Informative Speech over Immigration

Summary of the heartache of an immigrant family.

In, “The Heartache of an Immigrant Family,” if focuses on the impact immigration has on people’s families. Lourdes Pineda, a single mother of two small children, had to leave her children behind in order to leave and find a job to make a decent amount of money. She had to leave because she feared that she would not be able to feed, clothe, and provide the proper education needed for her children. Another immigrant, Enrique, was forced to leave behind his pregnant girlfriend due to deportation. This impact of him being sent away forces his girlfriend to make enough money in order to make a living for her and her soon to be child. Not only has deportation affected Enrique and his family, but it affects families all over the world. “About 200,000 parents of children who are American citizens were deported between 2010 and 2012, and 5,000 parentless children are now in foster care because their mother or father was detained or deported (Nazario 7).” This shows that many parents are being sent away from their children for attempting to cross illegally. Because they were sent away, many children are being left parentless and are being sent to Applied Research Centers. In “Central Americans Flow Into Mexico, Bound for the U.S.,” it focuses on the impact of the individual person trying to cross the border. One way that immigrants try to get into the United States is by becoming a stowaway on a freight train. Many of the immigrants fall off the train and get severely injured, and sometimes the even lose a limb. A man named Selvin Espinosa said that a group has been robbed by police officers who demanded $100 for a guaranteed safe trip during their attempt to arrive at the U.S. This impacted these people because they already almost had nothing, so the fact that they were robbed makes their journey ten times harder. More and more immigrants tried to sneak onto the train, no matter how

Persuasive Speech On Immigration

Our country is supposed to be one about opportunity, neglecting to provide an equal chance for these children to learn would contradict the notion that America is the land of opportunity.

Informative Essay About Immigration

America is the promise land. Where freedom, equality, and opportunity are more than just words, they’re a reality. Immigrants come to America to escape poverty and have a better life but we can’t see that. We as humans fear the unknown and we don’t much about immigrants. All we know is what we are told by the media. Today we hear and read that immigrants bring violence, take our jobs and simply destroy America but they do quite the opposite. Immigrants help America with the economy, technology and making it a more enriched place of people and culture. Growth in our country is necessary but there will be no growth without risk and acceptance. We need to accept those who have taken a risk in search of one thing, a better life, a life worth living.

Pros and Cons of Illegal Immigration Essay example

Many people have come to America for a better life and to get away from all the troubles of their homeland. These immigrants, like those throughout U.S. history, are generally hard workers and make important contributions to the economy through their productive labor and purchasing power. America is considered a melting pot of many diffrent ethinic group. Immigrants should be able to enter America with little if any resistance from any border patrol. Immigrants in america take the low paying, hard labor jobs that , unfortunately, some americans don't want.

Informative Speech On Mexican American

Good evening.Today I would like to talk about Mexican American.Actually,we all know that the US

Informative Speech On Immigration

I will start my presentation with a depiction of what legal and illegal immigration encompass. After, I will talk about the impacts of immigration on America. I will finalize my presentation with the current government actions that are changing the immigration system.

Persuasive Speech About Illegal Immigrants

When you think of an illegal immigrant you may think of a criminal with no morals coming to this country with their only purpose to cause harm to the American people. If this were to be the perception of all immigrants to ever come to the United States we could not be the country we are today. America is a land of opportunity where people come to make a better life for themselves. Without immigrants the United States would not exist. Personally, I would not be here today if my mother did not work her way from Mexico as a young girl to build a better life for herself here in America. She came here with very little, found a job, built herself a life, earned multiple college degrees, got married, had children, and is now living the American Dream…. From illegal immigrant to assistant elementary school principal. It is definitely not fair to say that all immigrants are “bad hombres”, as the American president, Donald Trump once said. The negative connotations that go along with “illegal immigrant” are never anything but bad. The media shines the spotlights on the crimes and awful things some immigrants have done in the past, but never care to included amazing achievements immigrants have made. In fact, Donald Trump's grandfather, Frederick Trump, immigrated here at 16 with the same dream as these dreamers have today; prosper and live The American Dream, and build a better life for themselves and their families.

Persuasive Essay About Immigration

The United States has always received copious amounts of immigrants because of the amount of opportunities that are presented to the newcomers. Since the 1990s, there has been a significant increase of foreigners and jobs due to the immigrants who “made up approximately half of the ... job growth” (Freeman). Push factors like economic or religious issues and pull factors like new jobs or more money make new countries more appealing to people looking for more opportunities. This job increase mentioned by Freeman is because of the want to improve the lives of families in bad situations since the money immigrants make here is more than the amount they would make in their home country. Specifically in Mexico, Hilda Irene Loureiro runs a shelter to aid people who are trying to cross the border and she stated that immigrants try to cross because “they lack economic opportunities in Mexico and they lack the education and (job) skills to get ahead” (Morales). Since people born in America are usually well educated from opportunities like public school and community college, there is a lack of people who want to do lower class jobs. However, a

Mexican Immigrant Persuasive Speech

I still remember when I met you. That prideful charisma you always carried. How can someone remain so confident being a Mexican immigrant during Trump's election? I often asked myself before I knew your story, before I knew what you had been through.

Immigration Over The United States

In the midst of dealing with numerous immigrants a lot of confusion and lack of understanding the whole situation is created. A lack of understanding leads to numerous questions being asked. Questions such as where do illegal immigrants come from? Why do illegals come to the United States? And how do illegal immigrants make it into the United States? Immigrants can come from all sorts of different continents and countries. However it 's most often that immigrants come from third world countries with struggling economies. Struggling countries like Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, along with many others. Reaching the United States is not easy, and illegals begin their journey with much risk. With the risk illegals face, good reasons are required to consider the journey. In the countries they are leaving, illegals face many dangers from drug cartels and massive corruption in both the local and federal governments. As much as many immigrants try to better their lives in their home countries, they often face massive struggles

Pros And Cons Of Immigrants Coming To America

future for them and their families. But the issue today is that coming to America might not even be better than staying in a place overflowing with poverty and gangs. These immigrants aren't coming for the American Dream, because it doesn't exist anymore. The sacrifices of coming to America aren't worth the outcome because immigrant families are split up and deported, children face emotional and physical struggles, and once they arrive immigrants aren't treated fairly.

Separation Of Immigrants To The US

Immigrants Come to America seeking a free world unlike their home where they have to choose between paying rent or buying food. They come to America hoping to find freedom, but all we do is kick them back out. I say we take steps to get them to legally come over to the U.S without having to hide in the U.S not knowing if they’re going to get deported or not.

Persuasive Speech On Immigration Rul Galvan

Raul Galvan came to the Stevens Point campus to talk to the students about immigration. He is an immigrant himself and he came to America, just like everyone else, for a better life. He now is an avid speaker for the Latino community. He travels around the state educating people on the Latino lifestyle as well as the struggles they face.

I hope that you are doing well. My name is Robert Miller, and I am a student at Florida State University. I had recently voted for you in my first election and I am a supporter of your ideals and what you stand for as a person. I am honored that we have a war veteran in office for my county and someone who has seen both sides of the government being a part of the judicial system. I am writing this letter regarding the HB 9 – Federal Immigration Enforcement which is now in the Judiciary Committee. My intentions are to persuade you into voting for the bill and push it onto the state governor Rick Scott to sign it.

Persuasive Speech On Immigrants And Refugees

First it starts as too many immigrants and refugees both legal and illegal. Then it becomes dangerous because amongst those immigrants there are terrorists. So how do we identify that ? Well I will discuss many ways to protect our people and our borders from immigrants, refugees, and terrorists.

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As an individual who has witnessed family friends of immigrants that came to this country over 20 years ago in hope of a better future. I understand why so many immigrants are willing to cross a border so dangerous and treacherous to reach a country that is called the land of opportunities. What we call The Unites States of America the land of the free. An average of 2,700 illegal immigrants are willing to cross the border each day leaving there families and risking their own life’s to cross to the US.

