It was 1945. The war was over. After doing his military duty as a marine , my dad was captured as prisoner of war and forced to work in Germany and to suffer hunger. He ate what he could, including potato skins, because the food rations were not enough. When he finally returned home he began to work on the family farm. In 1949 he married Rosaria. Life began again and soon she gave birth to their daughter, Maria. That’s me, writing this. My parents soon realized that the resources to raise this little girl properly were missing. Little money, little work, the small family farm did not produce enough and so Giuseppe decided to emigrate to the United States.
I didn’t know my father until I was 6 years old. My father was here in New York illegally, he did not have the famous green card. He had made his trip hidden in the belly of a ship and had given all his money to someone who had promised that he would take him to New York where he would be able to work and recover those travel expenses. When there was talk of immigration raids, he would try to not get caught, because he didn’t want to return to Italy where there was no work. After five years the immigration officers found him and of course he was deported to Italy. My dad, was here illegally, but worked, paid taxes, and he would send a good part of his earnings to his family that he missed so much.
“Why doesn’t he come back home?” I would ask often, but my mom would tell me that if I came back he would have no job and they couldn’t afford it. When he was deported, I was the happiest little girl in the world, because finally I would have my dad near me like all my friends, the dad whom I knew only in photos.
He told me later, when I could understand more, that the immigration agents were doing their jobs, they were not wrong to deport those who came illegally, because everyone should follow the laws of the land. He would have preferred to be a legal immigrant, but because of the quota system, he would have to wait a number of years.
Today I ask myself “Why is President Trump wrong because he wants to deport those who are here illegally?” The media paints us a picture of broken families, because children born here, and thus American citizens, will be separated from their parents who came here illegally.
I think this is nothing more than propaganda, President Trump does not want to deport foreigners just because don’t have the “green card”, he wants to deport those who have committed crimes in the United States. These are not foreigners like my father and many others who came here to work and improve the economic situation of his family, these are people who came here and saw an opportunity to make quick money by doing illegal activities and perhaps convince others to do the same.
Do we want these criminals near us? Wouldn’t it be better to send them to their country of origin? That is why I agree with our President. There should be controls before these people arrive here, but since they’re already here we must drive them out so our citizens can be better protected.
After many years my parents with two children received the visa to legally enter the United States. I was sixteen years old, and I remember how many hurdles we had to go through before we received this permission. How many trips to the offices of the American Consulate, how many documents to present, how many visits, including the physical one because they didn’t want anyone sick to enter the United States! Why should it be any different now? If my parents had not worked hard day and night, would they have been permitted to live here? I don’t think so. They made sure that my brother and I received a college education and grow up with solid ethical values. Today many immigrants have the possibility of receiving help from various social organizations. This is good as long as they don’t take advantage of our generosity. But why help illegal immigrants who commit criminal acts before our eyes?
I’ve always taken the side of immigrants, legal or illegal. But when they commit crimes, then I say they should be sent home. That’s my opinion. I agree with President Trump.