Facing the threat


Madeline Steward

Sophomore Norma Rodriguez Sermeno is the daughter of immigrants. President Donald Trump has ordered for a stop in immigrants to the U.S. Senior Janeth Garcia says that, not only will immigrants feel the brunt of this, but the whole country will as well.

Jaycee Fitzgerald, Reporter

Listening to her mother speak about a 10-year-old boy that she knows being deported is something sophomore Norma Rodriguez Sermeno says she will never forget. Rodriguez Sermeno says the boy, who is an immigrant and son of her mother’s friend, now has to go back to Guatemala, and his family has no choice but to go with him.

“I was so surprised,” Rodriguez Sermeno said. “I was in shock, really. This boy, who is only ten years old and has done nothing wrong, is really being deported.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Department of Homeland Security released documents about new reforms being made to U.S. immigration laws. These documents showed that U.S. immigration laws will now be more strongly enforced. The administration plans to do so by deporting any illegal immigrants, taking away protections from illegal immigrants, building new detention facilities and recruiting local officers as enforcers.

President Donald Trump has talked about making these reforms before coming into office. Trump has stated that he wanted to make these changes due to the amounts of immigrants he believes are taking away jobs from citizens, are committing crimes and are causing financial strain on the government. Now, with just over a month in office, the talk is being put into action, and is already affecting the lives of SHS students like Rodriguez Sermeno.

Rodriguez Sermeno is not an immigrant herself, but her mother and father are. She says that while they are legal green card holders, there are people she knows who are not. Now, a reality exists where these people could be deported, which scares and upsets her greatly, mostly because she feels that immigrants are here only to try and make a better life for themselves and their families.

Senior Janeth Garcia also says this upsets her. She feels that these people who are here for a better life should not be deported. Garcia says that she took a stand against these new changes by participating in “The Day Without Immigrants” on Thursday, Feb. 16.

“I honestly don’t think people realize how important immigrants are to this country,” Garcia said. “I feel like immigrants are taken for granted most of the time.”

Garcia hopes that the government will soon realize how these new reforms might negatively impact the country as a whole. She instead hopes they will try and help these people instead of pushing them away. Many advocates for immigrants in the U.S. feel the same way. Advocates feel that having stricter enforcement of immigration laws and more border control will just drive illegal immigrants further into the shadows.

Rodriguez Sermeno says she also feels the same as Garcia. In addition, she says that how long the process of becoming a citizen takes is what causes so many people to come here illegally in the first place. She feels that the U.S. needs to be more welcoming and open to helping these immigrants.

“These people are just trying to get away from all the poverty, sickness and death that they deal with in their home countries,” Rodriguez Sermeno said. “But here we are making them wait years to even be considered to come here. All they want is the American dream. Why can’t we try and help give them that?”