Migrating to the U.S. legally offers more

By Fatima Carrasco, Advocate Staff

There are laws in this country meant to protect us, defend us and, at times, accuse us.

Most laws apply to people differently depending on the circumstances at hand, which makes it difficult for me to say I don’t support the majority of illegal immigration.

Even though borders are man-made and not a God-given feature on earth, there are still laws preventing illegal immigration into the United States.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my dad was deported back to Mexico. He was gone for almost six months and made every attempt to return to his family that he loved.

Our family was devastated.

According to usa.gov, in order to acquire a green card or immigrant visa, someone must file an immigrant petition for you.

Once the petition is approved and there is a visa available in your category, you apply for either a green card or an immigrant visa.

Even though going through this process is difficult, if not impossible depending on the migrant’s country, I believe it is the correct way to enter the country.

Many people illegally migrate to the United States because some version of the “American Dream” still exists in parts of the world.

Enduring my father’s deportation process was the saddest and most painful experience ever.

At a young age during my father’s deportation ordeal, I understood that in order for him to come back and not be in any sort of trouble again he could not be in the country illegally.

In reality, there was no instant option for him to stay and do things the right way.

He has a family to maintain in America and money to send to Mexico, among other responsibilities that left him conflicted between doing the right thing — versus the necessary thing.

Years have passed and he is still not here legally and that burden brings him so many problems, both internally and externally — including things like not being able to exit the country to see his beloved parents or being able to get a safe job that will give him the security of having benefits.

On the other hand, when people migrate to the U.S. legally, they have a better opportunity to achieve their set goals.

Those people have the support of both the state and federal government, which offers them access to certain jobs that others cannot access.

In no uncertain terms, the life of an undocumented person is unjustly difficult and increasingly stressful.

Many immigrants, some children, have died in private American detention centers.

While living in this country they encounter the risk of deportation, which imprints devastating emotional consequences and lifelong scars.

Issues like these changes a person’s perspective because it makes them see the reality of life. It forces people to see, for some, the so-called “American dream” is not a real or tangible thing.

However, to be able to actually achieve all those goals you need the privilege being a legal immigrant will get you.

Not as privileged as the allegedly-native white man — but way better off than an illegal immigrant.