OPINION: Student Voices on Immigration

Montpelier High School Social Studies Teacher Heather McLane assigned her students to write paragraphs sharing their opinion about an issue that they have studied, support their opinion with a bit of evidence and include a call to action. Below are some of the results.

 

by Jason Tomasi

Trump’s travel ban has made the United States appear racist to the world. The ban states that all citizens from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia have to wait four months before traveling to the United States. If citizens of these countries who are already in the United States want to return home to visit their families, they may not be able to come back to the U.S. Trump’s travel ban is unethical and assumes that these Muslim countries will send terrorists to America. Many people have stated that the travel ban is a violation of civil rights because it discriminates against Muslims. This could be helpful to terrorists. If Muslims believe that the United States hates them, more Muslims may want to join terrorist groups. The United Nations’ Human Rights chief said, “The United States ban is mean-spirited, and wastes resources needed for proper counter-terrorism.” Donald Trump thinks that he is keeping the country safe while in reality he is making America more dangerous by creating an anti-Muslim culture. To help stop this ban from going into effect, you can protest, write to your senator and representative and stand up for the citizens of these countries.

 

by Juna Nagle

On November 30, the City of Montpelier signed a resolution declaring Montpelier a sanctuary city to protect all people, no matter their race, religious affiliation or immigration background. By doing so, Montpelier shows what a caring community we are. Having been raised in our small town, I have found we are deeply connected to the people around us. Whenever someone falls on hard times, we find ways to pick them back up. Many people move to Montpelier specifically to provide this kind of community and nurturing environment for their kids. Montpelier has been, and should continue to be, safe for everyone. Due to new actions and declarations from our current President of the United States, it has become much too prevalent that immigrants are being targeted and afraid to go to the authorities because of the fear of deportation. Undocumented women and girls are especially at risk in these situations. According to the Office of Victims of Crimes, in the United States by 2050, the number of raped women and girls from Latino origin could reach 10.8 million. With immigrants being afraid of going to the authorities for help, many of these cases will go unreported and enable predators to target people who are unable to turn to the law. We need to make sure that everyone has the right to seek justice in these situations. I urge you to keep supporting Montpelier as a sanctuary city, and to reach out to other cities and state senators to propose the same idea. We want every city to be a safe haven for all people, like the Montpelier that I love and know. By speaking up and taking a stand, we ensure that the United States continues the tradition and history of the melting pot, serving as a sanctuary for all.

 

by Faith Bolques

Montpelier is the smallest capital city in the United States, but recently it has done something to make a bigger name for itself. Montpelier is a sanctuary city, meaning that we as a city will allow undocumented immigrants to reside here. However, there has been some push-back against this move. People say that this move will automatically cut all of our federal funding (something that Donald Trump has threatened towards sanctuary cities), or that allowing undocumented immigrants will hurt our economy or cause more crime. Those are all incorrect thoughts that have been disproven by scientific studies. Mayor Seth Leonard spoke about the threat of federal funding cuts with reporters from Vtdigger.org, saying that it would take a long time to lose our federal funding because there’s no ‘magic faucet’ that causes funds to go away. There was a study done by Tom K. Wong, a professor of political science, about sanctuary cities. He countered the idea that sanctuary cities have negative effects on the economy and increase the levels of crime. He found that there are 35.5 fewer crimes per 10,000 people in sanctuary counties, and that households earn $4,353 more on average in sanctuary cities versus non-sanctuary counties. Therefore, there are few negative impacts on sanctuary cities, meaning that there is no reason to stop supporting Montpelier’s choice to stay one. If you, as a voter, believe that everyone should be given an equal chance in life in the United States of America, you should encourage Montpelier to continue being a sanctuary city.

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