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Being an Illegal Immigrant in The United States

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Immigration can be described as the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country. Immigrating is commonly synonymous with the term immigrant. Being an illegal immigrant in the United States can cause stress and agony for those who come to the United States illegally. Most immigrants worry about being caught and taken back to a country that doesn’t provide good jobs. Additionally, people migrate away from their countries because their government offers little to no help. One of the reasons people migrate to the United States is for opportunities that the United States can provide. Additionally, their home country is not the safest for them to stay. After the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, the United States government made it more difficult for people to come into the country.

Mexico has the highest numbers of immigrants in the United States. Why would someone want to leave their original country? There are several reasons why people decide to ultimately leave their countries. These reasons are things such as dangerous conditions for their families, and a lack of opportunities. For example, Marisela was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. Her father was a farmer, and her mother was a waitress. One day at work, she got the news that her father was killed. Her family was devastated, and they didn’t want to live in an environment where they lived with fear of losing another family member. This hardship caused them to flee America for a safer life. They attended school, received good grades, and their mother continued to be a waitress to provide for the family. This is one of the examples of how a person succeeds in the United States not by wealth, but by being happy and not worried about who will be killed next.“Approximately 11.2 million Mexicans come to the United States…” (Jynnah Radford, June 17, 2019). The Mexican border is the most common route that immigrants use to cross over to the U.S.

Another example of how illegal immigrants stay in the United States illegally is through using expired visa. An expired visa allows government agencies like ice and border patrol the opportunity to obtain a warrant to search for illegal immigrants. Individuals no longer have the right to stay in the United States, since their time here has expired. Ultimately forcing illegal immigrants to decide whether they want to stay or hide. Within deciding to stay or hide many immigrants choose to stay due to the aid of many American businesses and farms that hire illegal immigrants. Most of the jobs people look for that are easy to get while being an illegal immigrant is a farmer, a cook, and construction worker. Illegal immigrants are just like the rest of us, within having the same motivation and purpose for a better life. Personally i’ve experience working with an illegal immigrant. They are just regular people until one day they disappear without an explanation, until I realized they didn’t have papers to be here. They cause no harm, but they are classified as criminals, which is hypocritical to the original construction of America within immigration. Many Americans wouldn’t even be considered Americans without originally immigrationg to America..Inducing the question, Is it worth it for people who enter the US illegally to gain legal status?

There are many questions about immigrants such as “Why are they here?”, “Why are they illegal?”. “What do they want?”. But a major question is, how do they arrive? From my own intelligence, I know that they are smuggled here by the coyotes. Coyotes are groups that obtain money from people that are poor. This how they maintain a living, just like hugo used to but he says “Is too hard to do the job right now.” He went back to college instead. Immigrants sell their homes and lands to pay the coyotes to smuggle their brothers, sisters, other family members to transfer them to the United States illegally. The way that they pass is by a truck, covering people with sacks of food. Many of these immigrants also get killed by the coyotes because they don’t pay their dues. This amount of money is quite expensive to the poor. “This amount of money ranges from 1,800 to 2,000..” ( Patrick J. McDonnell, Aug.16, 2019 ). Since it is mostly the poor who want better financial stability they are the ones who mostly make these types of arrangements, but cannot hold their end of the deal. There are also cases where the parents can’t afford the money. When a child is a girl, the coyotes take advantage and they get violated. This is their way of paying their dues.

Some might not be able to pay this amount of money to be smuggled into the United States, therefore they have to resort to other alternatives, such as the Rio Grande (which is also known as El Camino, meaning “the path”). Many risk their lives for new beginnings. There have been many that have made it to the United States alive, but there are some that have lost their lives also. There was a case of a old forty-year old woman that collapsed thirty minutes after battling the current of the river. She was taken to the nearest hospital and was declared dead. There is still an investigation to her death. Most of the patrols say that they have witnessed that these families put infant children in danger. They often wonder why they would put them at such risk, but what they don’t realize is that they are running from something worse than the idea of being caught as an illegal immigrant, which is poverty.

Many don’t want to risk their lives and don’t want to be put in danger. Another way of entering the United States is to having false papers that are made by the coyotes. It is less severe than getting smuggled and swimming the strong currents of a river. The falsification of documents is stolen legal papers from tourists, then they take their passport or any types of documents they have obtained and convert it to one that fits the immigrants descriptions. This is called “Document Fraud” or “Identity Fraud” this is when they “manufacture” identities. Then, identity theft also takes place, which is when a person takes on another person’s identity, living or dead.

