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The immigration problem in America has been dividing the document and undocumented people, in the book Just Like Us, by Helen Thorpe, she tells the story of four Mexican – American girls who live in Denver Colorado. Marisela and Yadira, were born in Mexico and are undocumented while Clara was born in Mexico too it is a permanent resident, and Elissa is a U.S citizen. They are best friend and their relationship it is not affected by their immigration status until they graduated from high school and they have to face the challenge of looking for new ways to pay for their college education.
Undocumented adolescents graduating from high school don’t have many opportunities to get scholarships and to go to college. Most of them end up working with a fake Social Security Card with a minimum wage.
In the congress exist some oppressors of undocumented people like Tom Tancredo, who are the kind of people whose heritage comes from another country, but who have just forgotten where they came from, and become radical people who think that every undocumented person is a killer, a negative person for the American society.
On the other hand, we have Major John Hickenlooper, who was trying to help undocumented immigrants giving them some opportunities to keep growing. The girl’s point of view about world and each other comes to play when they are trying to obtain a scholarship. Because of competitiveness to obtain a scholarship, the girl’s relationship changes. At the end they graduated and achieved their degree.
Clara becomes a U.S. citizen. Marisela and Yadira were able to apply for the DREAM Act, so they legal. Elissa was unemployed, and Marisela would be a mom! As the girls become of aware of their legal status Immigration Policy, have affected not only the girl’s relationship with each other. But for all other illegal was well. Because of our Immigration policy, many Immigrants have more problems in achieve their dreams.
Therefore, we must change our Immigration policy so that it will not make it difficult for young immigrants from getting a good education, changing our perception of young illegal immigrants and how young undocumented view themselves. Undocumented students as Marisela and Yadira struggle to be seen for who they really are and not to be just treated like criminals; they just need to be given opportunities to show what they can do for this country, like Clara and Elissa. One area that Thorpe presents to us is that not everyone gets to have a college education and is able to afford it, whereas every American citizen is able to go their college because they have a Social Security card and can afford it. Undocumented students like Marisela and Yadira don’t have a Social Security card and they have give up on their dreams of going to college. The process of the undocumented students going to college is that they have to apply for scholarship as international students, so they require more money than a citizen or resident. Yadira got into Colorado College. “They accepted me, but they didn’t offer me any money. So it’ s like, if you have $37,000 lying around, you can come here” (Thorpe 60).
This was a big reason for Yadira to forget definitively this scholarship, but she didn’t give up. She struggle and she is close to getting one before Marisela, because “Each year, about fifty thousand undocumented immigrants graduate from high school in the United States.” (Thorpe 60) And to be honest it is a shame that from this enormous number just a few can get into a college, every immigrant graduate from high school should be able to reach higher education, because everybody en in the world has this right and the people in charge of undocumented students is Senate Committee, they should help these adolescents. As an example of how difficult it is for undocumented students to get on education is the story about Marisela and Yadira. They had completed applications to University of Denver, and had gone to the campus for hastily arranged interviews. It was really tough for them, because they were both fighting for one scholarship. Yadira won it, because she pursued her dream and than her best friend Marisela. To know that she got the scholarship Yadira called the University while Marisela watched her friend’s face as she spoke to the woman. Yadira looked back to Marisela the whole time, and she asked: “You got it, huh? Yadira hung up the phone. “Yeah,” Yadira replied, she was crying (Thorpe 80). Marisela has to deal with this pain inside on her, because she was happy that her best friend got this triumph, but this means that she will not get this scholarship. As we can tell the process of obtaining a good education is really hard for undocumented people, it makes it even harder to compete against someone you know.
Hard moments like this makes it difficult for undocumented adolescents has to deal with in obtain a good education. Another topic that Thorpe presents is the difficulty of changing people’s points of view. In fact, when congress is debating why immigrants come to America illegally, should they receive citizenship? Luke is a really close friend of the girls at Denver University. In the story represents people who are conservative view and very narrow mind. In particular instance, Luke express that opinion when he said: “I don’t agree with giving them all citizenship…why even have immigration law if you just let everybody in!” (Thorpe 250) This is the reason why Marisela manifest not to be so close to him anymore. He is a great person, but his ignorance takes Marisela away from him. Luke didn’t care about their ethnicity, however he didn’t know where are they from, and with his comments were hurting Marisela and Yadira feelings, this is the reason why they never were really honest with him, and hide most of their lives. Most conservative talks about undocumented immigrants come to affect the American economy, avoiding taxes, free loaders, public schools, and food stamps. And also Conservatives thinks that most of the illegal are criminals.
