Abraham Elizondo

Professor Ramos

English 102

20 September 2019

Immigrants Lives Matter 

Being an Immigrant in the United States isn’t easy it involves being separated from family, financial struggles, and depression for example there are families being separated and children being caged like animals while all President Trump cares about is building a border wall, but what good is that really going to do? 

Since Trump was elected as the President of the United States in 2016 he has always talked about building a wall so that he can keep immigrants from migrating into the states. Earlier in the year ranging from 22 December 2018 to 15 Feburary 2019, trump enforced a government shutdown. He demanded the democrats to fund him money over $5.7 billion dollars for the border/wall. The democrats did not support Trump’s decision and there were employees that were not getting paid due to the government shutdown all because of the wall that Trump cares so much about. The government shutdown took a huge toll on the country and hundreds of thousands of employees left without a paycheck, leaving them with no money to support their own families. The government shutdown was only the beginning of a big controversey that would later take place in the year of 2019. Children are being separated from their families and are forced into shelters unwillingly while their parents are deported in front of them. Trump says that immigrants come into the country as criminals, but in reality all these immigrants want is a better opportunity, immigrants mean no harm all they have ever wanted to do is take care of their family and work hard for where they want to be in life. Trump announces that he will have a more strict policy for immigrantion calling it the “zero tolerance” policy, meaning that families could be separated and children would be separated from the adults, while the adults were taking somewhere else waiting to be prosecuted by the federal government. President trump is a liar about many  things but one thing he lied about that caught attention was about this policy he claims that the democrats were in charge and put full blame on them. Trump states “democrats need to be pressured to end a horrible law that separates children from their parents at U.S. borders”( Fiza Priani) . But the democrats countered Trump’s comment and claim that he is the one to blame for a “cruel new child separation policy”. But the blame isn’t the big issue the problem is that they are taking these children away from their parents and not being able to see them for a long time or however long it can be. Children shouldn’t be treated this way no matter what ethnicity they are, children are the future of the generations to come so should be treated with care. According to ACLU they sued the trump administration in federal court because of the cruel actions of separating children from their parents. Ever since this case on June 26 the U.S. district court judge by the name of Dana Sabraw ordered the government to return the children under five to their parents within 2 weeks and a month for the rest of the children. So since then the government has provided data stating that at least 2,654 immigrants were separated 125 of those children didn’t cross the border with any parents and have made a decision to stay in the country and stay in the shelter so that they can continue their lives in the united states. No one wants to be separated from their families but this has been going on for quite some time already and is only the beginning of something that can cause a huge destruction and emotionally stressing. 

Lots of immigrants that come into the United States illegally don’t start off with a golden opportunity they work for their success for example, I interviewed my parents about how they first came to the United States in 1987 they travelled hundreds of miles on foot to get to the border of Tijuana and california. They lived in the city of Los Angeles and both my mom and dad were in their early 20’s without a job or home. My mom mentioned that she was pregnant with her first child and didn’t have a place to stay because they were new to the country. My father later got a job at a factory in Los Angeles and was working hard labor for long hours to feed my pregnant mother. They struggled financially for years, after the birth of my mom’s first child they were all sleeping on the floor and had little to no money at times. They came by foot so they had no transportation and would have to walk everywhere, they had no home so they would sleep with some people that they met. They were always limited on food supply they would only eat “one tortilla with a chile” per day and my brother that was born would only drink water due to insignificant funds for milk. During the first years of being in the United States my mom and dad would both wake up early in the morning to pick food out of the trash in order to feed the kids and themselves. They would also pick cans from the trash and recycle them to get money for the day. There only help was from the churches because they would give them food and other supplies that they needed. My mom also mentioned that she would have to sell tamales on the street so that she could pay for my older brothers college. My mom later got a job at a factory for a while and would have to pay 60 dollars for a babysitter and would only make 80 dollars, she was only left with 20 dollars and that would barely be enough for food and necessatities for the family. At this time she was pregnant with her second child and even though she had a small job she couldn’t afford blankets so my brother got sick. This is only an example of how immigrants struggle financially when they first come from another country. 

