Currently immigrants are attacked with deportation by people who already have the luxury of living a comfortable life. Oppressors believe that being a citizen gives them the right to not allow immigrants into “their country,” thus deporting them. But the United States is an opportunity for equality; as long as the people take advantage of the many opportunities offered. We should not judge people based on their immigration status or deport them because doing so systematically diminishes the contributions immigrants make to this country.
The word immigrant itself has a bad connotation, regardless of their immigration status. An immigrant’s contributions to the United States are more than welcome and accepted, yet the contributors are still oppressed and are in fear of deportation. Their actions are taken for granted because of the way they arrived to this country. A person’s immigration status gives way for people to judge so easily because those immigrants already live in fear itself. Those immigrants who are living in the country illegally shy away from the spotlight, enough to not be recognized for their contributions because other’s hateful remarks scare them. People who are harsh to those who are helping the United States move forward as a country do not take into account that contributions can be made by anyone. Contributions are not reserved to be made only by those who are citizens.
We should not diminish anyone’s contributions to the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. says in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” King’s idea of just and unjust laws can relate to the idea of a contribution and deportation. It can be compared to whether it is just or unjust for an immigrant to be deported. Also, it is unjust to deport those who may be here illegally but are not criminals or causing any harm to the country. King also presents the need for all of us living in the United States to forego this “outside agitator” idea. “Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds,” showing that it does not matter how people got to be living in the U.S, but that everyone who does live inside are all equal.
Privilege motivates oppressors by giving them a sense of superiority over immigrants. Peggy McIntosh talks about privileges and how everyone is not privileged. McIntosh says, “My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races,” showing how privilege is used to justify a citizens’ discrimination towards immigrants. Privilege boosts the idea that McIntosh presents of the United States, “This is not such a free country.” Immigrants are blocked off from receiving the opportunities that are offered in the United States. “Many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own,” says McIntosh; while other people are handed opportunities, immigrants are handed deportation orders.
One’s immigration status is easily judged because citizens have fixed views on immigrants. Yet, people do not realize that these views are incorrect and the result of them is deportation; deportation does not only affect the individual but a whole family. Firstly, citizens who have been residing in the United States for a long time do not appreciate outsiders coming in and taking potential jobs away from “deserving” people like themselves. Well what about the fact that immigrants need these jobs just as much to support their family? Secondly, some immigrants are illegal and that is a crime in the eyes of citizens. Of course, U.S citizens feel that it is only fair to deport illegal immigrants, without thinking about the families they are tearing apart. Lastly, people do not like adapting to new faces but deportation is not the solution to disliking someone.
Citizens complain about their jobs that are being taken from immigrants, but both parties go through the same process to earn the job. Jobs are not simply handed to immigrants, a job is given to the most suitable for the position. Citizens do not want most of the jobs that immigrants hold citizens. Immigrants are the ones working the fields, mowing people’s lawns as their gardeners, cleaning bathrooms and performing chores around university campuses, but after the job is done are at risk of deportation because they are no longer needed. Citizens themselves disregard the illegal action that they perform on a daily basis: underage drinking, running stop signs, and littering. Nonimmigrants need to step in the shoes of immigrants and experience the suffering that deported immigrants go through on a daily basis of being torn away from their families..
“Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily,” said Martin Luther King Jr., exemplifying the fact that the privileged oppress immigrants because they feel entitled. In fact, U.S citizens judge based on immigration status, not bothering to get to know the person before they simply want to have them deported. “Equality” gets applied only to citizens because it is easier to only be equal between groups of similar people. Through the ripple effect, if one citizen can judge one immigrant based on their immigration status, soon enough citizens will judge each other. Thus, diminishing immigrants’ contributions to the United State would be to allow citizens the right to go against each other’s contributions and want to deport each other too. No matter a person’s immigration status, race, or gender, everyone’s contributions favor the growth of the United States and that is why these harmful deportations need to end.
“”Letter From a Birmingham Jail”.” “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” | The Martin Luther King,
Jr., Research and Education Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
Accessed 9 February 2017
McIntosh, Peggy. White privilege and male privilege: a personal account of coming to see
correspondences through work in women’s studies. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College,
Center for Research on Women, 1988. Print. Accessed 9 February 2017