Undocumented immigrants struggle in U.S.


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Since his campaign in 2016, President Donald Trump has spoken of plans to curb illegal immigration by building a wall.

Meredith Prud'homme

It’s an alarming time for immigrants across America, as the country races to catch millions of undocumented immigrants. With comments from President Donald Trump that refer to these people as an “infestation,” it’s clear that there is no safety for the undocumented.

But, undocumented immigrants remain in the United States nonetheless. 11 million illegal immigrants currently reside in the country, many living off minimum wage from hours spent in kitchens, agricultural fields and construction sites, according to The New York Times.

Now, the potential for deportation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) looms over many. During the Obama administration, according to The New York Times, undocumented immigrants were safe from deportation unless they committed a substantial crime. But one of Trump’s primary goals is to curb illegal immigration by building a wall, and his signature campaign pledge is beginning to take action.

According to Nolo.com, ICE has many ways to monitor undocumented immigrants, and often arrests them during frequent workplace and home raids.

In general, the process of legally obtaining American citizenship is not easy. According to Forbes, a common misconception about acquiring citizenship papers is that the process is simple, and that many undocumented immigrants refrain from gaining legal status due to their own lack of effort.

Rather than laziness, expensive legal fees present a challenge for immigrants seeking citizenship. Immigration lawyers can cost up to $15,000, and even with a lawyer it can take years for approval, according to ABC News.

Last year, the Trump administration announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), an Obama-era  program established to protect 800,000 immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally, according to Nolo.com. Then this summer, Trump signed a policy that separated children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border for an indefinite period.

The public’s reaction to the policy was overwhelmingly negative, according to The Guardian. After enormous political pressure, Trump signed an executive order ending the separation of families at the border in June, according the New York Times.

Immigration advocates claim that undocumented immigrants come to America for a better life and are just taking the jobs nobody else wants. Opponents argue that immigrants are criminals who terrorize America’s economy and take American generosity for granted. These clashing viewpoints make the debate on illegal immigration one of the most divisive issues domestically and globally.