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My view: Have some empathy for undocumented immigrants

March 10, 2017 GMT

Imagine being labeled as a criminal just because you want to improve your life. Or because you want a better future for your children. Or maybe just because you lack the proper papers.

Imagine being thrown out of the country because someone only values your life if you were born in the United States. For thousands, maybe even millions, this is a reality. Undocumented immigrants are being forced to leave the country every single day.

Some like to argue that this is justifiable because it is simply the job of the Border Patrol. Those who say this, however, seem to lack empathy.

They are refusing to put themselves in the shoes of those being forced out. Instead, they choose to curse the name of every other country except for the U.S.

They fail to realize that no one can choose where they were born. They view their U.S. citizenship as the best thing in the world, not realizing it was attained with mere luck. They fail to imagine what it would have been like if they were born in another country. Instead, they go on and on about how much trouble undocumented immigrants cause. They like to look down on immigrants and not understand the advantages that come with being born in this country.

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Being born in America is a privilege — not something you earned or something you get for being the greatest person alive. It is something that is given at random.

So why in the world should we punish people for not having this privilege? More often than not, undocumented immigrants travel to the U.S. to attain the advantages that come with being born in this country. They are not here to steal money from the banks or bring drug cartels into the United States. They are simply trying to change their lives for the better. They want to achieve the American dream by going from rags to riches and by turning nothing into something.

Today’s immigrants are no different than the immigrants traveling to the U.S. hundreds of years ago. But many choose to look down on today’s immigrants. People choose to remove them from their homes, families and the life they built here.

People choose to ignore every moral bone in their body, every ounce of sympathy they have because they want to see these “criminals” gone. Americans choose to ignore the cries of undocumented immigrants. But if they just listened, they might realize that these undocumented immigrants are just like them. They are simply people looking for a better life.

Summer Romero is a junior at Santa Fe High. Contact her at romerosummer2@gmail.com.