PRO Preserving American communities

Illegal immigrants in the United States deserve every ounce of protection offered by sanctuary states to remain in the country they have dedicated themselves to. While they may not be American on paper, these people are American in their values.

Commonly regarded as illegal “aliens,” undocumented immigrants flowing into the U.S. have continuously been ostracized from society. Some argue that the implementation of sanctuary states promote illegal immigration into the country. Though this may be true, the protection offered by sanctuary states helps these illegal immigrants attain citizenship, which is their goal, quicker and easier by ensuring their residence in America will be protected during the process. People don’t come to the U.S. for the purpose of remaining undocumented, in contrast with popular propaganda.

Commentators on the right often ask: “But won’t these illegal immigrants only commit more illegal acts once they’re inside the U.S.?”

Research comparing crime rates among citizens and undocumented immigrants, such as a 2007 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has confirmed that illegal immigrants are not, contrary to the current U.S. president’s claims, more likely to be criminals. Former President Barack Obama also made a statement this year that national crime rates have actually gone down while his federal policy to protect illegal immigrants was in place.

In fact, not only do most illegal immigrants not fit into the malicious mold carved out for them by some politicians, they are often our neighbors, our classmates, our teachers or local businesspeople. They are individuals who may have lived in this country since early childhood, and trying to build their own lives just like any other American.

If we found out today that a friend we grew up with was undocumented, would we be just as eager to remove him or her from this country? Sanctuary communities protect people just like any of us–the sole difference being in citizenship status–from deportation.

Sanctuary cities also make illegal immigration safer for the country because they encourage amiable relationships between undocumented immigrants and law enforcement, resulting in less conflict. While most citizens have no reason to fear doing tasks that require their identity to be revealed to the government, undocumented immigrants without protection are reluctant to interact with the government in daily life for risk of possible deportation.

The U.S. was a nation built on immigration. Without the inundations of immigrants from all over the globe since before America was even an independent country, we would not have achieved a thriving economy.

Abolishing sanctuary states would mean losing  people who have the potential to make great contributions to this country and shipping them “back” to a country they may never have even known.

For those who oppose the protection of immigrants who only seek the natural right to pursue their own happiness in the country they believe is best for them, it’s time to question whether that mentality is one that accurately embodies the values and goals of a true American.