Immigration policies create national divides


Dea Sulejmani, co-news editor

President Donald Trump tweeted that ICE would begin removing undocumented illegal immigrants across the United States on June 17, 2019. ICE’s responsibility includes arresting undocumented immigrants inside of the United States, according to USA Today. According to senior Ethan Ward*, the employees that work in his family’s restaurants are primarily part of the Latino community and have seen ICE’s effects on their loved ones.

“Over the summer, there was a rumor that there was an ICE raid at a Walmart near Lakeview,” Ward said. “Our employees got really frightened because they thought about [their] relatives and it caused a lot of fear. It affects the overall entire atmosphere in which they work in and live in. It’s a fear of not knowing what’s going to happen the next day or what’s going to happen to their aunt or grandma.”

Ward believes that ICE has also impeded the economy because businesses in the Chicagoland area are struggling to find employees to do jobs that middle class America does not want to do. For the undocumented immigrants still working, their fear of ICE does not stop them from working to provide for their families.

“[Working] is a way of survival for [immigrants],” Ward said.

Although ICE has affected families across the nation, the topic has politically ostracized those who do not support illegal immigration. Sophomore Nora Robbins*, whose uncle is a customs officer, said that while she understands the value that immigrants hold, she believes they need to be legal.

“I don’t understand how we should be granting people free things when they committed a crime to come in here,” Robbins said. “My family is [made up of] all immigrants and they all came legally so I don’t see why it would be necessary for such high numbers of people to come illegally.”

Robbins mentioned that her uncle’s role in customs has influenced her to avoid biased news outlets, for situations reported in the media may be blown out of proportion. She believes that both sides of the situation need to consider all the facts presented.

“I’ve talked to my family about how [ICE] has been putting people in cages under the Trump administration; this was happening during the Obama Administration and from administrations prior,” Robbins said. “[Separating] families sounds really sad, and it’s definitely why this is a sensitive topic, but ICE separates families because they cannot have males and females in the same area.”

Robbins said that her opposing political beliefs has caused friction between her and her friends, classmates and teachers, and feels as if some environments are not as open to hearing both sides of the political spectrum. She feels as if these topics need to be discussed in a civil manner.

“It’s really sad that something that we probably shouldn’t be dealing with at the ages of 14 or 15 cause such a rift in our day and conversation,” Robbins said.

*names have been changed