Immigration Policy

Abel Ovalle, Staff Reporter

The United States has a policy that blocks unauthorized immigrants from coming into the country illegally. Part of that policy requires that people without proper identification be removed from the U.S. 

Eighth grader Ellieanna Herrera said, “I think it’s unfair because some of the people come over here for a better chance at life, but some people bring illegal things into the country.”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, the majority of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl in 2018 was caught trying to be smuggled in at legal crossing points.

Herrera said, “I partly support the policy because some people come over with good intentions and some people come over with bad intentions.”

According to Southwest Border Migration, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, a total of 851,508 individuals were apprehended between ports of entry on our Southwest Border. 

Herrera said, “In some situations, [deporting] is fair depending on certain cases towards the immigrants with bad intentions.”

There are several reasons the U.S. immigration authorities can send a person back to their country of origin: Failure to obey the terms of your Visa or maintain your status; failure to advise USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) of change of address; commission of a crime; violation of U.S. immigration laws; receiving public assistance.

According to the Center for Migration study, Two-thirds of all unauthorized immigrants entered the United States with valid visas and stayed in the country after their visa expired.

“I think the good immigrants feel left out, because they’re still humans, and still deserve a chance at life as well as a better lifestyle,” said Herrera.

The Migration Policy Institute says, the United States has a larger immigrant population than other countries in the world, with 44 million immigrants as of 2017. 

Former Alamo college student Katia Martinez said, “I believe that our policy should be there to enforce against the criminals, not people coming in as refugees or just wanting a better life for themselves and their family.”

On June 20, President Trump signed an Executive Order intended to halt the separation of families. However, the order instructs DHS to detain alien families together throughout the immigration proceedings and criminal proceedings.

Martinez said, “This policy should make our government be better, not separate families from their loved ones.”

The Border Patrol has temporarily halted the referral for criminal prosecution of parents arriving with children, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Martínez said, “Our immigrants help us in more ways than hurt us. I understand having to have a policy because of the gangs and criminals that we have, but let’s try to lessen it and not focus so much on those here for a better future.”