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The first colonist came to America seeking freedom and refuge from religious persecution in 1607. From there, Americans would continue to fight for their independence from Britain until successfully claiming it in 1776. America became the land of opportunity, founded for freedom and a place of refuge from poverty and persecution. How does a country so quickly forget its roots? The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed thousands of young immigrants to fulfill their American dreams. Who are we to take that away from them? Dreamers are no different from the Founding Fathers of our country; both desire a better life. DACA provides countless opportunities for those seeking for a second chance and should not be tampered with.
The United States was built upon the foundation of equality through freedom. Famous landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, have been built to commemorate and signify what America represents. The Statue of Liberty stands tall and proud for all to see as her “beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome” and her “silent lips” cry out ‘give me … your huddled masses yearning to breathe free … I lift my lamp beside the golden door.’ (Source A, Lazarus) If DACA is removed, what message about America would it convey? The time and dedication of which the founders of our country put in would be lost. Immigrants come for various reasons, such as religious freedom, an escape from oppression, and or better business opportunities; all of which strive for making better lives for themselves and their children. Does that not sound familiar? America is their safe haven. To take that away from them would be no different than taking a lollipop from a child. Why would anyone want to take something so loved from someone so innocent? The monuments made to represent America would no longer hold its meaning and become promises that were never fulfilled. That “grand old flag” waving its colors of red, white, and blue would remind people of their freedom they have in America, but only if they can get here somehow in the first place. The Liberty Bell that rings freedom throughout America for all to hear would become nothing but huge, rusty bell. Maybe there is a reason that it is cracked. Why hold so many expectations that cannot be lived up to? Revoking DACA would belittle everything America stands for.
Media is a large influencer on how people think. Television manipulates people’s perception through comedic or romantic ways. Because of this, negative images of immigrants are portrayed in sly ways we do not even notice. Mainstream media depicts immigrants as greedy, coming to America only to steal jobs and “marrying for green cards.” (Source B, Perez-Zerb) Characters are developed based upon stereotypes such as Latinas being housekeepers or Asians being the nerd that ironically happens to knows kung fu in times of distress. Not to mention the lack of proper representation for people of color and common cases of whitewashing in Hollywood. Latinos had to create their own award show, American Latino Media Arts (ALMA), to properly promote themselves. Even so-called credible news outlets people start their mornings off with as biased. Never once was a Grammy awarding winning movie about a young immigrant coming to America legally through a program such as DACA, instead there is a long, tear-jerking backstory of how they illegally made it to the States and only survive through stealing and selling drugs. Only recently was there a show properly depicting lives of Asian-Americans and working towards obliterating stereotypes: ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.” Media prevents people from seeing the bigger picture and fuels ignorance. Immigrants are not here to steal the jobs of Americans or change America in any way. They just want a better life and a second chance.
America is a nation built by immigrants and continues to grow because of immigrants. Despite the negative light they are portrayed in, they benefit America economically and culturally. Immigrants from Mexico are more than just “people that have lots of problems … bringing drugs [and] crime” to America (Trump, June 2015). Contrary to popular belief, immigration fuels our economy. Many begin to build their own businesses, creating more job opportunities for other immigrants and Americans. They also create a new population of consumers. Immigrants must buy food, rent apartments, and spent money in order to survive. In return, this benefits our economy. America is a huge mixing pot of different cultures and people from different ethnic backgrounds. Immigrants provide diversity to America. Children growing up in America will be able to demonstrate understanding and respect for diverse cultural backgrounds, a vital skill in today’s globalized world. Exposure to different cultures will help broaden the mind and eliminate certain stigmas about certain groups of people. Americans and immigrants will learn how to coexist and work together to truly make America great.
Eliminating DACA would negatively affect our country. Preventing immigration will create a domino effect that will not end well. As Americans, we must look at the bigger picture and take a stand for what is right. We must speak for those who do not have a voice and be their beacon of hope. America must continue to stand for freedom and provide people with opportunities for a better life.
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