Mexican immigrants deserve the American Dream


Staff writer Cecilia Castillo Juarez holds a 1988-era photo of her parents in their home of Mexico. (photo by Ashley Hayes-Stone)

Recently, at the request from United States President Donald Trump, California Governor Jerry Brown agreed to send the National Guard to the California Border to protect Americans from gang activity and illegal immigration.

Being first generation of two Mexican parents, I believe that the American Dream is not just for people that were born on American soil, but for anyone who is willing to make the journey to better their future as well as their family’s future.

Therefore, I don’t agree with our governor’s decision to have the National Guard  “watch” the border, for everyone should have a chance to pursue a better life. The government shouldn’t have so much power over someone else’s future.

This is an issue, a decision that affects the lives of many people in California, but even more specifically our own classmates at American River College.

As a member of the Latinos Unidos club on campus I know there are members who have been affected by this decision — including political science major Alexandrina Chavez, president of the club and a senator in the Associated Student Body.

“California has been so against the border and for the undocumented community and the Dreamer community and having that, we’ve been passing sanctuary laws,” Chavez said.

California is a sanctuary state, which means that the police won’t detain or arrest an undocumented resident unless they’re suspected of a serious crime. This means an officer can’t work with the federal authorities to try to get an undocumented individual deported.

As such, Chavez was baffled by the governor’s decision regarding the border.

“It contradicts our laws and all the things that we have been doing to protect the community to just allow the National Guard to come like that,” Chavez said. “I don’t think it was a good decision at all and makes no sense.”

This is not the first time a border wall has been discussed between the U.S. and Mexico. The issue stems back to arguments over the Rio Grande river, according to Ricardo Caton, the Latinos Unidos club adviser and a Chicano history professor.

“[The Rio Grande] changes course, it doesn’t stay the same year after year so the United States and Mexico to an extent have had an agreement that part of boundary will be the Rio Grande,” Caton said. “It’s just a natural boundary that separates the two countries.”

Regardless, if a wall is built or the National Guard is charged with stopping people from coming over the border, it won’t work because no matter what people will find a way to get here because of want and need for a better life for themselves and their families.

“This is more of a political stunt if you will, the notion of creating a physical wall or even sending military troops to border. Now granted this is not new, we know this was done before,” Caton said.

The U.S. has a history of convincing immigrants to come here to work, but then wanting to kick them out. However, immigrants have contributed a lot to this country economically, politically and in all forms of entertainment.

I know that not every immigrant that comes to the United States is perfect, but just because there’s one bad seed doesn’t make all of them bad seeds.

If the United States really wants a solution to the border, they need to have an actual discussion with Mexico. A discussion without scapegoating or saying rude, racist things about the people coming here.

America is supposed to be the land of the free where anyone can be anything and where they can achieve their dream to the pursuit of happiness.

Building walls or sending troops to the border is a waste of time and money — especially in the political climate now. More fear tactics just create bigger problems, not just with the government, but with the people in those countries as well.