If You Don't See Anything Wrong With How America Is Treating Immigrant Children, You're Part Of The Problem

If You Don't See Anything Wrong With How America Is Treating Immigrant Children, You're Part Of The Problem

The time is now to make a change before we truly end up in the upside down... and can't get out.

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Since the beginning of Trump's presidency, immigration has been at the forefront of many political debates.

Even though Trump's own family has immigrant ties (hello, Melania) and yes, every single non-Native American citizen living in the United States at this very moment in time has immigrant ancestors, people still feel the need to look down on those who continue to pursue their dreams of freedom and safety in the "land of the free."

But, of course, the "land of the free" only means land occupied by white people. The same people that go to Bel Air Cantina for $2 tacos every Tuesday are the heartless monsters that find nothing wrong with ripping children away from their parents just because they want a better life for the next generation. The same people that spend millions of dollars on Ancestry.com to see what European nation their ancestors came from feel as if they have a right to choose who can and can not enter the country built on immigrants' backs.

In every social studies class I've ever had, we also take time out of the year to talk about the Holocaust. We read books and watch movies on the same historical tragedy (that really did happen, contrary to some people's beliefs) over and over, and still, people can't see that's exactly what our own country is reverting back to.

At one point in time, people lauded the "melting pot" of America. The main attraction toward the U.S. was that it is so culturally diverse and representative of so many different people. But now, that attitude has changed... for the worse.

If seeing a photo like the one above, a young girl screaming for her mother in front of a police car, does nothing to invoke passion and outrage in every single American citizen, then there is no hope for our country. We've already gone far enough down the rabbit hole that it will take years upon years to recover from such an awful era.

Cover Image Credit:

The Telegraph

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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I Went To The USA's Southern Border

Newspaper after newspaper talk of our southern border's security crisis, but what is it like to see for yourself? With a team of students by my side, I went to find out.

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On Friday, the 15 of February 2019, President Donald Trump of the United States of America declared a national emergency in El Paso, Texas to free up government funds for the ever-prominent border wall. Trump cited the current situation in El Paso as well as his rally, which led him to make this controversial move.

Members of the Republican and Democratic parties alike have deemed this decision as an inequitable use of power, hence the extensive controversy that has surrounded the issue in the time following the event. According to the El Paso Times, Trump demanded about $5.7 billion USD for the construction of a wall on the border, claiming that "'We're going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border, and we're going to do it one way or another.'"

However, my friends, how do we know that this is the right way to confront the security plights plaguing our border? Perhaps one source may say that we are making the correct decision, but others might say otherwise. As the Chinese proverb says, "There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth." We know only the knowledge that is passed down to us through a series of journalists and reporters vying for the public's attention, and they can only tell us so much of what they see and hear- and from their eyes only.

The closest one can ever come to a situation's truth is to see it for themselves, however. My private high school recently made the decision to utilize the resources that fortune has presented us with to take a group of students into the 'belly of the beast'- El Paso, Texas. The home of the Mexico-USA border, and home of today's turmoil.

The Journey's Roadmap

Upon hearing of this golden opportunity, I eagerly signed the necessary papers to participate in this enthralling experience. 23 students in total were selected from the interested student body, with the resulting group being mainly comprised of 11th-grade students, with a few 10th graders (Me!) and 9th graders mixed in. The trip's itinerary provided a diverse assemblage of volunteering opportunities aiding immigrants in the process of seeking asylum, as well as educational presentations on the topic of immigration.

Through this, not only was I able to verify and disprove some previously reported "facts" on the immigration issues facing our country today through the informational presentations and experiences that I participated in, but I was able to see the arguably equally significant side of the situation- the human side. Facts, figures, and statistics can make for article after article, and breakthrough after breakthrough- but just as well, the face of a despaired, sobbing child separated from his or her parent can speak volumes not to our minds- but our hearts.

At The Fence

Many groups of El Paso citizens attended Trump's previously mentioned rally pertaining to the wall's construction, one of which was a particularly pertinent posse- the U.S. Border Patrol. While this gives many readers and viewers of the daily news the impression that our security is in absolute favor of the wall's construction, I heard what they truly believed- straight from the source themselves.

I spoke with one officer in particular, yet for the sake of his privacy, I will address him by his surname- Martinez. Martinez stated that in New York City, which has a land area of 302.6 miles squared, there are a total of 38,422 police officers. He went on to say, "We cover about 125,000 square miles of land out here, and at the moment, we only have 1800 officers on this." In other words, considering the sheer land mass and the amount of danger presented in the land the border patrol officers currently cover, they are severely understaffed- which can especially be seen when comparing the ratio of officers to square miles of land in New York City to that of El Paso.

According to Martinez, the current fence on the southern border is made of 18-foot high steel pillars, built with reinforced concrete for strength and structural integrity. Currently, the fence does not go all the way around the border, however, Martinez stated. When prompted if the fence has proved to be helpful thus far, Martinez and his co-workers explained that while the fence fails to keep a lot of people and contraband out of the country, it is quite helpful to keep out one thing in specific- vehicles.

Vehicles had previously been utilized in the transportation of large groups of people, drugs, and other forms of potentially hazardous contraband. However, the fence has been a major aid in the prevention of such vehicles from entering, thus making the job of border patrol officers like Martinez a bit easier.

In addition, Martinez stated that the fence has succeeded in slowing down the entrance of people and goods in general, acting as a sort of troublesome obstacle to hinder the speed of those attempting to illegally enter. However, that is not to say that a fence or wall is the proper solution to the current border crisis. According to the border patrol officers we spoke with, it is not to be known as an end-all solution, or a foolproof way to impact the flow of illegal immigrants, but simply as an obstacle designed to give the border patrol teams more response time, therefore making it slightly easier to apprehend the immigrants in question.

However, while this is all perfectly beneficial for keeping out contraband and/or dangerous men and women, what about those who are simply seeking asylum from a home of peril and fear? Those who want nothing more than a chance at a better life for them and their loved ones? According to Martinez once again, in the past few years, one amount has spiked in particular- the number of families trying to enter the United States of America.

In other words, America, a fence can only do so much to keep danger at bay. We aim to divide our people from danger...but at the cost of dividing our people from theirs?

There's plenty more to this story, dear readers. Look out for Part 2 to see what else is truly happening at America's southern border. Thank you for reading!

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