SHS Students and Staff React to Trump’s Immigration Policies


“Imagine being in a country where you aren’t allowed being in,” senior Elizabeth Coyotl-Tello said when describing the struggles of being in an immigrant family. “It’s super scary, but also, you know, you have to be on top of your game and make sure you don’t make any mistakes.”

There are many students and teachers alike who have witnessed the effect of the immigration policies that have been put into effect by the Trump Administration because the SHS student body encompasses people of many different backgrounds.

Coyotl-Tello has first-hand experience when it comes to the struggles of immigration. As the daughter of two immigrant parents, she has seen what can happen to a family and understands how scary and difficult it can be. Coyotl-Tello has also experienced losing a parent because of immigration policies.

“My father was deported around seven to eight years (ago),” Coyotl-Tello said. “I do understand how losing a parent from them being deported is, and it sucks.”

source: Pew Research Center

Social studies teacher David Luers believes that the immigration policies implemented by the Trump Administration are harmful to students and negatively affect them.

“I’ve had a number of students whose lives became infinitely more stressful and anxiety-filled because of immigration policies,” Luers said. “Because of an attempt to end DACA.”

Luers says that he doesn’t agree with these policies that are adding stress to his students’ lives.

“Anything that I feel like harms my kids, and by kids I mean my students, I feel like that’s a problem,” Luers said.

Coyotl-Tello says that it is unfair to assume that all immigrants are criminals and to believe that they cause a majority of the problems in the U.S.

“Coming from immigrant parents, it makes me angry that (Trump) believes building a wall will stop all criminals from entering this country,” Coyotl-Tello said. “We already have so many criminals here in the United States that have to be dealt with, when most of the time, they aren’t dealt with because of the color of their skin.”

Indiana University political science professor Timothy Hellwig says that he has also seen some of the negative effects that go along with these policies, and it can interfere with campus diversity.

He also says that he thinks these policies are not beneficial because there is not a lot of evidence that points to any reasons to keep immigrants out of America.

“Just as a justification, the United States is a country of immigrants,” Hellwig said. “So, it would be one thing if that wasn’t in our nation’s DNA, but it is. And, therefore, I see President Trump’s immigration policies as largely being restrictive.”

Hellwig also says that he is scared for Trump to get re-elected because immigration is an issue that he stays consistent on, and he doesn’t see Trump backing away from it.
However, there are students who agree with President Trump’s position and policies on immigration. Junior Jackson Ziegler thinks that these policies are helping to keep America safe.

“Personally, I think that they were good, in that I feel like a lot of people that might have wanted to do terrorist attacks and do harm to America were stopped,” Ziegler said. “I do support it. I think it was good, and I think that it’s better to stop the problems from happening by denying people the right to hurt people.”

Junior Clark Wilson agrees with Ziegler for the most part, but recognizes that the system is far from perfect.

“I think that the system as a whole is beneficial,” Wilson said. “But, the specifics of it may not be perfect in every case.”

Despite supporting Trump’s immigration policies, Ziegler also said that he understands the other side, and does not think that the effects of president Trump’s policies are all positive.

“Although there is a positive to limiting what terrorism could be done in America, we’re also denying people the right to citizenship in America,” Ziegler said. “When that’s a goal for so many across the world.”