Many Americans take pride in the United States for being culturally diverse, yet, at the same time, many of those same Americans also place an expectation on immigrants to assimilate. This process of assimilation varies throughout each geographical region and through each individual groups of ethnicity and involves many challenges. For instance, Antonio Vargas, a New York Times writer, was raised and educated in the United States. He, like many other American students, enjoyed American pastimes and cultural activities. But because of his undocumented status, he wasn’t able to obtain a driver’s license and lived in constant fear of being discovered (My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant). He, like other undocumented student activists, have begun to shed light on their immigration status. Recently, we have been experiencing a movement led by undocumented students that includes events like the “Coming-Out Event” in Orange County in the spring of 2011 (Coming Out “Undocumented”). These individuals feel cheated out of the American dream. Many have grown up culturally American and identify as American, but because of one detail that they do not have control over, their documentation status, they cannot participate as full members of society. In other words, they are being punished for their parents’ or guardians’ choice of bringing them to the United States.
I agree that the United States must act in its best interest, but is denying these students a chance to receive an education and become law-abiding citizens in our best interest? We cannot enforce a mass deportation of this group— that would be not only morally corrupt, but impractical and costly, too. Approving bills such as the Dream Act would become a long-term investment because we would be creating a more educated and larger workforce and therefore stimulate the economy. The United States cannot continue to ignore the needs of these students. Many have complied and have assimilated, and the United States should allow them to become contributing members of society in order to progress into a better tomorrow for our immigrant populations.