A class of fifth-grade students decided to use their writing assignment as a way to reach out to President Trump. A common theme among every letter was empathy. No, these students are not political experts (yet), but their views remind us what's lacking in the political world: simply acting on what's right. Below are the eleven letters:
The simple truth behind the Syrian refugee crisis:
Dear Mr. Trump,
You might think that Muslims are bad people, but I think Muslims are good people. You need to let all the immigrants into the country. I think refugees are dying in Syria because you are not letting people in from Syria, and they want to go to America. They want to get money and have a better life in America, and they want a really good job. Also, immigrants want to have human rights. Immigrants are good people, too.
Listen, Mr. Trump, let all immigrants into the country. Millions of people are forced to leave the country. Also, many of the Syrian refugees left their country to get away from the extremist group. Another reason: There are about 10,000 people in the U.S who had to leave Syria because of the war and Syria became unsafe. Families end up in camps for people forced out of their homes. They live in tents in the desert for a few days. Camp guards do not let the families leave, so they need to escape. It is very dangerous in the Middle East.
An economic perspective:
Dear Donald Trump,
Have you ever thought what would happen when you build the wall? Donald Trump, stop building the wall. Here are my reasons why: The wall is not going to work, we should let Mexicans in, and finally, where on earth is the money to build the wall?
You need to stop building the wall because it is not going to work. I found evidence for my opinion in an article called Why Trump’s Wall with Mexico is So Popular and Why it Won’t Work. First, you say that the money that is going to be spent on the wall will be paid back by Mexico, but Mexico is not going to pay the United States back according to the president of Mexico, so the wall won’t work. Also, if you build the wall, Mexicans might dig a tunnel in the border with Mexico and the United States. Furthermore, it “may result in wasted resources and lost opportunities for the United States.” Do you think that’s fair to your people?
The second reason that you shouldn’t build the wall is that you need to let Mexicans in. I found evidence for my reason on NewsELA. Some Mexican kids can have a better future and education in the United States. Also, Mexicans can get a job in the United States and earn money with their jobs. Finally, if they can have better water and not get sick from the water of Mexico, they will not die.
My final reason is where on earth is the money to build the wall? This is the evidence I found in the article called How a Border Wall Would Hurt U.S. Economy. Donald Trump, we should not waste our money in building the wall. You are going to use the money that people pay in taxes and use it in the wall building. Each day, the United States will need to pay more than 20 billion dollars to build the wall. This matters because 20 billion dollars is a lot of money just to build the wall.
In conclusion, you should stop building the wall, Donald Trump. Please stop building the wall because Mexico is not going to pay back, Mexicans should be allowed to come in, and finally, we are not going to spend our tax money on the wall. This is why I think that you should stop building the wall.
From a young humanitarian:
Dear Donald Trump,
You and some of the voters that you have say that it is fair that we shouldn't have immigrants here, but I think we should, because not all are bad - most are good. Also, what if they wanted to explore more of the world here? Furthermore, the Mexicans shouldn't be paying a lot of money for the wall and the material of the wall. The wall is a bad idea for immigrants, and I think this because I want everyone to feel welcome here.
My first reason relates to the wall, and my reasons are because you said this: “My wall will cost about $24 billion” (Building Trump’s Wall? 6 Things to know about the US-Mexico Border). Additionally Mexico doesn’t have much money to spare, especially $24 billion. Also, you said, “It will cost the average of nearly $4 MILLION PER MILE,” and you promised “it will be paid by Mexico.” I got this from a news article, and no, it’s not fake news because you said it yourself! Furthermore, you also said on the news, “The border will run about 1,900 miles from the Pacific ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.” This will be very expensive to build.
My second reason that immigrants should be allowed to come here is because not all immigrants are bad - most are good, and plus, it's not that hard. They can easily get background checks and pat downs, go through security, and check their bags. I can think of much, much more reasons why it would be easy. There is airport security everywhere. Also, you can even have all the security line up and have four different securities to quickly check them.
Another reason is that what if the immigrants wanted to come here because they never have? What if they have been waiting their whole life to come to the USA? It wouldn't be fair to stop them. Or, what if one of their family members are here and they are dying? That means they can never see them before that person actually dies.
My next reason that the wall is a bad idea is because, “It will create more dangerous conditions for immigrants who do cross the border and won't eliminate or reduce undocumented immigration” (Building Trump’s Wall? 6 Things to know about the US-Mexico Border). Plus, if they can dig holes now, then they will be able to dig holes when you actually build the wall. Just because they are Mexican doesn't mean they are not intelligent.
Also, you spoke about the material of the wall, saying, “Some people are talking about a solid metal wall.” You also said, “The wall will be 18 feet high with steel bollards or pickets. Plus, secondary fencing and that will be 15 feet high.” You said it yourself that the wall will be “either be steel mesh or barbed wire.” This is a waste of materials, and it is also a waste of money for a wall that Mexico will not even pay us back for.
In conclusion, this is why I think you shouldn't build the wall. Here are my reasons once again: First, the Mexicans shouldn't be paying a lot of money for the wall. Also, the material of the wall, and the wall itself, is a bad idea for immigrants. I wouldn't build the wall because you know that Mexico will never pay for it, and you know that because the president of Mexico even told you that.
