Impact of Illegal Immigration on American Families
Immigration and Its Impact on Children
People who migrate tend to get caught, or they have kids to care for, and they get taken away by the government because they come to America. Kids do not know what to do when they are in this situation. They are just wondering what is going to happen to them and their family. The immigration laws first started when the number of immigrants started to rise in 1880. The immigration policy started with the Hart-Celler Act, which was based on the whole reuniting families and work. The laws are also harsh on the families.
Families live in fear because they are scared of getting deported, children do not want to get pulled apart from their parents, and their parents do not want their kids to be in a detention center or in foster care. Kids are going to be scared and lonely in foster care or a detention center. There are programs that help immigrants with their hard situation, and there is the DACA program that helps them a lot. How will all of this affect the children in the future? Will they be motivated to do something or just be bad people?
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The Harrowing Conditions: Immigrant Families in Overcrowded Jail Cells
Immigrant families stay in a jail cell for 72 hours, and the cell they stay in is only about 15-by-15 feet with 30 people in the cell, so it is really packed in there for 30 people. Families would have to sleep on the floor or next to a nasty toilet. The authorities do not pay attention to their comments or anything the people say. “There was no privacy.” There was a dad and a daughter that were in the cell; the daughter needed to shower, and the dad had no option but to stand next to her while she showered because there were no curtains.
Rising Demand: Migrant Shelters and Churches Offer Respite
There are other shelters and churches for immigrants to stay there, and they are taken care of. There has been an increase in the amount of people who go to the shelters. There are now 700 migrants per week. In Tornillo, Texas, there is a detention center for migrant kids. They stay there until they get reunited with their family.
There is a detention center for children in McAllen, Texas, and children are kept in a cage and they sleep on the dirty floor. There are more than 11,000 kids in the detention center. There are 3,280 females and 8,506 males. There is a new policy that the administration came up with, and it has “zero tolerance.” It was published on May 7. If adults do not enter through the United States port, they are going to be criminally prosecuted. What criminally prosecuted means is that the person was being held for trial, but they did not commit a crime, but they would still be guilty of not going through the United States port. The children do not get prosecuted, but they end up being under the custody of the Refugee Resettlement. They get reunited after everything is done, which would be a long time because the court case would probably take forever to be brought up.
Understanding Immigration Laws: Visa Processes and Constraints
The immigration laws were established by the federal government to know who is and is not able to enter a country and for how long they are able to stay there. The only way that people can go into the United States is by having the visa process approved. If people try to come into the United States, then they HAVE to have their permission. If someone lowers their preference categories, then it can take years to get a visa. “It does not allow foreign citizens to work, go to school, or apply for permanent status.” The migrants could only use their visas to travel, not to get jobs or do anything but travel.
The government makes it harder for them to be people in a different country. The government allows visiting without a visa card, but only for two months. Family can sponsor a family that qualifies for relatives who are like husband or wife or parents, but the sponsor has to be 21 or older. There is an adoption option, too, but the kid has to be younger than 16.
Emotional Trauma: The Aftermath of Family Separations at the U.S. Border
Children do not know what happens to their parents when they get deported. All they know is that they are getting pulled away from them, and they do not know how to react to it. Children get separated when they are at the United States border because the Trump Administration has decided that Trump does not plan to back down from this idea. There could be long-term trauma for these children, like anxiety and stress, and all of that builds up because of the fear that the children have of getting deported. It most likely gets worse when their parents actually get deported, like they are actually getting pulled apart from their parents, and they do not know what to do at all. They are just in shock.
There are other families that are still keeping a low profile because they do not want to get deported. There are some undocumented people in the United States. That is very scary, and most of the children who get pulled apart from their parents are minors. Families have to live in constant fear most of their lives because they do not have a visa, and they are scared of one day just getting a knock on their door and standing right in front of the thing they feared the most.
Trump’s Travel Ban: Families Divided and Dreams Shattered
There was a family that got pulled apart because the kids were American citizens but not the mom. She said, “I love my country, but the situation there forced me to flee. I just couldn’t risk the life of my children.” Since the father was already an American citizen, the children did not have to stay at a detention center or in foster care. The mom had been waiting to get her visa approved for so many years. She was the only one without the visa. She was watching as her relatives requested their visa but ended up being rejected. She was one of the lucky people who actually got her visa. That was exciting, but the worst part was that her family got split in half because their kids’ passports were going to expire, so they stayed with their dad in the United States, and they could not do anything because of Trump’s Travel Ban (TTB).
What the TTB is is that the applications for the visa are suspended for Muslim countries like Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen and also other countries like North Korea and Venezuela. The family had spent all their money, so they were stuck across the country split. The travel ban was to protect the nation from terrorists entering the United States.
