The American dream(ers)

Greta Markey, Managing Editor of Print Content

As Americans, we are citizens of a melting pot country. The Statue of Liberty is inscribed with a poem that promises protection over the tired, poor, huddled masses; however, today we live in a political climate that shuns these immigrants when they need us most. America was built on outcasts, on diversity. Why are we all of a sudden trying to ignore that?

President Donald Trump’s administration supports two political actions that would brand America as anti-immigrant: they want to build a physical wall on the U.S.–Mexico border as well as end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary job protection for immigrants who came into the United States when they were under the age of 16.

Both propositions, if followed through, would hurt the American population and its relationship with other countries. They do not reflect the values of many American citizens; rather, they reflect the skewed perception of immigrants that our country’s leader holds.

Trump’s maintained desire to build a wall is a futile attempt to stick by an unrealistic promise that he built his campaign on. Not only will it cost $70 billion to build, but it will also cost $150 million to keep up each year, according to the New York Times.

Among being massively expensive, the wall presents another fundamental problem with Trump’s conflict resolution skills—he would rather build a wall than converse and compromise with Mexico. This refusal to cooperate on international problems sends a message to other world leaders about America. It sends a message of stubborn disregard.

Additionally, immigrants protected under DACA function as working, tax paying citizens. Eliminating these 700,000 people from our collegiate and working class could be extremely detrimental for the wellbeing of the American economy. According to Business Insider, dismantling this program could cost us up to $8 billion of annual Gross Domestic Product.

And this doesn’t even take into account the toll of uprooting the program dreamers have relied on to build their lives over the past six years. By deporting 700,000 immigrants and punishing them for a decision they, or their parents, made to better their lives is just heartless.

Almost every American can trace their heritage to immigrants. If we were able to support immigrant rights and assimilate them into our country centuries ago, why are we struggling so hard to do that now? We as Americans need to shed our nationalistic tendencies and embrace our country’s diverse American dream.