I attended an event that took place at Concordia, St. Paul, regarding the ever-increasing immigration issues here in the United States. There was a decent crowd of people there to listen to what people had to say and learn things that they didn’t know in regard to the way immigration is handled. The presentation time was blocked out into certain increments that began with a current immigration issues presentation, a dinner break where everyone was fed tamales, and lastly a discussion panel. The current immigration issues section discussed the different ways that people enter the country and the difficulty the government continues to force on these immigrants seeking refuge in the United States. The dinner break consisted of being fed three different types of tamales that many people in the room had never tasted before. The discussion panel was very intriguing due to the wide array of panel speakers that were present. These speakers came from multiple professions and backgrounds of life, but they all dealt with the problem of immigration rules in one way or another.
It was clear to see from the expressions on their faces and their pure emotion that could be heard in their voice that the panelists cared deeply about the topic. They have experienced immigration either first hand, dealt with the people and their stories, or was an attorney for someone trying to make it into the United States. It was evident that what they all truly wanted was for people to realize that change is necessary to they way that things are run. It should be easier for someone who needs to flee to the United States and seek asylum. Immigration affects everybody, and it can be easy to say that people who are not from the United States should not be allowed to enter, but people will have a hard time saying that when they hear the stories of families being separated and forced to leave and fear death in returning to their homeland.
I think there is a lot of power in putting oneself in the shoes of one of these families going through the proper way to receive asylum. For instance, one made-up scenario could be when my older sibling who was not born in the United States, was caught without proper identification resulting in the government discovering he is an illegal immigrant. He now has to go back to Mexico, even though he has spent a majority of his life in the United States and live with a family relative that he doesn’t even know. None of us know when we will ever be able to see him again. The speakers continued to talk about fear and how controlling over their lives that this fear of being caught can truly be. They might not feel safe calling the police in any circumstance to deal with a crime and instead keep it a secret. These people do not have a social security number and cannot drive legally in the United States because they cannot acquire a driver’s license. They also must kiss any scholarship money goodbye, because they need a social security number to apply, which makes it hard to pay for college and make a better life for themselves. These youth or young adults have a much harder life than US citizens and I think people often overlook that people are people no matter what. Who am I to say that someone seeking refuge is not allowed to come into the United States? Most people are decent human beings and will work hard for whatever wages they can receive, often doing the jobs that nobody else wants to do. So, I believe we should have less strict immigration laws, and I feel like I learned many things of value from this immigration lecture.