Mostly in the news we tend to hear only the superficial fact but never the real facts or the stories of the capture immigrants. If we would just take time to listen to the real stories of what I called the unforgotten children and women.

We could understand the reason why immigrants are willing to take such a difficult decision to cross a border in order to improve their life styles of their families within the economy, escape prosecution of gangs and looking for a better future for the children.

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The majority of individuals take advantage of the economy while immigrants lack the ability of this advantage. We were given the basic necessities or even more. This country has given us the opportunity to have dreams and make those dreams come true. Many children in other countries are not given the same chance or choices that we have. In the pass year there has been an increase of 50% more immigrants children’s trying to cross the border and the percentage continues to increase each year.

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Many of these children have a reason to leave their families and take a dangerous journey up north on their own; either with little or no money or even just cloths on their back. While immigrants are crossing the border to have a better economy, some also chose to cross the border to escape gangs. For instance, a 12 year old boy from Honduras not much older than my brother and cousin decided to leave his mom; took with him a grocery plastic bag which contained a set of clean clothes and a picture of his mother. He ventured out on his journey. On the way he was confronted with drugs, alcohol and things that a child that age should not experience. He begged for food and slept in the streets waiting for the next train to come.

The train is the fastest way to travel when there is no money to pay a coyote or smuggler but is also the most dangerous. Many have died trying to jump El Diablo; a dangerous train. When asked, “Why do you want to come to the US?” His response was simple; “I want to work so I can help my mom and buy her a big house” This is a 12 year old boy’s dream, to work, but if you ask a 12 year old boy living in the U.S. what he wants to do he would most likely response, “I want to play video games.” Other children are not leaving because they want to but because they have to. They are trying to escape the gangs in their country because if they do not join they can consider them self dead.

Parents hire coyotes to bring their children to U.S for a better future but some in the process don’t make it. So children decide to take the chance than joining a gang. These are the children many of people are turning their back on, Children with good moral values. As for the women that try to cross the border they are not just risking their life but also risking being trap into sex slavery. There have been many cases where the same people they pay to cross the border kidnap them and make them sex slaves. We should not go too far here in our country there are many immigrant women trap in sex slavery.

The majority come to this country trying to escape from the abuse of their husbands or looking for a better life for the children they have left behind. Many are single mothers that are not able to feed their kids and they look up north for hope. Is this the cost women should have to make in other to have a chance at freedom or a better future? Many immigrants’ women have to sell their bodies to pay the coyotes that cross them over to the U. S. and the ones that refuse we can find their bodies in a ditch unrecognizable. All that is left is a cross with an empty name. The economy in their countries is so bad that many immigrant/individuals are willing to risk their life to give better future to their families.

Immigrants are individuals who are trying to improve their life styles for their families within the economy, escape prosecution of gangs, and looking for more in their future. Everyone should have a chance to stay in the United States of America since we are all immigrants. We all travel from all different countries to make the U.S. what is today. Immigrants are not just people trying to take jobs like many say or criminals that the news makes it seem. Each individual has a story to tell. Some are just like you and me or children that are like our little brothers or sisters. Some are women and men like our mothers and fathers that give their life for the best of their children.

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Informative Speech over Immigration

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Writing an Immigration Essay: 75 Essay Topic Ideas

attention getter for immigration essay

The whole world watches the immigration drama that occurs in the USA. Separated families, tears, anger, escalation of antimigration attitudes in society—this all are consequences of immigration regulations.

Writing an essay on immigration may seem difficult enough. However, the IvyPanda team is here to help you. Just keep reading and you’ll find out simple tips to ace your assignment.

Immigration Essay: Research the Problem

Before you start drafting your essay outline, you should understand what is immigration, its causes, forms, and develop your opinion.

What is immigration? This is the process of acquiring permanent residence in a foreign country. And, accordingly, an immigrant is a person who undergoes this process.

Why do people decide to immigrate?

Actually, every person has their own reason. But we gathered most common immigration causes below:

Black woman works in an office

Immigration can be legal and illegal. Legal immigration means that the person is acquiring the residential status in accordance to government regulations. On the other side are immigrants who decide to try and flee to foreign countries illegally .

Is it bad? You have conduct a thorough research and form your opinion.

China street food

If you’re doing your research for illegal immigration essay, you should also investigate effects of it. Mostly, it negative impacts on economics. Illegal immigrants take any job that provides an income to support their families. Employers use this labor force without paying any taxes, providing insurance and often pay less than minimum wage. This leads to legal job cuts and lower budget revenues. And, as a result, cuts in social, education, public health, and other important programs occur.

Among other effects, we can name the rise of terrorist and criminal activities. You can explore this topic when writing the immigration essay or paper on terrorism.

Relatively easy way of illegal immigration leads to reduced motivation for legal immigration. It’s cheaper and easier.

If you’re writing the overpopulation essay, you can mention that overpopulation can be both cause and effect. The lack of access to fresh water, poverty, and pollution makes people seek for the better life somewhere else. And, as a consequence, immigration explosions provoke overpopulation, cut of legal jobs, increased pollution in the destination country.

Immigration Essay: Stick to the Structure

Now, let’s get back to the writing. First of all, brainstorm some ideas of your immigration or overpopulation essay. Write them down and then pick the topic that appeals to you the most. Don’t forget to check if there are enough sources for your paper. There are plenty of free essays and examples to help you with all of that.

The next step is to create an essay outline. A typical essay structure consists of introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Even if you need to write a five-paragraph essay, you must include these elements.

First things first, let’s start with the essay introduction. In the intro of any type of essays, you must give a hook to your readers and provide an essay thesis. Engage your readers with a couple of suggestions about the problems of immigrants that you’ve researched.

Little girl sitting on a street

As for the essay body, its contents may vary depending on the type of assignment. In the argumentative or persuasive essay, you must put several arguments supporting your point of view. In the for and against essay, provide a counterargument after each argument. If you’re writing an opinion essay, express your thoughts and don’t forget to keep a logical flow. Otherwise, your readers will be bored and quickly lose their attention.

As well as the introduction, a conclusion is also a mandatory element. In this part, you must restate thesis and ideas, presented in a body without repeating it. Write it in other words.

Top 15 Immigration Essay Topics You Should Try

Immigration Essay: 65 Topic Ideas

Now you know how to write your essay on immigration. But you may need some ideas. That’s why IvyPanda’s experts prepared some excellent topic ideas and essay samples you may use in your assignment.

All you have to do is just check the list below, pick up ones that you find the most interesting and use them as an inspiration.

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So, grab a cup of tasty coffee or tea and choose the immigration, poverty, or overpopulation essay topic:

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Speech on Immigration

950 words 4 page(s)

I. Introduction – Attention Grabber A father leaves his family in the morning to find work. He performs odd jobs, unable to secure long-term employment. His challenge is to make enough that day to put food on the table, and he hope that his wife and kids do not get sick. No one has health insurance. He hopes, as well, that his family is not the victim of crime. After all, they cannot go to the police. Once at work, he is subjected to harsh working conditions. Sometimes he is not paid for the work he performs during the day. He is operating beneath the law and is unable to take advantage of its protections. He is an undocumented immigrant, and his story is one characteristic of many in what is becoming a new under-class.

II. Awareness of the Problem The problem in America is the lack of a sensible immigration solution for undocumented aliens. These people are often vulnerable because they are afforded no protections under the law. According to the New York Times, there are roughly 11.7 undocumented immigrants living in the United States today. PRI confirms that number, but it notes that the figure may be on the rise. These immigrants are largely affected by the problem, and many others in society are affected, too. In order to fix the problem, many have proposed immigration solutions. A “pathway to citizenship” has been proposed, but no serious plans have been contemplated. Without a sensible plan in place, these immigrants and their children are likely to suffer without the protection of labor law or other forms of law.

