The United States of America was founded on the idea that anyone from around the world could come searching for a new life and freedom, but they cannot reach it when they are stuck in American Immigration Custody. Families are being split up in cramped cells, cold facilities, and with not enough medical attention to go around. Everything that the government does is a reflection of all the people in the United States. Immigration is not only happening to one state in the United States, it is happening all over the border; clearly, it is up to the U.S. government to make a change. These people face many difficult challenges when they enter the United States, even more so now that our government has made processing immigrants much harder. This horrific treatment immigrants receive in immigration custody needs to be addressed with utmost importance in order to change policies and help these people in need.
The beginning of the 21st Century has not been great for immigration policies. The event of 9/11 has really taken a toll on how the United States deals with people from different countries. There has been a major crackdown on how our borders’ function and what is being done to protect the country. The Obama Administration sought policies to keep immigrant families together and deport any undocumented people with criminal backgrounds. However, these plans did not do much for the thousands of immigrants in ICE custody. Obama tried to help many of these immigrant families and even pushed for better treatment. These ideas did not help very much of these immigrants who are subject to being captured by immigration. (Baker, 2014)
When the Trump Administration began, the processing of said immigrants slowed down even more, as there was an expanse of the U.S. Immigration Enforcement. The rights given by the Fourteenth Amendment have been violated in these ICE and immigration detention centers. Immigrants are kept far away from any legal help, many have died, and all have been stripped of liberty and freedom. There have been many cases regarding to the maltreatment of illegal immigrants in the United States. To quote, “Alonso has met his lawyer only once in his nearly 11 months in federal custody. More than half of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are housed in remote rural prison… facing higher barriers to obtaining a lawyer.” (Noguchi, 2019) Another case involves the firsthand accounts from immigrant children that have been held in many of these holding centers around the United States. These children give specific examples of their detainment, and how unacceptable it is. One example really stands out in an article, stated by a 13 year old boy from Mexico, “I am excited to get out of here and get past this nightmare.” (Taxin, 2018)
California is one of the top five states in the U.S. that receives the most legal and illegal immigrants. One other state that is at the top of the list as well is Florida, which is slightly opposite to California. This state has taken in millions of immigrants for many years, most of which who hail from the Caribbean. It is one of the most lenient to immigrants that come into the United States, as apposed to California. One quote really stood out regarding immigrants in Florida, “As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Florida’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.” (American Immigration Council, 2017) There are other countries that have less problems with immigration, such as Germany. It is known to be very accepting of all immigrants into its population. They encourage much more skilled workers to immigrate into Germany, and they even make it easier because skilled workers contribute to the labor force. The problems that are facing California can be seen in Texas as well. Texas is a state that has also been at the top of the immigration receiving list. Their problems can be seen as similar or even worse when compared to California. Another country that also has a problem with immigration, is Italy. Italy receives many immigrants in its country, but they are placed into detention centers on the spot if they are caught. This country is rumored to commit very strong human rights violations on these immigrants.
It can be seen that most of the public is supportive of more security on the borders, but most Americans oppose the treatment of immigrants in these detention centers. Minorities are affected in a very large way, as they are the main victim of the problem. Most illegal immigrants that find themselves caught in immigration custody must succumb to these foul detention centers. From a news article on the living conditions of children in detention centers, “The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border.” (Dickerson, 2019) Most of the United States work force are lower socio-economic undocumented immigrants. They work for a living here in the U.S. to provide for either themselves, their families in the U.S., or their families in their home country. However, when Immigration Officers capture these immigrants, they remove them from the work force, there is a drop in the amount of these people that are working, and there are less people spending their money in lower income businesses. In regards to the U.S. political party’s views on immigration, Democrats and Republicans are always opposing each other with their views. They have been arguing about who is to blame, or who is going to fix the problem. However, both political sides can agree that this is a problem, and it needs to be addressed. To give further insight on the their views, “Friday’s House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing offered a microcosm of the nation’s red-blue chasm and, perhaps, a chance for each side to vent. But ultimately, it underscored each party’s starkly warring views about Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies, suggesting they’re destined to be a leading issue for the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.” (Fram, 2019)
There needs to be a main agency that is dedicated to keeping track of all immigrants that are put into detention centers, and uses its resources to provide these people with better care and the rights they deserve. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Border Patrol, and Homeland Security are responsible for handling illegal immigrants at the moment. However, the Executive Branch is the reason that difficulties arose with processing in immigration agencies. The Legislative Branch is too occupied with politics right now, and have been blocked by the Executive Branch if they try to come up with a solution right now. The Judicial Branch is working with the Executive Branch, so it is in full support of the Presidential decision.
The first solution to this problem could be to provide a quicker and more effective way to handle immigration, so that these people will not be stuck in dreadful conditions. To use more legal based help to make sure everyone is seen in a timely matter. A second solution would to be to make citizenship more accessible to everyone who wants to become a legal citizen. Most of these people are trying to go through the process, but they cannot if they are being detained. Becoming a citizen is hard, but why not give everyone a better chance to go through the process they need in order to become a citizen. On another note, the next Presidential Election is very important to the future of Immigrants. Right now, our head of government is just making it harder for people who are searching for a better life. Voting for someone who will do their job, and make sure everyone has a fighting chance at their own pursuit of happiness is very important for the United States.
There are currently no pending legislation on the idea of immigration. Immigration is a very big topic for the U.S. Government, and they try to stay away from it as much as possible. The Congress has been pretty much at a standstill and is currently occupied. All that citizens can do is to contact their state representatives. Having most citizens from every state supporting an idea can get legislation passed. The more support for an idea there is, the better the outcome for it that there will be. In the end, it is best to wait on the next election, which is right around the corner. There most likely will not be any new laws or policies related to this issue that will be passed at the end of our current President’s term, so choosing someone who will stand up and fight for these people is crucial to the future of the United States of America.