Bronx, thinks that all people have the same chances the only difference is those who are willing to take action.

Undocumented workers and immigrants who come to America in hopes of finding opportunities that are hard to come by in their place of origin have hope that here something will happen which will change their lives. After speaking to multiple people the general consensus was the immigrants fight hard for their chance to shine, and should be given fair chance with all those who are in fact citizens of America. The United States a place of oppression or a place of opportunity.


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