Sometimes, it was referred to as the Muslim ban. There was a downside to this also: millions of people were affected by the Travel Ban, and the country that was affected the most was Iran because a lot of the people of Iran were coming to the United States to study. There were a lot of families that were affected by TTB. A lot of people said they had to leave family behind and they would not be able to visit or come to the United States at all because of the Travel Ban.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE): Lasting Impact on Detained Children
Some children in detention centers stay for 400 days, which is 13 months that they will remember for the rest of their lives. There are 90,000 minors who had to get out of their county because of their situation with immigrants. Obama was responsible for the separation of the migrant children because of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). “The resulting anxiety led to a subsequent decline in enrollment in the Affordable Care Act and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program among Hispanic households most vulnerable deportation risks.”
People would get stressed because of the programs they could not join that were really important because they were not American citizens, and they were going to risk their lives to join the programs. The ACE program has led to worse long-term behavioral problems.
There were kids who were depressed and had the dysfunctions of alcoholism. There were 2,000 kids that were detained by Border Patrol in just six weeks. Imagine in more weeks how many kids they would have. A lot of kids will be stressed because of their situation. There is no way someone will not be stressed, scared, or depressed, but why would they not be depressed? They got pulled away from their family, which is hard on a child or really anyone. No one deserves to be pulled away from their family. There is no need for that. Why can’t the family just stay together in the detention center so they won’t develop all the stress and anxiety?
The DACA Conundrum: A Beacon of Hope Dimming for Young Immigrants
Another program that helped the immigrants that got started by President Obama in November 2014 is the DACA, which is the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals. The DACA program was for immigrants who came to America and gave them protection from getting deported and a permit so they could get a job, but all of that had an expiration date. The program expired after two years. Some colleges do not accept DACA students.
Every time it would expire, they would have to renew it, but President Trump had got an order to end the DACA program, and they are still getting applications for the renewal. They have not fully closed it yet. The government has no longer accepted applications from people. They are waiting for the last DACA to expire, which would be in March 2020.
The people who would want to get DACA would need to have a clean criminal record, they have to be enrolled in school or have graduated, they can not be older than 31, they would have had to be in the United States before they were 16, etc. The people would have to fill out a 7-page application, and their fee is $495. There are a lot of people who would get rejected for either trying to apply or renew. There are thousands of applicants every year. There are also thousands of little kids that apply. 54% are little kids.
Illegal Immigration and the Struggle to Preserve DACA’s Dreamers
There are people trying to save the DACA program. There are good reasons to save the DACA program, like there would be millions of immigrants in America unemployed and not able to have a license, and all of the hard work that they did in America would go down the drain, and they would lose everything. A lot of families would go back to stressing over getting deported or getting separated. There is a petition that helps save the DACA program. On the website, it has a picture of little kids holding up signs that say “#weallmatter,” and there is another that says “I’m a dreamer.” There are DACA kids who still go to high schools, and they have to face the real world and the problems they are going to have once they are adults. It is going to be really hard for them.
There is going to be a lot of stress coming to them. ‘Democrats are doing nothing for DACA – just interested in politics. DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems and start ‘falling in love’ with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS’. Maybe the Democrats do not want to get involved in the crisis and all the protests. They would want to stay out of problems with others if they already have problems of their own.
Illegal Immigration: Challenges for America and Affected Families
There is already a lot of illegal immigration, and getting rid of all the programs that benefit immigrants could increase illegal immigration. Most immigrants that want to come in are criminals. There are hardly any kids. They are mostly criminals. They should not be let in other countries, but good people should be let in. A lot of immigrants live in poverty, and poverty is going to cause them to come into America, and that is going to be a huge problem for Trump and America. The people are going to want to feel safe, so they are going to want to migrate to another country. The countries have been threatened to cut foreign assistance and to close southern borders, but if someone shuts down a border, it violates a law.
The problem that immigration has on kids can be avoided. However, it will take time and support from the government. The government needs to realize that everyone is affected by immigration, literally everyone. America is affected by immigration because most of the employees are from other countries. They are in America on the visa they have provided by the government. Kids are the most affected because they start to develop stress and anxiety because of the fact that they have to live in fear of the government, and the fear turns into stress. The anxiety comes from the detention centers they have to be in and the foster care. The kids have to stay in there for three months.
Illegal Immigration: The Emotional Toll of Detention and DACA’s End
Imagine what three months without their parents does to all those kids in the detention center and all the foster care. The parents are also affected because they do not get to see their kids because they get split apart at the border once they enter America. Another thing that affects people is the ending of the DACA program. The program was to help immigrants get protection from getting deported, and it gives them a permit to get a job but all of that is gone for them the DACA program is going to stop giving those things it all stops in 2020, but this is still a while, but then all the fears come back. People were panicking because of all the DACA stuff.
- Zong, J., & Batalova, J. (2015). Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migration Policy Institute.
- Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2016). Overall Number of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrants Holds Steady Since 2009. Pew Research Center.
- Department of Homeland Security. (2017). 2016 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. Office of Immigration Statistics.
- Krogstad, J. M., Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2017). 5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S. Pew Research Center.
- Chen, A. (2017). The Trauma of Facing Deportation. The New Yorker.