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III. Development of the Problem The origins of the problem date back many decades. The United States has long been an attractive destination for people from Mexico looking to secure a better life. Part of the issue, it seems, is that America has a large border that has largely been unsecured. Prior to September 11, 2001, people could pass relatively freely between America and both Mexico and Canada. This meant that coming across the border was as easy as hopping in a car.

While it was technically illegal for individuals to come to the United States for the purpose of remaining here, few enforcement measures were in place. This meant that while the law technically protected against this sort of immigration, people were practically able to come here until they were discovered, which happened very rarely. Individuals crossing the border also had very little to lose. As certain cities in Mexico have become more dangerous and violent, there was significant incentive to move to America. The problem compounded on top of itself, too. When immigrants came to the United States, they often brought with them children, and those children tended to establish their roots in the country. This has made it impossible or impractical to deport entire families. At the same time, little has been done to develop a workable solution to bring these immigrants out of the darkness. Because of a number of different issues, America has been unwilling to allow a path to citizenship, and because of this, people have been forced to live in the shadows.

A workable solution would include a number of different elements. First, it would account for the children, who are actually in America through no fault of their own. It would also provide incentives for people to come forward. If immigrants came forward to try and claim outright citizenship, they could pay taxes and be counted among the productive American work base. They must know, however that they will be met with welcoming arms and not a deportation notice.

IV. Possible Solutions One possible solution is to offer amnesty and a path to citizenship to these individuals. This would be a dual plan. Amnesty would be needed in order to get people to come forward. From there, they would have to do a number of things in order to become citizens, including paying taxes for a certain number of years and registering with the Social Security office. They may also be required to take citizenship classes.

Another possible solution would be to grant immediate citizenship to children who were brought to the United States. These children need to be given the opportunity to succeed in school, and they do not have the time to spend working through citizenship measures. This would help to give these children a chance to establish a life in the United States.

V. Best Solution The best solution is a combination of these different measures. Immigration is a huge problem, and it will only be solved by a comprehensive approach. By dealing with children without dealing with adults or the other way around, a policy might break up families and make it difficult for all to survive. The best solution will include amnesty, a reasonable path to citizenship, and accommodations for children immediately. There is no reason why a person should be required to live a life outside the protection of the law. The father mentioned in the first part of this speech should be able to go to work with the knowledge that his family will be safe and protected.

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Pro Immigration Persuasive Speech

Should immigrants be treated unfairly.

Immigrants are seen as different; therefore, they are treated unfairly. They don’t get a chance financially to get the things they need. Also, they are discriminated by people. We need to take action and help these immigrants have the life they

1. What Challenges Did Immigrants Face Upon Arrival In America?

Immigrants traveled a hard and long voyage across the ocean to America in hopes of better jobs and futures with less discrimination. When they saw the Statue of Liberty they knew they had arrived at Ellis Island, in New York. The statue was a symbol of hope and freedom to them because they knew better opportunities were awaiting there. However, immigrants were faced with several challenges when they arrived. For instance, immigrants went through a screening process and not all immigrants could stay. If the doctor diagnosed them with a contagious disease they were forced to leave. Although, most immigrants could stay. Ellis Island, “was America’s main processing station for immigrants, between 1892 and

Should Immigrants Be Allowed To Stay In The United States

Immigration and immigrants in the United States is a very hot topic. Especially with Donald Trump in office and the significant actions he has taken upon. So, should they be allowed in our country? In my opinion I believe they should be because America is a nation built off of immigrants. The U.S is known to be the top destination to go to for a better life, and with only 13.5% of America’s total population being immigrants. There is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to create a better life for themselves here.

Should Immigrants Have A Pathway To Citizenship Essay

Immigrants should have a pathway to citizenship. The immigrants should have a pathway to citizenship because they would be able to count on the system. The immigration legal path costs money and it 's time consuming. It brings freedom and self-sufficiency. Adding on to, can bring people that are criminal immigrants to the United States and then we would have a serious problem, but it would also be good because doing this it would give them a chance to use the system.

Immigration Informative Speech

Immigration has been around for centuries. It is the movement of people into another country which they are not from nor obtain citizenship for them to live their legally. Majority of the American population have ancestors who are immigrants. Even though most of us who live in the United States are settled here legally. There are some who still makes their way across the border illegally till this day. Hispanics are known for crossing the border to the United States and usually they reside in California because that’s the state next to the border. I understand why in the movie they wanted to flee to “El Norte.” America is viewed as a place for equal opportunities. They feel like they would have a better life here. What makes immigration so

Immigration Persuasive Speech

America is one the greatest experiments in freedom and liberty history has ever known. We are a nation that was built on the minds and ideals of immigrants. Our Founding Fathers created America so that everyone could have a chance at "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Those are aspects of my country, I would never change because they are what make us unique. The glow of America casts a ripple of hope upon those who struggle. Those who live among poverty and violence look to America and see a wonderful country filled with opportunity. However, in recent months, America has become a laughingstock, a joke. Donald Trump, as well as many conservative Republicans would like to would like to build a wall separating America from Mexico, limit a woman’s choices, and deny current citizens basic psychological and physical assistance. We should work towards building human connections, not walls. Our future president will have the power to implement an immigration policy and make decisions that will effect the immigrants who currently reside within our borders. As a woman, I believe that my rights should not be determined by some man in Washington DC. Instead, everyone should be entitled to their own opinion. Abortions and contraceptives are not procedures or medications that women usually advertise and frankly, it is none of government’s business what women choose to do with their own bodies. They are not the property of men or the

The Bread Givers Themes

America is a country with a history founded on people looking for a new start and emigrating from the old world to fulfill their dreams. Immigration is not always happiness, rags to riches, and the American dream. Major immigration periods happened from 1607, 1820-1870 and again in the early 1900’s. Immigrant numbers were growing so exponentially that the National origins Act of 1921 and 1924 was enacted to put a quota limit that blatantly discriminated against immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. Immigrants that made it in faced many hardships such as learning new languages, abandoning family, and accepting the American values. But the perilous, extensive uprooting may not have been worth it in the long haul. While moving to America proved itself worthy for those escaping persecution and tyranny, it caused problems in the long run for others due to the isolation and poverty.

Essay On Impact Of Immigration On Economy

It is part of human nature to strive to go further, achieve more and become a better person. Many people nowadays decide to leave their country in search for a better life in order to provide positive changes for their future, and that is the main reason as to why people migrate. Reasons for immigration can include lack of educational opportunities, the standard of living is not being high enough, or the low value of wages. Immigration has become a major part of life in the 20th century, and many people see America as the land of freedom, countless opportunities and thus they choose to migrate to the United States whether as naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, refugees, international students, or even undocumented immigrants. The

Persuasive Speech Outline On Immigration Reform

Welcome to my speech and thank you very much for coming here today! Some of you already know me, but for those who do not; my name is Miriem Hansen, and I am 19 years old and I study Accounting and Finance at the University of London.

