We bid you, adieu. We thank you for reading our posts, laughing at our memes, and watching the videos we shared. In the past month we’ve discussed the Dream Act, the Trump administration’s immigration reform, H-B1 visas, immigration in Canada versus the United States, stories of undocumented people living in the US, as well as, the historic “A Day Without Immigrants” strike, along with many more.
Of course we had some trials and tribulations as a group. As a group, it was difficult making sure we were all on the same schedule with posting and that our posts were coherent and within the topic of immigration. The biggest takeaway from this project is that research is vital! When running a blog, it’s important to have your facts straight, people will be reading your blog looking for information and you can’t misinform them and become unreliable. I didn’t expect to find an interest in blogging, I don’t know about the rest of the ladies..but I think I might take this on and explore blogging some more.
A lot was learned during this time writing about all these different topics, we understood why some things are set up the way they are, and how we can change other things if, as a population, we all work towards this goal of a warmer melting pot. During the time we were documenting the recent news on immigration, nothing much is changing, in fact, things are getting worst. There are more deportations, racism is thriving–as shown with our post Terps for Trump, and families are being divided. As we said, immigration is a very special topic to most of us–given that we come from a foreign background and our families migrated to the United States.
The discussion on immigration must continue, we must #resist.
President Donald Trump did a great job during his campaign and his first term of capitalizing on his followers worst fears; becoming the victims of a terrorist attack. He is using this to push his immigration ban through. Due to the refugee crisis in Syria and recent attacks like in San Bernardino have spiked […]
“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people”, this is a quote from President Trump when he announced his presidency. The social climate is hostile towards illegal immigrants and immigrants alike due to the rhetoric of President Trump and his administrations. Ronald Mortensen’s article for The Hill perpetuates this criminal image of immigrants that the Republican party thrives on. In his article, he argues that majority of immigrants are felons due to the fact that they obtain fake social security cards and documents to work in the United States. While that is the case he misses the point. We as citizens are not harmed by this and these are not violent crimes. He is using this fact to affirm his view of illegal immigrants as nefarious people. In his article, he states “They possess fake drivers’ licenses, phony “green cards,” fraudulent birth certificates and any other documents that U.S. citizens and legal residents have. In addition, they falsify I-9 forms under penalty of perjury. Thus, the average illegal alien routinely commits multiple felonies –forgery, Social Security fraud, identity theft, and perjury” (Mortensen). He follows that statement up with how this is ignored and “swept under the rug to protect the myth of the law abiding illegal alien” (Mortensen). He blames democrats for perpetuating the “myth” that illegal immigrants are innocent and law abiding. What he fails to realize is that democrats are not saying that they have no broken laws but that the majority are living here to better their lives and their family’s lives. These are not people that are here to cause chaos. In a Huffington post article, they use an article from Breitbart to emphasize the fact that conservative news twists information to spread their views (Huffington Post). The Breitbart article they reference states that a 37% of our federal prisons are made up of undocumented immigrates (Huffington). While this is a fact it leaves out a disclaimer that the federal prison population is smaller than the overall prison population. Undocumented immigrants only make up 4 to 5 percent of our total state and federal inmate population (Huffington Post). Furthermore, the article leaves out that 76 percent of these incarcerated immigrants are not in there for violent crimes but for immigration violations (Huffington Post). Using the word felon like Mortensen did in his article for the Hill paints a picture that these undocumented immigrants that are locked up commit federal crimes such as drug trafficking, rape and murder which is not accurate. Illegal entry into the U.S is considered a misdemeanor offense according to federal law and the punishment is a fine and no more than six months in prison (CNN). Many foreigners come to the united states legally and then due to extenuating circumstances stay passed their time, this is not a felony (CNN). When discussing illegal immigration, we need to be sure to provide people with all the facts for them to make their own opinion.
Under President Trump’s administration everyone who does not look like they belong in the U.S. should be extra careful with what they do. Government officials are looking for any excuse to get people out of this country. Now that people know who is running the country; they feel entitled to do anything they want with those they believe are illegal immigrants. In the article attached this young man (Juan) just got deported back to Mexico, the country he left when he was 9 and hadn’t returned since. This occurred because he didn’t have the proper documentation on him, and was denied the chance to get them after he was detained. Officials are being very strict and taking advantage of their power. We all need to be very careful, and avoid any issues what so ever!
As I was checking my Twitter account, I couldn’t help but notice today’s, April 19, trending hashtag: #BuildTheWall. This hashtag is a promoted ad, meaning that someone PAID Twitter to put this hashtag at the top of our trending list. The organization that came up with this hashtag was The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR believes in stopping “illegal immigration,” reducing legal immigration, increasing law enforcement, and establishing borders. Some may argue that this organization can be viewed as a “hate group.”
It’s a shame seeing Twitter promoting this hashtag when earlier this year on their official account, they tweeted that they stood FOR AND WITH immigrants. I guess for the right price, to hell with morals or standards. #DontBuildTheWall
Spotted at the entrance of the University of Maryland Union Stamp center…
“They don’t pay taxes!” “Our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.” “They don’t contribute to our economy!” Those are a few examples of misconceptions some Americans, including our President, have expressed towards the undocumented immigrant community in the United States.
Opinions are evidently not facts and if statistics won’t convince others that those myths are inaccurate, then I will. I am an undocumented student that works legally in the U.S. under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and pay my taxes. From the sweet age of seventeen I have been paying federal and state taxes. Social security and Medicare are indeed deducted from my checks and I do not qualify for any of their benefits. I also do not qualify for any federal grants or scholarships but luckily do qualify for in-state tuition due to the Maryland Dream Act.
The Vox’s article “Undocumented immigrants pay taxes too. Here’s how they do it” by Alexia Fernández Campbell is another example of an undocumented immigrant filing their taxes. Unlike Maria ,the person interviewed, I work with a work permit that comes with a Social Security number while she uses an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Maria and I are part of the estimated 6 million (out of 12 million) undocumented immigrants predicted of filing taxes every year.
The article mentioned that in 2013 a study determined that the portion that undocumented tax payers contributed to the Social Security Administration was about $13 Billion in one single year. That is $13 billion that millions, like myself, will probably never see again if we retire in the U.S. Despite those facts, I am okay with paying my debt to society but I am not okay with the tainted lies spread about people like myself.
Belen Sisa is a student at Arizona State University who got tired of the repeated misconceptions, and decided to take matters into her own hands. She decided to post a picture of herself holding her 1040 tax form to demonstrate that she, like many other immigrants, pays her taxes. In her caption she even mentioned paying the state of Arizona a total of $300 after filing her taxes.
These are just a few examples of undocumented immigrants who file taxes every year despite their legal status is this country. Unfortunately it is predicted that not all 12 million immigrants pay their dues but that shouldn’t make room for negative criticism for those that do. The portion that does contribute to this society, do so in the hopes of one day being fully integrated into American society as citizens. It is those hard workers and dreamers that will change the mindsets of people like our President.
There are thousands if not more, families, that have been divided because of American immigration laws. This is the story of the Avilas–a family that’s been torn apart.