Also, here are some questions that I wanted to know the answers to. Can you write me back, please?
Question 1: Why did you say you didn't know Putin during your campaign, and then after you won you said, “I know Putin, he is one of my best friends?” (You didn't say it exactly like that, but almost like that.)
Question 2: Why don’t you like immigrants? Not all are bad. To be honest, most are good.
Regarding basic moral values:
Dear President Donald J. Trump,
Have you ever thought that the Muslims are innocent? Also, have you ever thought that you’re not caring about other people, and only yourself instead? Let me get this straight, Donald J. Trump. Here is my first reason why they should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S.: They come here because they want safety. Second, they want to show that they are innocent. Third, they also want freedom. There are also some other reasons, Trump. For example, Muslims are in control of what they do. Also, all you worry about is money and your career. Plus, it isn't fair that kids as young as 1 year old are dying because they don't have what they need to grow up.
Some people are dying because of the ban you made. One news article (Syrian refugees among few to find a happy ending in Chicago) said that, “Fatima and Fadi Adris were living happily in homes in Syria’s third-largest city. They made a good home for themselves. Fadi Adris worked as a painter. And Fatima went to school to learn English. In 2011, that all ended. They were sitting in their house when a bomb destroyed it, said Fadi Adris. The family fled to Damascus, the capital of Syria, about 100 miles south. Within five months, war caught up to them.” That is when some of the people that live in that country and the people that live in the U.S but care for that country were really scared so they wanted to help them. Thirty-one U.S. governors said they will allow Syrian refugees into their states. These governors are the top leaders of their states.
So this is why you should stop this ban. I will like it if you do that. Also, why do you think you're the smartest in the room?
The rationale that should be behind immigration policies:
Dear Donald Trump,
Imagine families all happy and adventurous. Until one day, someone took a family member away. Their kids are scared. Will the family member come back? This is what so many people - immigrants - are feeling right now. They have always been with their loved ones, but one day, you think you will never see them again.
People are already trying to change their lives, willing to take the risk to get food, money, clothes and more. Here are three reason why I think immigrants should not be deported. One reason is that it is not safe where they live. For example, in Syria, there is a war going on. Millions of people basically have been forced to leave the country because the war has been going on since 2011. Mostly all of those millions of people are still fighting to have a safe place to stay with their families. Also, ¨Wall wall wall wall.¨ That's the only thing I hear these days. The wall has been a horrible thing in most peoples’ lives. The wall will cost 25 billion dollars to build. To keep the wall where it already is, it will cost 2 billion dollars every year.
Do immigrants all have the right to feel safe? The answer is YES! Muslims and Hispanics are not bad. For example, just think about the story of Malala. She did so much for the girls’ rights for going to school. She changed something that could last a lifetime, and she is Muslim.
On the economic efficacy of “the wall”:
Dear Donald Trump,
You should let more immigrants into America. Immigrants come here to work and to get a better education for their kids. Also, the more immigrants that work, the more tax dollars that the U.S. will get. Finally, you should be more respectful to people instead of being racist. People are all the same, including immigrants. Not only immigrants, you should be nice to people all over the world. A way to do that is to not build the wall.
First, building a wall between our two countries would hurt the U.S. economy. This is because in a day, two-way trades make billions of dollars. There are also other prohibitions, such as a decades-old treaty with Mexico that bans any barriers from blocking the flow of rivers. If you block these rivers, that goes against the treaty.
According to an article I read, “The executive order calls for, within 180 days, a study assessing southern border security, the geophysical and topographical aspects, and the availability of federal and state resources.” You originally said your wall would cost about $8 to $12 million. But other cost estimates have run much higher. As a rough comparison, when the existing border barrier was built, it cost average nearly $4 million per mile, according to the government. You need to have more accountability in your office about the truth of these costs.
Measuring campaign promises against reality:
Dear Donald Trump,
I am hoping to change your mind about letting immigrants into the U.S. because they can help our country be a better place. They don't have homes or food or clothes in their home countries. That's why they come here - to get a better life and start over. If you were an immigrant, you would do the same thing to get a better life.
Why am I writing this? Because it's not fair to them to be banned from our country. Some people don't like you because you don't let them in. Some immigrants are not bad, and they may have kids or they may be hungry or poor. The parents want their kids to get a better life in the U.S. Mr. Trump, you said you are going to make us great again. But if we don’t help the immigrants, are you doing that?
I think you are going to make things worse. Mr. Trump, don't build the wall, because the Mexicans need food to survive and their kids need food to survive, too. You will lose good workers and money. Mexicans are losing their jobs in Mexico, so they should be able to come here for help. Also, 6 million U.S. jobs are tied in with trade with Mexico.
We have a global responsibility to consider the quality of life of all:
Dear Donald Trump,
You should cancel building the wall because people should be able to come to America to get a better life. They also come to the U.S. for safety. Another point is the wall will cost too much money and take too much time.