Moving To America Essay

Standards have been raised tremendously for immigrants that are striving to obtain a visa. However the main goal for an immigrant with a dream is to be legal in America. The process of getting a visa is more complicated than it may seem. They’re many requirements needed to be passed in order to be eligible to receive a green card. The dismal of many refugees and immigrants being denied the opportunity to have a green card. Many people wait for months, even years, until they’re finally accepted. Foreign immigrants must obtain an immigrant visa if they desire to inhabit in the US

Too Many People: Coming To America

Our class reviewed immigration by those who use mostly illegal means, and how illegal immigration is currently being addressed. Still, nothing we have seen has given us a viable solution to the problems incurred by those who immigrate, the problems arising from those who detain, house, then deport immigrants, or what the United States can do to resolve the issue of illegal immigration. Implementation of National Identification Card, such as used in Germany can be an easy answer. Even though initial cost, implementation, and future maintenance may contribute to an already high national debt, federal reformation of current immigration law is in order. Federal regulation would provide a legal way for immigrants

Immigration Struggles In America

People who are immigrants have many struggles they face when living in America. For instance, immigrants face the barrier of financial stability. When immigrants come to the states they barely have anything. Most immigrants leave with very little and need to start their life all over again. They need to find new housing and jobs. For example, immigrants go through the hardship of finding a job because of the language barrier and education level. Many immigrants especially, the older generation, may not understand or even speak any English. They may come looking for a better life but are stopped from getting this opportunity because of such difficulty. Some Americans might not want to hire these immigrants because they won't be able to communicate

Illegal Immigration Persuasive Speech

Currently, there is an issue facing the nation of epic proportions. Illegal immigrants are invading our land, stealing our jobs, and wasting our tax money by way of government assistance. Their numbers are growing exponentially, and they no doubt wish to take over the country. There is a solution that is beneficial to us all. Initially you may be appalled by my proposal. Hear me out and listen to my logic, and you will undoubtedly support my position. The resolution is within reach. Albeit ghastly at first thought, enslavement is the answer.

Process Essay On Illegal Immigration

Immigration is the foundation of the United States of America because we are known as the “Melting Pot”, comprised of people from many different countries. Immigration exists today, legally and illegally. Illegal immigration is the moving of people across national borders that violate immigration laws of that country by not having proper approval or application to enter the country. Illegal immigration is a growing problem that needs more attention by the federal government as people move from a poorer to a richer country.

More about Pro Immigration Persuasive Speech

30 Immigration Essay Topics

Table of Contents

Immigration has always been a topic for discussion for everyone. A persuasive essay will always try to justify the author’s knowledge of a certain area of discussion. Immigration being a red hot topic in almost every part of the world can provide a good base for a persuasive essay. This topic has increased in the rate of discussion on national televisions. Persuasive essays about immigration can be hard to come up with. This article will give some insights and directions for the techniques you can use while writing a good immigration essay.

People have different views on immigration, whether it is an issue or not because it concerns everybody. Immigration essay topics are talked about in communities, and individuals, have to get to know these topics. That is the reason teachers and professors frequently give assignments about immigration to their learners. Students might be given research papers or articles writing about immigration topics. Here are article topics on immigration that will assist in equipping yourself with the subject, and answer questions about immigration that previously you could not answer.

How to Select the Best Immigration Essay Topic?

When choosing a good immigration topic, you will need to assess whether it gives you the freedom you need to exhaust the issues at hand. It should allow you to give the necessary statistics and related studies. By doing this, you will greatly increase the quality of your essay.

These are some of the best topics on immigration that you can find lots of sources to refer your work from. They will enable you to score high marks.

List of Immigration Essay Topics: Write like a Pro

Immigration comes with very many topics. Some of the greatest topics you should choose from include:

These topics will help you come up with different content on immigration. Migration is very wide, though. As time goes by, they might increase or even change.

Immigration Essay Questions: Titles to Guide You

Immigration also has topics that are posed as questions. Some of the questions you will get about immigration include:

Such questions are answered in different essays. You can always find many sources that will give you some content on every question:

Illegal Immigration Essay Topics: 10 Featured Ideas

Immigration Essay Ideas: Craft the Best Paper Using Expert Tactics

Before you write an essay about immigration, you will first come up with some questions; why are you writing the essay in the first place? Who is your target group? What is the aim of the essay? Immigration is very controversial in its way. Some countries’ population is comprised of very high numbers of immigrants. For you to write a very good essay on Immigration, then your introduction must comprise of the following:

At this point, you should have known all the basic concepts of immigration. After reading what is required in your essay, you will now proceed to construct the body of your essay. Explain each idea in a separate paragraph.

After exhausting all the points on the given topic of immigration, you will now conclude. A conclusion is all about briefly explaining the whole topic and what you have discussed in the essay.  After concluding, it is important to give some sources of your work. The reader might be interested in reading further. Get professional help from an expert essay writing service in your imagination essay class assignment – call us now!

George Lynch

attention getter for immigration essay

Follow YES! For Teachers

Eight brilliant student essays on immigration and unjust assumptions.

Read winning essays from our winter 2019 “Border (In)Security” student writing contest.

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For the winter 2019 student writing competition, “Border (In)Security,” we invited students to read the YES! Magazine article “Two-Thirds of Americans Live in the “Constitution-Free Zone” by Lornet Turnbull and respond with an up-to-700-word essay. 

Students had a choice between two writing prompts for this contest on immigration policies at the border and in the “Constitution-free zone,” a 100-mile perimeter from land and sea borders where U.S. Border Patrol can search any vehicle, bus, or vessel without a warrant. They could state their positions on the impact of immigration policies on our country’s security and how we determine who is welcome to live here. Or they could write about a time when someone made an unfair assumption about them, just as Border Patrol agents have made warrantless searches of Greyhound passengers based simply on race and clothing.

The Winners

From the hundreds of essays written, these eight were chosen as winners. Be sure to read the author’s response to the essay winners and the literary gems that caught our eye.

Middle School Winner: Alessandra Serafini

High School Winner: Cain Trevino

High School Winner: Ethan Peter

University Winner: Daniel Fries

Powerful Voice Winner: Emma Hernandez-Sanchez

Powerful Voice Winner: Tiara Lewis

Powerful Voice Winner: Hailee Park

Powerful Voice Winner: Aminata Toure

From the Author Lornet Turnbull

Literary Gems

Middle school winner.

Alessandra Serafini

Brier Terrace Middle School, Brier, Wash.

attention getter for immigration essay

Broken Promises

“…Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These words were written by Emma Lazarus and are inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. And yet, the very door they talk about is no longer available to those who need it the most. The door has been shut, chained, and guarded. It no longer shines like gold. Those seeking asylum are being turned away. Families are being split up; children are being stranded. The promise America made to those in need is broken.

Not only is the promise to asylum seekers broken, but the promises made to some 200 million people already residing within the U.S. are broken, too. Anyone within 100 miles of the United States border lives in the “Constitution-free zone” and can be searched with “reasonable suspicion,” a suspicion that is determined by Border Patrol officers. The zone encompasses major cities, such as Seattle and New York City, and it even covers entire states, such as Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. I live in the Seattle area, and it is unsettling that I can be searched and interrogated without the usual warrant. In these areas, there has been an abuse of power; people have been unlawfully searched and interrogated because of assumed race or religion.

The ACLU obtained data from the Customs and Border Protection Agency that demonstrate this reprehensible profiling. The data found that “82 percent of foreign citizens stopped by agents in that state are Latino, and almost 1 in 3 of those processed are, in fact, U.S. citizens.” These warrantless searches impede the trust-building process and communication between the local population and law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, this lack of trust makes campaigns, such as Homeland Security’s “If You See Something, Say Something,” ineffective due to the actions of the department’s own members and officers. Worst of all, profiling ostracizes entire communities and makes them feel unsafe in their own country.

Ironically, asylum seekers come to America in search of safety. However, the thin veil of safety has been drawn back, and, behind it, our tarnished colors are visible. We need to welcome people in their darkest hours rather than destroy their last bit of hope by slamming the door in their faces. The immigration process is currently in shambles, and an effective process is essential for both those already in the country and those outside of it. Many asylum seekers are running from war, poverty, hunger, and death. Their countries’ instability has hijacked every aspect of their lives, made them vagabonds, and the possibility of death, a cruel and unforgiving death, is real. They see no future for their children, and they are desperate for the perceived promise of America—a promise of opportunity, freedom, and a safe future. An effective process would determine who actually needs help and then grant them passage into America. Why should everyone be turned away? My grandmother immigrated to America from Scotland in 1955. I exist because she had a chance that others are now being denied.