Being away from family and feeling lonely can cause many things but depression is one of the very few that people don’t talk about. Immigrants are facing depression because of the language barrier, separation from family, and feeling loss. Depression can impact on immigrants lives and can affect their mental health, in a recent study it shows that “depressive symptoms were a significant problem; 26% of participants reported symptoms that were suggestive of depression”(Maren Coffman). Another study has interviewed 95 hispanic immigrants and have found that depression is a serious condition caused by interpersonal and social factors. People know that depression can happen to anybody and they treat it but for immigrants it is harder to treat because they don’t have the money for it or don’t have the insurance to cover it for them so they just deal with adversity and move forward. According to Amy Mccaig from the University of Rice has recently studied on 250 immigrants and has found that 23 percent of the participants met the criteria of having a mental disorder (depression). They also reported that 7 percent of the U.S. people suffer with major depression, but this is still less than the percentage undocumented immigrants suffering from the same disorder. Immigrants face depression they have legal issues they have to worry about, hazards of migration and many more issues that they face coming into a new country. Most immigrants try to deal with the depression on their own and don’t seek medical attention but this can be harmful towards their mental health in the future. I understand that they stress out about their papers and miss their families from home but in order to become successful they know it takes sacrifice. So even though they deal with anxiety, stress, and pressure they have to continue living under the shadows of all the U.S. population. pressure they have to continue living under the shadows of all the U.S. population. According to beyond borders they claim that a U.S. study found that young Mexicans who migrate to the US are four times more likely to experience depression than their friends and family who stay at home. Also nine out of 10 Central American migrants at clinics in Mexico were facing symptoms of depression. Not only do new migrating immigrants face depression but they actually face a variety of stressors like getting used to the environment is already hard enough because they have to get used to everything that is new to them from language, jobs, culture, and interactions with US citizens. Not to mention what depression does to the young children that see their parents get deported. A U.S. citizen kid from East Los Angeles mentions that he worried about his mother being deported and it caused him anxiety and stress because he was protective towards his mother and was all he had. Just imagine being a 9 year old kid and your worries were if you were going to see your mom again. Wouldn’t that hurt? Many people don’t realize what they are doing to these kids and families, they are tearing them apart and giving them long term depression and anxiety. A study has shown that kids that face parents being taken away from them lead to substance misuse and this is all because of the system labeling immigrants as criminals and seeing them as “illegal aliens”(Leopoldo Cabassa).

Therefore we have to be better people and show the next generation not to hate but to help out those in need. No one wants to go through losing the people they love but recently Immigrants have been going through this. They might not be able to protect themselves and they can’t do too much to fight, but we CAN, why us ? because we actually have rights and can stand for something. So, I have come up with some solutions to take action. First off we have our rights to vote for whoever we want, so how about we start voting or work towards impeaching Trump. Now I know this won’t happen overnight but we as the people who oppose deportation and family separation should take action by being a voice for those immigrants and voting for the right president and helping those families if we know any. The other thing we can do is educate those who are stuck in the middle of deciding weather who they should vote for. And also be apart of the community and volunteer for campaigns that stand with Immigrants, we can also support Immigrants by giving them food, water, or shelter (if able). Overall, I stand with Immigrants and I don’t think it’s fair what they are going through, but hopefully we can stand strong for them and make a difference. 

Works Cited

Cabassa, Leopoldo. It’s like being in a labyrinth hispanic Immigrants Perceptions of depression and Attitude toward treatments. Journal of Immigrant and minority health. 2007. August 8 2019. 

Coffman, Maren. Demands of immigration, health literacy, and depression in recent latino immigrants. Home health care management and practice. 2010. August 8 2019. 

Pirani, Fiza. Family Separation. The Atlanta Journal- Constitution. Jan 25 2019. Acj.com. August 8 2019.

Valverde, Miriam. What you need to know about the trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy. Politifact. June 6 2018. Politifact.com. August 8 2019.