The issue of welfare is one point where we see the conservative viewpoint “They go to San Francisco General and they get free health care that we pay for.” (Thorpe 250). Undocumented people just to come to the United States looking for a better life, more opportunities, to give their families more a better future. We didn’t know, but in their country they are poor, and they do not have enough food so just deal with it day by day. We cannot even talk about healthy issues; because they cannot expend money on it, because their kids or themselves will not be able eat that day. These are a couple of reasons why they just to take a risk and coming to fulfill the “American Dream.” Saying that undocumented people who want be like an American citizen by paying some form of taxes, and really are hard workers doing those kind of jobs than Americans doesn’t want to do.
Juan Apocada is a young undocumented boy who was on the news for speaking out about his struggle about obtaining a scholarship, a benefactor who really knows his legal status didn’t care about it, just help him providing the money for his studies. Suddenly congressman Tancredo, called the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to see if his child’s family are illegal. “Is it just me or does anyone else fin more amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington…but they are unable to locate eleven million illegal aliens wondering around our country” (Thorpe 49) He believes that American culture had strayed from the rule of the law. This congressman forgot where is he from. Even his family was almost deported, but he didn’t care about undocumented, and became one of the most stronger opposites people on the undocumented immigrant topic. He instead on thinking how to deport them, should start thinking how to solve their problems, because his family heritage if from outside this country, and his family was one of them.
Document people didn’t have knowledge about undocumented immigrants, and they just based their opinion about what they hear and see on the television, radio, or gossip. As a result of them we have that people got a wrong idea of them, and people disrespect them, and didn’t give them the same treat as document people, they must receive same respect and values that legal people have, because a legal paper don’t give us more respect, it’s just a status inside a country. Something that makes us better it’s our development inside a society and giving the best of us to our world. Thorpe also comes across show the self-realization for the immigrants who have thought they are some things right, ends up being wrong in the United States.
This is because undocumented people want to be identify, they need to have some identifications as any other document person, so they find their own way to do it. As some of the girls are undocumented, they are actually don’t have how to get a job or get a driver license, and they need to identify their selves with people, so they just have one solution to falsify ID, social security cards, driver licenses, etc. When Marisela believe that even though she had fake driver license, she thought she would not get caught, “It hit me when I wanted to a driver license and I couldn’t. So I started driving with a Mexican driver’s license—a fake. And that when I realize how I was going to grow up—doing everything the wrong way” (Thorpe 25). She has to get a fake drivers license, because first at all she was an undocumented person, and second would be more safety for her go to school in her own car than in the bus. Yadira also took this decision, she is very conscious about doing things in proper order, and because she needs to get a job decided to get a fake Social Security card.
At the end she shows it to her friends. –“Oh guess what?” She volunteered. “I just bought a fake Social Security card. Do you want to see it?”(Thorpe 161) Certain situations force her or anyone to do the wrong thing. Yadira situation is that her mom Alma was in Mexico with her new baby sister and she couldn’t work, and her stepfather works in America but his pay does not cover the cost of living in America. Therefore her family needs her to get a job. And the only way to get a job in America is providing a Social Security Card to each place that you are going to apply. As far as we know, her family is not resident therefore she had to obtain a fake Social Security ID.
People might think that getting these fake documents could mean that these girls would be worried about getting caught. But it’s not that way; they feel a little more secure when they have this kind of documents, because these documents give them some identity that they are missing since they cross the Mexican – American border. These children and adolescents are not guilty for their parent’s decision of crossing the border illegally. They coming to the U.S. for a better future, this country give them a better live, a future were they would be alive and can be someone, because some of their parents come just barely speaking their own language, sometimes they don’t even know how to write, so when they arrived to America it’s that they work in jobs than Americans don’t want to do, they work really hard. Therefore parents expected from their children a better live, better education, having at least two languages, knowing something else that clean bathrooms, and cook, they want a better future that they can’t afford or just even think of it in their own country. So the U.S. government should cover these obstacles that these children and adolescents have to give them a more chances in live.
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