Emma Lazarus named Lady Liberty the “Mother of Exiles.” Why are we denying her the happiness of children? Because we cannot decide which ones? America has an inexplicable area where our constitution has been spurned and forgotten. Additionally, there is a rancorous movement to close our southern border because of a deep-rooted fear of immigrants and what they represent. For too many Americans, they represent the end of established power and white supremacy, which is their worst nightmare. In fact, immigrants do represent change—healthy change—with new ideas and new energy that will help make this country stronger. Governmental agreement on a humane security plan is critical to ensure that America reaches its full potential. We can help. We can help people in unimaginably terrifying situations, and that should be our America.

Alessandra Serafini plays on a national soccer team for Seattle United and is learning American Sign Language outside of school. Her goal is to spread awareness about issues such as climate change, poverty, and large-scale political conflict through writing and public speaking.

  High School Winner

Cain Trevino

North Side High School, Fort Worth, Texas

attention getter for immigration essay

Xenophobia and the Constitution-Free Zone

In August of 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents boarded a Greyhound bus that had just arrived at the White River Junction station from Boston. According to Danielle Bonadona, a Lebanon resident and a bus passenger, “They wouldn’t let us get off. They boarded the bus and told us they needed to see our IDs or papers.” Bonadona, a 29-year-old American citizen, said that the agents spent around 20 minutes on the bus and “only checked the IDs of people who had accents or were not white.” Bonadona said she was aware of the 100-mile rule, but the experience of being stopped and searched felt “pretty unconstitutional.”

In the YES! article “Two-Thirds of Americans Live in the ‘Constitution-Free Zone’” by Lornet Turnbull, the author references the ACLU’s argument that “the 100-mile zone violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.” However, the Supreme Court upholds the use of immigration checkpoints for inquiries on citizenship status. In my view, the ACLU makes a reasonable argument. The laws of the 100-mile zone are blurred, and, too often, officials give arbitrary reasons to conduct a search. Xenophobia and fear of immigrants burgeons in cities within these areas. People of color and those with accents or who are non-English speakers are profiled by law enforcement agencies that enforce anti-immigrant policies. The “Constitution-free zone” is portrayed as an effective barrier to secure our borders. However, this anti-immigrant zone does not make our country any safer. In fact, it does the opposite.

As a former student from the Houston area, I can tell you that the Constitution-free zone makes immigrants and citizens alike feel on edge. The Department of Homeland Security’s white SUVs patrol our streets. Even students feel the weight of anti-immigrant laws. Dennis Rivera Sarmiento, an undocumented student who attended Austin High School in Houston, was held by school police in February 2018 for a minor altercation and was handed over to county police. He was later picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and held in a detention center. It is unfair that kids like Dennis face much harsher consequences for minor incidents than other students with citizenship.

These instances are a direct result of anti-immigrant laws. For example, the 287(g) program gives local and state police the authority to share individuals’ information with ICE after an arrest. This means that immigrants can be deported for committing misdemeanors as minor as running a red light. Other laws like Senate Bill 4, passed by the Texas Legislature, allow police to ask people about their immigration status after they are detained. These policies make immigrants and people of color feel like they’re always under surveillance and that, at any moment, they may be pulled over to be questioned and detained.

During Hurricane Harvey, the immigrant community was hesitant to go to the shelters because images of immigration authorities patrolling the area began to surface online. It made them feel like their own city was against them at a time when they needed them most. Constitution-free zones create communities of fear. For many immigrants, the danger of being questioned about immigration status prevents them from reporting crimes, even when they are the victim. Unreported crime only places more groups of people at risk and, overall, makes communities less safe.

In order to create a humane immigration process, citizens and non-citizens must hold policymakers accountable and get rid of discriminatory laws like 287(g) and Senate Bill 4. Abolishing the Constitution-free zone will also require pressure from the public and many organizations. For a more streamlined legal process, the League of United Latin American Citizens suggests background checks and a small application fee for incoming immigrants, as well as permanent resident status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients. Other organizations propose expanding the green card lottery and asylum for immigrants escaping the dangers of their home countries.

Immigrants who come to the U.S. are only looking for an opportunity to provide for their families and themselves; so, the question of deciding who gets inside the border and who doesn’t is the same as trying to prove some people are worth more than others. The narratives created by anti-immigrant media plant the false idea that immigrants bring nothing but crime and terrorism. Increased funding for the border and enforcing laws like 287(g) empower anti-immigrant groups to vilify immigrants and promote a witch hunt that targets innocent people. This hatred and xenophobia allow law enforcement to ask any person of color or non-native English speaker about their citizenship or to detain a teenager for a minor incident. Getting rid of the 100-mile zone means standing up for justice and freedom because nobody, regardless of citizenship, should have to live under laws created from fear and hatred.

Cain Trevino is a sophomore. Cain is proud of his Mexican and Salvadorian descent and is an advocate for the implementation of Ethnic Studies in Texas. He enjoys basketball, playing the violin, and studying c omputer science. Cain plans to pursue a career in engineering at Stanford University and later earn a PhD.  

High School Winner

Ethan Peter

Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Mo.

attention getter for immigration essay

I’m an expert on bussing. For the past couple of months, I’ve been a busser at a pizza restaurant near my house. It may not be the most glamorous job, but it pays all right, and, I’ll admit, I’m in it for the money.

I arrive at 5 p.m. and inspect the restaurant to ensure it is in pristine condition for the 6 p.m. wave of guests. As customers come and go, I pick up their dirty dishes, wash off their tables, and reset them for the next guests. For the first hour of my shift, the work is fairly straightforward.

I met another expert on bussing while crossing the border in a church van two years ago. Our van arrived at the border checkpoint, and an agent stopped us. She read our passports, let us through, and moved on to her next vehicle. The Border Patrol agent’s job seemed fairly straightforward.

At the restaurant, 6 p.m. means a rush of customers. It’s the end of the workday, and these folks are hungry for our pizzas and salads. My job is no longer straightforward.

Throughout the frenzy, the TVs in the restaurant buzz about waves of people coming to the U.S. border. The peaceful ebb and flow enjoyed by Border agents is disrupted by intense surges of immigrants who seek to enter the U.S. Outside forces push immigrants to the United States: wars break out in the Middle East, gangs terrorize parts of Central and South America, and economic downturns force foreigners to look to the U.S., drawn by the promise of opportunity. Refugees and migrant caravans arrive, and suddenly, a Border Patrol agent’s job is no longer straightforward.

I turn from the TVs in anticipation of a crisis exploding inside the restaurant: crowds that arrive together will leave together. I’ve learned that when a table looks finished with their dishes, I need to proactively ask to take those dishes, otherwise, I will fall behind, and the tables won’t be ready for the next customers. The challenge is judging who is finished eating. I’m forced to read clues and use my discretion.

Interpreting clues is part of a Border Patrol agent’s job, too. Lornet Turnbull states, “For example, CBP data obtained by ACLU in Michigan shows that 82 percent of foreign citizens stopped by agents in that state are Latino, and almost 1 in 3 of those processed is, in fact, a U.S. citizen.” While I try to spot customers done with their meals so I can clear their part of the table, the Border Patrol officer uses clues to detect undocumented immigrants. We both sometimes guess incorrectly, but our intentions are to do our jobs to the best of our abilities.

These situations are uncomfortable. I certainly do not enjoy interrupting a conversation to get someone’s dishes, and I doubt Border Patrol agents enjoy interrogating someone about their immigration status. In both situations, the people we mistakenly ask lose time and are subjected to awkward and uncomfortable situations. However, here’s where the busser and the Border Patrol officer’s situations are different: If I make a mistake, the customer faces a minor inconvenience. The stakes for a Border Patrol agent are much higher. Mistakenly asking for documentation and searching someone can lead to embarrassment or fear—it can even be life-changing. Thus, Border Patrol agents must be fairly certain that someone’s immigration status is questionable before they begin their interrogation.

