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America: An Immigration Nation

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Approximately one million people immigrate to the United States each year. In Miami the issue of immigration hits close to home. A majority of MCDS's students and teachers are first and second generation immigrants and the rest realize that their ancestors did immigrate to America in one form or another. Therefore it is ironic that the response about immigration among students, even among first generation immigrants themselves, is rather apathetic. “I'm in this country and am an American citizen so I could care less,” states a first generation senior. Perhaps it isn't a lack of concern, but instead a lack of information. Jennifer sums up what seems to be the student body's mantra concerning immigration, “It's not that I don't care about immigration, it's just that I'm not educated enough about the different viewpoints and stances that there are so I don't have a very strong opinion.”

Among those who have strong views of immigration, the opinions vary. Some people focus upon the specifics of immigration. Ms. Borchers affirms her stance against the wet-foot dry foot policy, calling it “inhumane”. Others think of the issue in local terms. Ms. Figueroa states, “We should not focus on enforcing the boarders with new walls or more security, but rather on addressing the implications immigration and transiency has on the largest business in the United States, our education system.”

The more controversial matter is the topic of illegal immigrants. Opinions range from Mike's compassion, “Our economy relies on the cheap labor of illegal immigrants, but the harsh conditions and hiding forced upon them needs to be addressed,” to Ms. Lew's caution, “My concern about immigration - that all the illegal immigrants are benefitting from our services (medical, social security, etc.) that our children are going to lose because we've stretched the systems too far.” Controversy over illegal immigration is prevalent not only on the MCDS campus, but appears on a national level in presidential debates and civilian protests alike.

Despite the general student consensus, some avid students have expressed concern for the matter. Students share and oppose views that the adult population holds, proving that – however small a minority– politically aware teenagers exist. Hopefully, with the 2008 election approaching, more students will take an interest in such issues – especially a local issue such as immigration.




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