Deportation. It is a word that incites debates throughout the United States. It is an issue that has been debated in politics for decades, and it will continue to be furiously debated. In Boston, MA, the mayor has pledged to help undocumented families, whole other sanctuary cities are now under attack under a new administration. As such, deportation elicits a variety of responses and emotions from different sectors of the population. For some, the fear of deportation is the ultimate obstacle in their pursuit of the American Dream. For others, deportation is the act of removing criminals who never should have been in the country to begin with. Regardless of one’s viewpoint, deportation is an important issue that should be understood from all angles as it affects many friends and families. Additionally, it forces America to confront issues of legality as well as morality. In order to fully understand deportation, it’s important to understand the laws behind it. Deportation is defined as the forceful removal of a foreigner to their native country. According to alllaw.com, some of the reasons for deportation include failing to obey the terms of a visa, criminal activities, violations of immigration laws, and receiving public assistance. However, only looking at the laws doesn’t provide a full picture of deportation. The subject of deportation is something that needs to be looked at through laws AND personal experiences. In this essay, I hope to present a further, deeper understanding of deportation from both ends of the spectrum through the analysis of human experiences regarding deportation.
Ms. Trubillo-Diaz lived in Cincinnati, Ohio with her 4 U.S born children. Ms. Trubillo-Diaz first came to the United States due to threats on her family, as her brother had refused to join a gang in Mexico. She started working without a work Visa in order to support her family, and this caused her to be detained at a workplace raid by ICE in 2007. However, she later obtained a legal work Visa under the Obama administration and regularly attended ICE meetings. Unfortunately for Ms. Trubillo-Diaz, the new administration has placed a priority on removing those with a Final Order of Removal. She was arrested and had a deportation order for April 19th. Her only crime in this case was coming to the United States illegally. In order to fully understand this situation, it is important to place oneself in the shoes of Ms. Trubillo-Diaz. In a country largely infested with gang members and violence, she had very few options. Had she stayed, she would have risked death for herself and her family. This was by no means an easy decision to make. Leaving one’s home country and all the surroundings you’ve ever known is a terrifying prospect Yet, the reality of this situation is the following: stay and you risk the death of not only yourself, but of your family as well. Immigrate illegally and you give your family a higher chance of survival. Can she truly be blamed for seeking refuge in the United States? Would you be able to wait the long Asylum process with the fear of being rejected? As citizens of both America and the world, it is important to understand how people outside of the United States view America. America is a land of opportunity and freedom, a land where they can escape the dangers of gang violence, terrorism, and armed conflicts. Ms. Trubillo-Diaz isn’t the only immigrant fleeing violence in their home country. For these people seeking asylum in the United States, deportation could be a death sentence in their home country. Nobody should have to die because they refused to join a gang. Stories like those of Mrs. Trubillo-Diaz and many others can help shed a light on undocumented immigrants. Fleeing their countries doesn’t make them ruthless criminals, but rather desperate people looking for hope in a new country. Perhaps this country owes them a chance to live their lives without fear of being deported.
It is important to acknowledge that not everyone that immigrates to America illegally has good intentions. Although many undocumented immigrants are good, honest, hard-working people, there are exceptions. According to the Migration Policy Institute, less than 3 percent of undocumented immigrants in America have been convicted of felonies. While a small number, it can not be neglected. In January, per Kirk Semple of The New York Times, ICE agents: “arrested a 50-year-old Mexican man near Milwaukee who had felony convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, battery against a police officer, car theft and intentionally harming a child, and who had been deported twice before.” (Semple, Kirk) People like this are not valuable additions to American society, and these are the type of people that deserve to be jailed and deported. Regardless of residential status, everyone who lives in America wants it to be a safe and prosperous country. Should America waste resources deporting people like Ms. Trubilli-Diaz, or more people who commit crimes harmful to the United States and its citizens? This is the fundamental question that must be asked of the American deportation process.
Connor Obert, a famous American singer, once said: “How we treat the undocumented says a lot about us as a people and whether or not we’ll continue to fulfill the fundamental American promise of equality and opportunity for all.” A country is not a country without laws, but sometimes the law doesn’t give the full picture. I am not trying to persuade anybody to change the way they feel about deportation. However, I do encourage everybody, regardless of their own opinion regarding deportation, to try and think about things through a different perspective. As someone who has had a family member threatened by deportation after fleeing gang violence, I know the feeling of fear associated with deportation. However, I also understand the fear and anger some people may experience with regards to illegal immigration. Deportation isn’t an easy subject to talk about, but opening up to alternative views can help change the toxic state of our country today.
Semple, Kirk. “Fleeing Gangs, Central American Families Surge Toward U.S.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Nov. 2016. Web. 30 June 2017.
Shepherd, Katie. “Tales of Deportation in Trump’s America: Week Four.” BBC News. BBC, 15 Apr. 2017. Web. 30 June 2017.