To avoid these situations altogether, the U.S. must make the path to citizenship for immigrants easier. This is particularly true for immigrants fleeing violence. Many people object to this by saying these immigrants will bring violence with them, but data does not support this view. In 1939, a ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was turned away from the U.S.—a decision viewed negatively through the lens of history. Today, many people advocate restricting immigration for refugees from violent countries; they refuse to learn the lessons from 1939. The sad thing is that many of these immigrants are seen as just as violent as the people they are fleeing. We should not confuse the oppressed with the oppressor.

My restaurant appreciates customers because they bring us money, just as we should appreciate immigrants because they bring us unique perspectives. Equally important, immigrants provide this country with a variety of expert ideas and cultures, which builds better human connections and strengthens our society.

Ethan Peter is a junior. Ethan writes for his school newspaper, The Kirkwood Call, and plays volleyball for his high school and a club team. He hopes to continue to grow as a writer in the future. 

University Winner

Daniel Fries

Lane Community College, Eugene, Ore.

attention getter for immigration essay

Detained on the Road to Equality

The United States is a nation of immigrants. There are currently 43 million foreign-born people living in the U.S. Millions of them are naturalized American citizens, and 23 million, or 7.2 percent of the population, are living here without documentation (US Census, 2016). One in seven residents of the United States was not born here. Multiculturalism is, and always has been, a key part of the American experience. However, romantic notions of finding a better life in the United States for immigrants and refugees don’t reflect reality. In modern history, America is a country that systematically treats immigrants—documented or not—and non-white Americans in a way that is fundamentally different than what is considered right by the majority.

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment states,“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” When a suspected undocumented immigrant is detained, their basic human rights are violated. Warrantless raids on Greyhound buses within 100 miles of the border (an area referred to by some as the “Constitution-free zone”) are clear violations of human rights. These violations are not due to the current state of politics; they are the symptom of blatant racism in the United States and a system that denigrates and abuses people least able to defend themselves.

It is not surprising that some of the mechanisms that drive modern American racism are political in nature. Human beings are predisposed to dislike and distrust individuals that do not conform to the norms of their social group (Mountz, Allison). Some politicians appeal to this suspicion and wrongly attribute high crime rates to non-white immigrants. The truth is that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans. In fact, people born in the United States are convicted of crimes at a rate twice that of undocumented non-natives (Cato Institute, 2018).

The majority of immigrants take high risks to seek a better life, giving them incentive to obey the laws of their new country. In many states, any contact with law enforcement may ultimately result in deportation and separation from family. While immigrants commit far fewer crimes, fear of violent crime by much of the U.S. population outweighs the truth. For some politicians, it is easier to sell a border wall to a scared population than it is to explain the need for reformed immigration policy. It’s easier to say that immigrants are taking people’s jobs than explain a changing global economy and its effect on employment. The only crime committed in this instance is discrimination.

Human rights are violated when an undocumented immigrant—or someone perceived as an undocumented immigrant—who has not committed a crime is detained on a Greyhound bus. When a United States citizen is detained on the same bus, constitutional rights are being violated. The fact that this happens every day and that we debate its morality makes it abundantly clear that racism is deeply ingrained in this country. Many Americans who have never experienced this type of oppression lack the capacity to understand its lasting effect. Most Americans don’t know what it’s like to be late to work because they were wrongfully detained, were pulled over by the police for the third time that month for no legal reason, or had to coordinate legal representation for their U.S. citizen grandmother because she was taken off a bus for being a suspected undocumented immigrant. This oppression is cruel and unnecessary.

America doesn’t need a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants; it needs to seriously address how to deal with immigration. It is possible to reform the current system in such a way that anyone can become a member of American society, instead of existing outside of it. If a person wants to live in the United States and agrees to follow its laws and pay its taxes, a path to citizenship should be available.

People come to the U.S. from all over the world for many reasons. Some have no other choice. There are ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, and South America that are responsible for the influx of immigrants and asylum seekers at our borders. If the United States wants to address the current situation, it must acknowledge the global factors affecting the immigrants at the center of this debate and make fact-informed decisions. There is a way to maintain the security of America while treating migrants and refugees compassionately, to let those who wish to contribute to our society do so, and to offer a hand up instead of building a wall.

Daniel Fries studies computer science. Daniel has served as a wildland firefighter in Oregon, California, and Alaska. He is passionate about science, nature, and the ways that technology contributes to making the world a better, more empathetic, and safer place.

Powerful Voice Winner

Emma Hernandez-Sanchez

Wellness, Business and Sports School, Woodburn, Ore.

attention getter for immigration essay

An Emotion an Immigrant Knows Too Well

Before Donald Trump’s campaign, I was oblivious to my race and the idea of racism. As far as I knew, I was the same as everyone else. I didn’t stop to think about our different-colored skins. I lived in a house with a family and attended school five days a week just like everyone else. So, what made me different?

Seventh grade was a very stressful year—the year that race and racism made an appearance in my life. It was as if a cold splash of water woke me up and finally opened my eyes to what the world was saying. It was this year that Donald Trump started initiating change about who got the right to live in this country and who didn’t. There was a lot of talk about deportation, specifically for Mexicans, and it sparked commotion and fear in me.

I remember being afraid and nervous to go out. At home, the anxiety was there but always at the far back of my mind because I felt safe inside. My fear began as a small whisper, but every time I stepped out of my house, it got louder. I would have dreams about the deportation police coming to my school; when I went to places like the library, the park, the store, or the mall, I would pay attention to everyone and to my surroundings. In my head, I would always ask myself, “Did they give us nasty looks?,” “Why does it seem quieter?” “Was that a cop I just saw?” I would notice little things, like how there were only a few Mexicans out or how empty a store was. When my mom went grocery shopping, I would pray that she would be safe. I was born in America, and both my parents were legally documented. My mom was basically raised here. Still, I couldn’t help but feel nervous.

I knew I shouldn’t have been afraid, but with one look, agents could have automatically thought my family and I were undocumented. Even when the deportation police would figure out that we weren’t undocumented, they’d still figure out a way to deport us—at least that was what was going through my head. It got so bad that I didn’t even want to do the simplest things like go grocery shopping because there was a rumor that the week before a person was taken from Walmart.

I felt scared and nervous, and I wasn’t even undocumented. I can’t even imagine how people who are undocumented must have felt, how they feel. All I can think is that it’s probably ten times worse than what I was feeling. Always worrying about being deported and separated from your family must be hard. I was living in fear, and I didn’t even have it that bad. My heart goes out to families that get separated from each other. It’s because of those fears that I detest the “Constitution-free zone.”

Legally documented and undocumented people who live in the Constitution-free zone are in constant fear of being deported. People shouldn’t have to live this way. In fact, there have been arguments that the 100-mile zone violates the Fourth Amendment, which gives people the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld these practices.

One question that Lornet Turnbull asks in her YES! article “Two-Thirds of Americans Live in the ‘Constitution-Free Zone’” is, “How should we decide who is welcome in the U.S and who is not?” Instead of focusing on immigrants, how about we focus on the people who shoot up schools, rape girls, exploit women for human sex trafficking, and sell drugs? These are the people who make our country unsafe; they are the ones who shouldn’t be accepted. Even if they are citizens and have the legal right to live here, they still shouldn’t be included. If they are the ones making this country unsafe, then what gives them the right to live here?

