Undocumented and Unheard

Many who pass through the borderland find themselves in small towns outside of major cities such as Tornillo.

Jozlynn Magallanez

Many who pass through the borderland find themselves in small towns outside of major cities such as Tornillo.

Jozlynn Magallanez, Commentary Editor

The conversation on illegal immigration is a constant with recent controversy and policy changes. With 4.1 million immigrants in Texas, many Texans have a relationship to immigrants due to them occupying a good portion of our population. Whether it be in school, at work, or just a neighbor, Texans interact, both positively and negatively, with immigrants every day. Students and staff alike are affected by the influx of immigrants as residents so close to the US-Mexico Border. The question goes beyond those alien to our country but those who live within it. What are we doing? What can we do? What are we going to do?

“The United States of America should never be the reason that children are separated from their families. Period. I know there are many things going on at the border and many things the public does not know or see, however I still believe we should always keep children with their parents.” said BHS ESL teacher, Kathy D’Amico referencing the events that took place this June in border cities throughout the country.

A developed nation holding great influence and prosperity is not expected to do outright harm. A nation with such pride is not expected to be dehumanizing. A nation like the United States of America is so much more than detainment and destruction; it is a land of fairytale lives and ambition. One that should not be responsible for pain.

“I think there are legal and moral issues surrounding undocumented immigrants. The fear of the “criminal”, the anger at the “leech” and other such stereotypes often drive nativist feelings among our population. Whether these fears are realistic or not, is another issue entirely,” said football coach, and US History Teacher, Caleb McCreary.

The negative view and generalization of all immigrants is escalating as the political climate polarizes and grows more and more tense. History repeats itself, and the gross misconduct and biases of the public are a part of that history. The time is now to make a stronger tomorrow. With ProjectELL assisting in the management of English Language Learners’ accommodations, new hires being required to have ESL supplemental certification within a year, and the district plan to eventually make having an ESL certification mandatory for all employees, Bastrop High School is taking on that tomorrow headstrong.

Going forward, I believe we should make pathways to citizenship for people who are willing, and show that consistently, to learn the language, work at something making an honest living, and contribute to American society in some way. I know students who are “Dreamers” doing great things in this country, yet their “American Dream” is still up for grabs because the US has not officially given them a path to citizenship. I think that is extremely sad because there are people who were born here doing nothing with that opportunity and we have people who want to be here so badly and we are refusing to help them. It makes no sense,” said D’Amico. “I have always had these questions for myself: What makes me special? Why was I born in a free country like the US? It could have been me or you. We could have been born into poverty and violence just as easily as the people coming here now.”

America is a growing nation, evolving at every moment. With growth comes acceptance of change and progressive revision instead of fighting against the current. The fear of change today does not have to be that of our predecessors. To restore greatness, it is necessary to go beyond ourselves and think of what the true meaning of success is and what we must do to get there.