Broken systems tend to destroy the things that pass through them. America’s immigration system is broken. It is amassed with government officials who do not yield to compassion. The immigration system is strenuous; its complexity leaves people feeling frustrated, dismayed, and powerless. The system leaves the lives of the individuals that pass through it in ruins.
These people are desperately trying to flee the conflicts of their nations, they come in search of a better life. They are in search of the American dream we so proudly boast about, yet America has made that dream practically impossible to achieve. The immigration system is an enormous obstacle immigrants must go through to obtain U.S. citizenship. It is a tiresome trial that can take months just to fill out the application and even more time for it to be processed. From applying for a green card to naturalization, the process can take anywhere from 10-20 years. It is much worse for those who are trying to attain citizenship while in the United States illegally. Because they are considered civil cases, the court is not required to provide an attorney to those who cannot afford them. Immigrants as young as two years old are forced to represent themselves and argue a case presented to them in a foreign language. It takes three years to graduate from law school. It is unreasonable to think a two-year old can understand concepts that college graduates struggle with.
Immigration courts are dysfunctional. Thousands of immigration cases are backlogged. On average, it takes four years for cases to be heard in the court of Texas. In other states it takes as much as five. In those four to five years, the evidence for their case becomes stale and witnesses who could help their case could disappear or die. This makes it much more difficult to make their claim. The extensive wait time hurts the cases of immigrants waiting to be heard and increases their chances of deportation.
America’s immigration system is unfairly laborious and impractical. A more efficient system is desperately needed. A system that allows for simple requirements and quick process. The American dream should not be a fairy-tale told among those pursuing opportunity. America is supposed to be an example to follow, a city on a hill. We have a duty to correct the injustice we see before us.