I don’t think that the Constitution-free zone is an effective and justifiable way to make this country more “secure.” If someone isn’t causing any trouble in the United States and is just simply living their life, then they should be welcomed here. We shouldn’t have to live in fear that our rights will be taken away. I believe that it’s unfair for people to automatically think that it’s the Hispanics that make this country unsafe. Sure, get all the undocumented people out of the United States, but it’s not going to make this country any safer. It is a society that promotes violence that makes us unsafe, not a race.

Emma Hernandez-Sanchez is a freshman who is passionate about literature and her education. Emma wan ts to inspire others to be creative and try their best. She enjoys reading and creating stories that spark imagination. 

  Powerful Voice Winner

Tiara Lewis

Columbus City Preparatory Schools for Girls,

Columbus, Ohio

attention getter for immigration essay

Hold Your Head High and Keep Those Fists Down

How would you feel if you walked into a store and salespeople were staring at you? Making you feel like you didn’t belong. Judging you. Assuming that you were going to take something, even though you might have $1,000 on you to spend. Sometimes it doesn’t matter. This is because people will always judge you. It might not be because of your race but for random reasons, like because your hair is black instead of dirty blonde. Or because your hair is short and not long. Or just because they are having a bad day. People will always find ways to bring you down and accuse you of something, but that doesn’t mean you have to go along with it.

Every time I entered a store, I would change my entire personality. I would change the way I talked and the way I walked. I always saw myself as needing to fit in. If a store was all pink, like the store Justice, I would act like a girly girl. If I was shopping in a darker store, like Hot Topic, I would hum to the heavy metal songs and act more goth. I had no idea that I was feeding into stereotypes.

When I was 11, I walked into Claire’s, a well-known store at the mall. That day was my sister’s birthday. Both of us were really happy and had money to spend. As soon as we walked into the store, two employees stared me and my sister down, giving us cold looks. When we went to the cashier to buy some earrings, we thought everything was fine. However, when we walked out of the store, there was a policeman and security guards waiting. At that moment, my sister and I looked at one another, and I said, in a scared little girl voice, “I wonder what happened? Why are they here?”

Then, they stopped us. We didn’t know what was going on. The same employee that cashed us out was screaming as her eyes got big, “What did you steal?” I was starting to get numb. Me and my sister looked at each other and told the truth: “We didn’t steal anything. You can check us.” They rudely ripped through our bags and caused a big scene. My heart was pounding like a drum. I felt violated and scared. Then, the policeman said, “Come with us. We need to call your parents.” While this was happening, the employees were talking to each other, smiling. We got checked again. The police said that they were going to check the cameras, but after they were done searching us, they realized that we didn’t do anything wrong and let us go about our day.

Walking in the mall was embarrassing—everybody staring, looking, and whispering as we left the security office. This made me feel like I did something wrong while knowing I didn’t. We went back to the store to get our shopping bags. The employees sneered, “Don’t you niggers ever come in this store again. You people always take stuff. This time you just got lucky.” Their faces were red and frightening. It was almost like they were in a scary 3D movie, screaming, and coming right at us. I felt hurt and disappointed that someone had the power within them to say something so harsh and wrong to another person. Those employees’ exact words will forever be engraved in my memory.

In the article, “Two-Thirds of Americans Live in the ‘Constitution-Free Zone’,” Lornet Turnbull states, “In January, they stopped a man in Indio, California, as he was boarding a Los Angeles-bound bus. While questioning this man about his immigration status, agents told him his ‘shoes looked suspicious,’ like those of someone who had recently crossed the border.” They literally judged him by his shoes. They had no proof of anything. If a man is judged by his shoes, who else and what else are being judged in the world?

In the novel  To Kill a Mockingbird , a character named Atticus states, “You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let’em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.” No matter how much you might try to change yourself, your hairstyle, and your clothes, people will always make assumptions about you. However, you never need to change yourself to make a point or to feel like you fit in. Be yourself. Don’t let those stereotypes turn into facts.

Tiara Lewis is in the eighth grade. Tiara plays the clarinet and is trying to change the world— one essay at a time. She is most often found curled up on her bed, “Divergent” in one hand and a cream-filled doughnut in the other.

Hailee Park

 Wielding My Swords

If I were a swordsman, my weapons would be my identities. I would wield one sword in my left hand and another in my right. People expect me to use both fluently, but I’m not naturally ambidextrous. Even though I am a right-handed swordsman, wielding my dominant sword with ease, I must also carry a sword in my left, the heirloom of my family heritage. Although I try to live up to others’ expectations by using both swords, I may appear inexperienced while attempting to use my left. In some instances, my heirloom is mistaken for representing different families’ since the embellishments look similar.

Many assumptions are made about my heirloom sword based on its appearance, just as many assumptions are made about me based on my physical looks. “Are you Chinese?” When I respond with ‘no,’ they stare at me blankly in confusion. There is a multitude of Asian cultures in the United States, of which I am one. Despite what many others may assume, I am not Chinese; I am an American-born Korean.

“Then… are you Japanese?” Instead of asking a broader question, like “What is your ethnicity?,” they choose to ask a direct question. I reply that I am Korean. I like to think that this answers their question sufficiently; however, they think otherwise. Instead, I take this as their invitation to a duel.

They attack me with another question: “Are you from North Korea or South Korea?” I don’t know how to respond because I’m not from either of those countries; I was born in America. I respond with “South Korea,” where my parents are from because I assume that they’re asking me about my ethnicity. I’m not offended by this situation because I get asked these questions frequently. From this experience, I realize that people don’t know how to politely ask questions about identity to those unlike them. Instead of asking “What is your family’s ethnicity?,” many people use rude alternatives, such as “Where are you from?,” or “What language do you speak?”

When people ask these questions, they make assumptions based on someone’s appearance. In my case, people make inferences like:

“She must be really good at speaking Korean.”

“She’s Asian; therefore, she must be born in Asia.”

“She’s probably Chinese.”

These thoughts may appear in their heads because making assumptions is natural. However, there are instances when assumptions can be taken too far. Some U.S. Border Patrol agents in the “Constitution-free zone” have made similar assumptions based on skin color and clothing. For example, agents marked someone as an undocumented immigrant because “his shoes looked suspicious, like those of someone who had recently crossed the border.”

Another instance was when a Jamaican grandmother was forced off a bus when she was visiting her granddaughter. The impetus was her accent and the color of her skin. Government officials chose to act on their assumptions, even though they had no solid proof that the grandmother was an undocumented immigrant. These situations just touch the surface of the issue of racial injustice in America.

When someone makes unfair assumptions about me, they are pointing their sword and challenging me to a duel; I cannot refuse because I am already involved. It is not appropriate for anyone, including Border Patrol agents, to make unjustified assumptions or to act on those assumptions. Border Patrol agents have no right to confiscate the swords of the innocent solely based on their conjectures. The next time I’m faced with a situation where racially ignorant assumptions are made about me, I will refuse to surrender my sword, point it back at them, and triumphantly fight their ignorance with my cultural pride.

Hailee Park is an eighth grader who enjoys reading many genres. While reading, Hailee recognized the racial injustices against immigrants in America, which inspired her essay. Hailee plays violin in her school’s orchestra and listens to and composes music. 

Aminata Toure

East Harlem School, New York City, N.Y.

attention getter for immigration essay

We Are Still Dreaming

As a young Muslim American woman, I have been labeled things I am not: a terrorist, oppressed, and an ISIS supporter. I have been accused of planning 9/11, an event that happened before I was born. Lately, in the media, Muslims have been portrayed as supporters of a malevolent cause, terrorizing others just because they do not have the same beliefs. I often scoff at news reports that portray Muslims in such a light, just as I scoff at all names I’ve been labeled. They are words that do not define me. 

In a land where labels have stripped immigrants of their personalities, they are now being stripped of something that makes them human: their rights. The situation described in Lornet Turnbull’s article, “Two-Thirds of Americans are Living in the ‘Constitution-Free Zone’,” goes directly against the Constitution, the soul of this country, something that asserts that we are all equal before the law. If immigrants do not have protection from the Constitution, is there any way to feel safe?