In El Salvador, there are a lot of gangs, so people should be able to come to the United States to be more safe. Also in El Salvador, when you work, you do not get much money, but in the U.S., you get more money than in El Salvador. That is why you shouldn't build a wall - workers can get more money here to live safely.
Also, the wall costs too much money. The cost of the wall is 25 billion dollars. The cost of maintaining it is 2 billion dollars a day. Do you really expect Mexico to pay for it (These economist just proved why Donald Trump wall won’t help U.S. workers)?
Finally, if people can’t come to the United States from other countries, people will have a worse quality of life. People in El Salvador have to go to lakes to take showers. Here, they don’t have to do that.
Reasonable thoughts on gaining perspective:
Dear Donald Trump,
Do NOT build the wall. Stopping immigration is not a good idea. Muslims aren't always “bad” - some Muslims help. Also, the wall makes the problem worse. Immigrants have family - imagine having to leave them. I respectfully disagree with your decisions about the wall and not letting Muslims into the country. Just to assure you some Muslims are really good people and that not all of them are bad, an example is Malala. Malala helped people around the world. Guess what? She´s Muslim. Also, not to be rude, but you should really be nice to the Muslims, because you don't actually know them. I understand that you want to protect our country, but not letting GOOD Muslims in is not the way to resolve problems.
The wall is a sign of discrimination. It’s blocking people from coming into the country. Even though I am just one girl that is trying to make her president believe her, my reasons are actually really reasonable, so I guess you can use my reasons to fix your decisions. Mexicans aren't terrorists or bad people. They actually make our clothing sometimes. Blocking people from our country isn't making it better, it´s making it worse. First of all, people have feelings. Second, the U.S. actually has good jobs, but on the other hand, Mexico does not have good quality of jobs. All the Mexicans want is to have some money to feed their families. Let's say this was you in their situation, and you didn't have money to feed your family and a country was blocking you from coming to the place where you could get money to feed them. NOBODY WOULD LIKE THAT.
The immigration policy isn't a good idea for everyone. Deporting people is very hard for their families, kids, and everyone they know. Sometimes, immigrants get deported for no reason. I am not saying you should stop deportation, but it's just such a hurtful thing to do. President Trump, sometimes, you should think through your decisions and respect how people’s feelings can be affected by them. You do have feelings, right? Of course you do, so remember how hard it will be for people to be deported. Just remember, what if it was you in the immigrants’ shoes? Of course you wouldn't like that experience. So, therefore, just get those facts straight. In your speech, you said that you were only going to deport the people that committed crimes. Is that right? Well, I think if that's what you would do, that’s okay, but then you also said that you were going to deport immigrants only because they are part of the Hispanic community. Just because we’re Hispanic doesn’t mean we’re bad. So, the feelings of the person who is an immigrant are what actually is most important for the person.
In closing, think through your ideas before doing it. Like they say, “Think before you say it or do it.” Sir, with all due respect, I think you shouldn’t do the wall. Also I know you have Muslim friends and do not deny it--what about their families? Let the innocent people in. They are not bad! Like I said I might just want to convince you about not doing something but my reasons are very reasonable, you have to admit.
Remembering why we call American the land of opportunity:
Dear Donald Trump,
Do you think you should build the wall in Mexico? I think you shouldn’t build the wall because people wouldn’t be able to see their families. They wouldn’t be able to see their families because people don’t have money to buy a ticket for a flight. They can take that train and go, but if you build the wall, people won’t be able to go to the United States to see their families if they don't have the money.
You shouldn’t build the wall because some kids want to go to the U.S. to get a better education, but if you build the wall, it’s going to be hard for them to get a better education. There are more opportunities for jobs in the U.S., and they pay better. And you will make people feel sad because you will take their families away with your plan to clear the United States of all undocumented immigrants.
Another problem with your plans with the wall is that there are also other prohibitions for it in the first place, such as a decades-old treaty with Mexico that bans any barriers from blocking the flow of rivers. “The United States and its allies could not easily ask for support from countries whose citizens they excluded on racial grounds. Building walls rarely has achieved its intended effect, and may result in wasted resources and lost opportunities for the United States.”
The importance of thinking about our actions:
Dear Donald Trump,
Do you know the consequences that will happen if you send immigrants back to their countries? Immigrants are the people who work very much to come here, and you are just sending them back and that is very wrong. What would you do if you were taken away from your family and didn’t have anything to do because mostly our parents help us accomplish our goals in life? Immigrants want to have a better life for their children, and the immigrants right now are trying to make a better life for their children and themselves but what you are doing is stopping them. Maybe there will be a war or a march all the way to the White House and people yelling. Just pause and think of what you are doing. It’s not too late to undo everything. Like you said, “Make America Great Again,” but is this the way to make this happen? Think of all the people and not just yourself. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
Another reason you shouldn’t send immigrants back to their home countries is because immigrants wanted to come to America because they wanted to explore a new place. They traveled so far to get here and now you’re sending them away back to what? They worked so hard to get here. Most of the population is scared and trying to get papers and stuff like that. Also, what was the purpose of all of this? Why are you doing this? Did something happen with the whole world that now you want to make them suffer?
Think about the stuff that you are doing right now as president.