Coming to the United States

For many years, America has been known as The Land of Opportunity. Many Latinos from Mexico, Central America, South America and in the Caribbean have made the decision to migrate to the United States legally or illegally in hopes for a better life, a new beginning. Immigrants would arrive and be welcome with jobs, however, throughout the years that has changed.

According to U. S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), Twelve percent of the 42.4 million foreign born in the United States in 2014 entered since 2010, 29 percent between 2000 and 2009, and the majority (59 percent) before 2000.

It has become much of a bigger risk to cross the border, but they do it anyway. Many people ride on top of trains, known as “la bestia,” or the Beast, toward the U.S. border, risking their lives. These people face robbery and assault by gangs who control the train tops, or the loss of life or limb in a fall. Many of them do not even live to continue the journey, dying due to the heat exhaustion or lack of nutrition.

The main reason why Latinos come to the U.S is to escape the poverty that they are facing in their country but by doing so many of them arrive in the U.S working low wage jobs. They would earn very little money to send back home to their families but they continue to strive and work long hours to have enough to help their families out of poverty. They would also do this to help their children have a better future for themselves, giving them better opportunities to become someone successful and be someone in today’s society. These immigrants come to the United States in hopes of getting a taste of the American dream; “the idea that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative”.

Finding a job has become extremely difficult for immigrants due to certain types of documents and discrimination they receive. Whether they are legal or illegal, immigrants should be treated equally and with respect because of their intrinsic and inviolable dignity as persons.

As WYA members stated in this year’s Declaration on Migration and Development, “Migrants contribute economically to the development of their new communities through their skills and participation in local markets whilst simultaneously contributing to their countries of origin through remittances. Regardless of the migrant’s economic contribution to a community, governments should place the respect of the human dignity at the center of their migration policies, which will result in the development of the full potential of all persons.”

Written by Diana Villacreses, a WYA Headquarters’ Intern from the United States.