Although most insults are easy to shrug off, they are still threatening. I am ashamed when I feel afraid to go to the mosque. Friday is an extremely special day when we gather together to pray, but lately, I haven’t been going to the mosque for Jummah prayers. I have realized that I can never feel safe when in a large group of Muslims because of the widespread hatred of Muslims in the United States, commonly referred to as Islamophobia. Police surround our mosque, and there are posters warning us about dangerous people who might attack our place of worship because we have been identified as terrorists.

I wish I could tune out every news report that blasts out the headline “Terrorist Attack!” because I know that I will be judged based on the actions of someone else. Despite this anti-Muslim racism, what I have learned from these insults is that I am proud of my faith. I am a Muslim, but being Muslim doesn’t define me. I am a writer, a student, a dreamer, a friend, a New Yorker, a helper, and an American. I am unapologetically me, a Muslim, and so much more. I definitely think everyone should get to know a Muslim. They would see that some of us are also Harry Potter fans, not just people planning to bomb the White House.

Labels are unjustly placed on us because of the way we speak, the color of our skin, and what we believe in—not for who we are as individuals. Instead, we should all take more time to get to know one another. As Martin Luther King Jr. said in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we should be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin. To me, it seems Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is a dream that should be a reality. But, for now, we are dreaming.

Aminata Toure is a Guinean American Muslim student. Aminata loves spoken-word poetry and performs in front of hundreds of people at her school’s annual poetry slam. She loves writing, language, history, and West African food and culture. Aminata wants to work at the United Nations when she grows up.

From the Author 

Dear Alessandra, Cain, Daniel, Tiara, Emma, Hailee, Aminata and Ethan,

I am moved and inspired by the thought each of you put into your responses to my story about this so-called “Constitution-free zone.” Whether we realize it or not, immigration in this country impacts all of us— either because we are immigrants ourselves, have neighbors, friends, and family who are, or because we depend on immigrants for many aspects of our lives—from the food we put on our tables to the technology that bewitches us. It is true that immigrants enrich our society in so many important ways, as many of you point out.

And while the federal statute that permits U.S. Border Patrol officers to stop and search at will any of the 200 million of us in this 100-mile shadow border, immigrants have been their biggest targets. In your essays, you highlight how unjust the law is—nothing short of racial profiling. It is heartening to see each of you, in your own way, speaking out against the unfairness of this practice.

Alessandra, you are correct, the immigration system in this country is in shambles. You make a powerful argument about how profiling ostracizes entire communities and how the warrantless searches allowed by this statute impede trust-building between law enforcement and the people they are called on to serve.

And Cain, you point out how this 100-mile zone, along with other laws in the state of Texas where you attended school, make people feel like they’re “always under surveillance, and that, at any moment, you may be pulled over to be questioned and detained.” It seems unimaginable that people live their lives this way, yet millions in this country do.

You, Emma, for example, speak of living in a kind of silent fear since Donald Trump took office, even though you were born in this country and your parents are here legally. You are right, “We shouldn’t have to live in fear that our rights will be taken away.”

And Aminata, you write of being constantly judged and labeled because you’re a Muslim American. How unfortunate and sad that in a country that generations of people fled to search for religious freedom, you are ashamed at times to practice your own. The Constitution-free zone, you write, “goes directly against the Constitution, the soul of this country, something that asserts that we are all equal before the law.”

Tiara, I could personally relate to your gripping account of being racially profiled and humiliated in a store. You were appalled that the Greyhound passenger in California was targeted by Border Patrol because they claimed his shoes looked like those of someone who had walked across the border: “If a man is judged by his shoes,” you ask, “who else and what else are getting judged in the world?”

Hailee, you write about the incorrect assumptions people make about you, an American born of Korean descent, based solely on your appearance and compared it to the assumptions Border Patrol agents make about those they detain in this zone.

Daniel, you speak of the role of political fearmongering in immigration. It’s not new, but under the current administration, turning immigrants into boogiemen for political gain is currency. You write that “For some politicians, it is easier to sell a border wall to a scared population than it is to explain the need for reformed immigration policy.”

And Ethan, you recognize the contributions immigrants make to this country through the connections we all make with them and the strength they bring to our society.

Keep speaking your truth. Use your words and status to call out injustice wherever and whenever you see it. Untold numbers of people spoke out against this practice by Border Patrol and brought pressure on Greyhound to change. In December, the company began offering passengers written guidance—in both Spanish and English—so they understand what their rights are when officers board their bus. Small steps, yes, but progress nonetheless, brought about by people just like you, speaking up for those who sometimes lack a voice to speak up for themselves.

With sincere gratitude,

Lornet Turnbull

attention getter for immigration essay

Lornet Turnbull is an editor for YES! and a Seattle-based freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter  @TurnbullL .

We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2019 Student Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we’d like to share some excerpts that caught our eye:

After my parents argued with the woman, they told me if you can fight with fists, you prove the other person’s point, but when you fight with the power of your words, you can have a much bigger impact. I also learned that I should never be ashamed of where I am from. —Fernando Flores, The East Harlem School, New York City, N.Y.

Just because we were born here and are privileged to the freedom of our country, we do not have the right to deprive others of a chance at success. —Avalyn Cox, Brier Terrace Middle School, Brier, Wash.

Maybe, rather than a wall, a better solution to our immigration problem would be a bridge. —Sean Dwyer, Lane Community College, Eugene, Ore.

If anything, what I’ve learned is that I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to change our world. I don’t know how to make a difference, how to make my voice heard. But I have learned the importance of one word, a simple two-letter word that’s taught to the youngest of us, a word we all know but never recognize: the significance of ‘we.’ —Enna Chiu, Highland Park High School, Highland Park, N.J.

Not to say the Border Patrol should not have authorization to search people within the border, but I am saying it should be near the border, more like one mile, not 100. —Cooper Tarbuck, Maranacook Middle School, Manchester, Maine.

My caramel color, my feminism, my Spanish and English language, my Mexican culture, and my young Latina self gives me the confidence to believe in myself, but it can also teach others that making wrong assumptions about someone because of their skin color, identity, culture, looks or gender can make them look and be weaker. —Ana Hernandez, The East Harlem School, New York City, N.Y.

We don’t need to change who we are to fit these stereotypes like someone going on a diet to fit into a new pair of pants. —Kaylee Meyers, Brier Terrace Middle School, Brier, Wash.

If a human being with no criminal background whatsoever has trouble entering the country because of the way he or she dresses or speaks, border protection degenerates into arbitrariness. —Jonas Schumacher, Heidelberg University of Education, Heidelberg, Germany

I believe that you should be able to travel freely throughout your own country without the constant fear of needing to prove that you belong here . —MacKenzie Morgan, Lincoln Middle School, Ypsilanti, Mich.

America is known as “the Land of Opportunity,” but this label is quickly disappearing. If we keep stopping those striving for a better life, then what will become of this country? —Ennyn Chiu, Highland Park Middle School, Highland Park, N.J.

The fact that two-thirds of the people in the U.S. are living in an area called the “Constitution-free zone” is appalling. Our Constitution was made to protect our rights as citizens, no matter where we are in the country. These systems that we are using to “secure” our country are failing, and we need to find a way to change them. —Isis Liaw, Brier Terrace Middle School, Brier, Wash.

I won’t let anyone, especially a man, tell me what I can do, because I am a strong Latina. I will represent where I come from, and I am proud to be Mexican. I will show others that looks can be deceiving. I will show others that even the weakest animal, a beautiful butterfly, is tough, and it will cross any border, no matter how challenging the journey may be. —Brittany Leal, The East Harlem School, New York City, N.Y.

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