Another way to come to this country in a more strategic way is through marriage. By marrying a citizen of the United States. This process takes six months, which sounds like a long time, but it’s shorter than waiting a decade to have legal papers. A fraud marriage is where a U.S. citizen would marry a non U.S. citizen. One they get married, they both are now citizens of the United states. Not long ago, there was a court case where the government caught one of the companies that helped immigrants become U.S citizens. The name of the company was called Stephenson immigration and Legal Services LLC in Bridgeport. This company was running from 2011 till 2017, and it was shut down when immigration found out fraud was occuring. According to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services “ It was said that they found that 28 marriages were fraud, including the head of the company Stephenson”. Stephenson would arrange for a U.S citizen and a non U.S citizen for a marriage licence. Then she would organize a ceremony, celebration, and they help the couple appear as if the relationship was real. She would falsify documents and then mail it to USCIS for the applicant and also a false lease to show that the couple lives together. She does all this for a high cost of “17,000 to 20,000 for everything involved in this package and the U.S citizen would get some profit of 2,000 to 4,000”. They figured out all of this by sending an undercover agent. Under the court of law she pleaded guilty and was given five years in jail but was released in 2018 with a payment of $ 250,000. The American dream is so important to immigrants that they are willing to compose a fraud.

The “American Dream” used to be desired by many illegal immigrants. The reason why I say it in the past tense is because this dream has slowly died, due to the changes of government, low income tax, and less opportunities because of immigration. So If the dream has slowly died, why do immigrants continue to come illegally to this country? Although these three major factors might seem like a deal breaker to these people, it is still not enough to convince them not to risk their lives coming to the United States. Their economic state in their original country constantly changes for the worst, therefore they still seek better economy in the United States, which causes them to migrate here. By having a better economy, it helps to have a better lifestyle. They find jobs that give them enough support financially to have a good home in an area where their families won’t be in danger.

In Mexico they are living on a pay of less than 2 dollars per day, which means that 53 percent of the country is poor, and 25 percent is extremely poor, making less than a dollar a day.

Children are the future, families bring them over for better opportunities. They hope for a better education than their home country. In some countries, stereotypes wives are still occurring, such as how Islamic women are supposed to be a stay at home wife’s. This means that they must cook, clean, and serve their husbands. A new beginning in the United States gives them an option to be what they want. For some, education isn’t their mind set. For example, kids in Mexico work at an early age to help with the bills that must be paid. Education is the base and foundation of a child’s future.

Why do people risk their lives and decide to hide from the law just for an opportunity to be in this country? I think that people who risk it all don’t have anything else to turn to-this is their last option. Some people don’t have the understanding that there are many different reasons why the United States is their safe haven. There is a story about this woman, Adelita, who wanted to escape her family drug cartel. She used to live in an area where drugs and death happened frequently. She couldn’t do it anymore, therefore she seeked help from the coyotes and had to spend most of her life savings. Although her life become less stressful , she now has to fear the law since she and her husband are both here illegally. Adelita would like to complete her GED to have some type of education under her name but she can’t risk getting caught by immigration. Carmen was a baby when she came from Central America with her parents. They were trying to escape the war that was happening in their country. She now hopes to give back and become an ESL teacher to help students with the transition to foreign countries with a language barrier. 

Most of these illegal immigrants are trying to make a better living. They are only trying to help the community and give back to those who have helped them get there. As they are often classified as criminals, this is a false stereotype that has been given to them just because of past occasions that have not occured in a while such as 9/11. In fact, most of the terrorism attacks are mostlty caused by Americans themselves. So Should people be really concerned if they meet an illegal immigrant? Should they be concerned if they work with one? The answer to this is “no”, because they are just as equal as to any of us.They look for the same opportunities as every hard-working person does. Should we deny better education to children and teenagers just because they don’t have legal papers?

The answer is once again “no”, because they could advance our technology, help with economics, and break language barriers. For illegal immigrants, it is important to gain legal status because they can file for help from the government. This means that they will no longer have to run from the law. Is it possible to become legal in the United States even if you came here illegally? Yes, there is a possibility that you are eligible to become legal in the United States, and there are different options as to how you can. One would be to join the army. Through this, you will be serving the country and the government will grant you eligibility to apply to be a U.S Citizen. As we have talked about before, illegal immigrants turn to marriage To also obtain legal citizenship in the U.S. “Cancelation of Removal”. This means that the immigrant could avoid removal in the country. They can also turn to this when they can prove that their removal from this country will not benefit their spouse or children, and they have been already introduced to the government in the past ten years. They will have to prove that they are good people. Asylums are mostly seeked by illegal immigrants, when they need a place to stay. Illegal immigrants could also be granted “Temporary Protection Status”. This is when they are running away from war in their country, natural disasters, and other things that wouldn’t be safe for people to be stationary in. They allow you to stay in for 18 months, and grant a work permit. This would help illegal immigrants be safe from wars and the low economy crisis back in their countries.

We don’t often realize that there are horrible things happening to other families because we only see it in the news however, once you read and hear these people’s stories you find sympathy towards them. People who view them from the outside don’t understand why they would make such a gradual change in their lives. They just want equality and help for new beginnings.  

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Being An Illegal Immigrant In The United States. (2021, October 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from
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