#CombattheSilenceJH: 7th grader Rafael Silva works to help undocumented immigrants

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Jackson Hole Middle School 7th Grader Rafael Silva has seen his own family torn apart by deportation and is now working to help other undocumented immigrants. Silva is volunteering at the Latino Resource Center and also donated $50 of his own money to the American Immigration Council. Learn more in his essay below. Learn about the local students who #CombattheSilenceJH here. *The Innocent Takeaways: How deportation is tearing apart families* by Rafael Silva Four years ago it was late at night, it was a peaceful night at my Grandma’s house and a quiet one too. Quiet like a funeral. Then out of nowhere I hear a knock, but it sounded as if the person who was knocking was terribly angry. Then, they started talking. That’s when I knew something bad was about to happen. What he said was, “Ma’am I need you to come outside. We know you are an undocumented immigrant and we are going to take you back. We can do this easily if you cooperate, please don’t make it harder than it has to be.” Willingly my Grandma went outside and went with the police officer. I looked at my Grandpa and asked him why the police came for her, and all he said was, “Because our time here is over.” I didn’t know what that meant, but a few days later I realized my grandparents weren’t coming back, and on that day I learned about deportation and illegal immigration. On that day my grandma became one of the 400,00 illegal immigrants who get deported annually, and my family became one of thousands of families who lose a member by deportation. Illegal immigrants getting deported is a significant problem and we can combat the silence by supporting and voting for the Dream Act and helping it to become law. Illegal immigrants getting deported is a significant problem because so many innocent people are having to leave their families and the country, even though they haven’t committed crimes. For example, “The President's plan would allow up to 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to ‘come out of the shadows’ and work legally in the United States. It so far has not gone into effect, as it has been challenged in the lower court's” (Associated Press 1). Basically what this is saying is that the President has tried to give five million immigrants a chance to work legally without being scared, but lower courts don’t want to accept the President’s plan. This would help tremendously, although it won’t make them legal, it will let them provide and care for their families without the fear of getting deported. Deportation is a significant problem because it shows how much fear undocumented workers have to work and with the Dream Act they will be able to live their life without fear of being ripped apart from their families and made to leave the country. *Families Torn Apart* Illegal immigrants getting deported is a significant problem that results in families being torn apart and as a result families struggle to make ends meet. According to the Associated Press, “law-abiding men and women continue to live in constant fear of being separated from their children. These families must be allowed to step out of the shadows and fully contribute to the country that they love and call home” (Associated Press 1)”. What Mr. Reid is saying is that the Dream Act should be put into action and let all those people who obey the law and work their butts off to support their families work without being scared of having to leave their families. This example shows why the Dream Act should be put into action because it shows the constant fear families have of being separated when they haven’t done anything wrong. Tell me does being torn away from your family after you obey the law and help the community sound fair to you? This proves that deporting people is a significant problem because all these people who came here for a better life are living in fear everyday of their life that they might not see their families again. The Dream Act should be put into action. It’s not like they’re making all those undocumented people legal they’re just giving them permission to work and support their families. I don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to make the Dream Act going. Illegal immigrants getting deported is a significant problem that is caused by people who don’t like undocumented immigrants and counter the idea of the Dream Act. For example, “So far, the federal courts have sided with the states. Their rulings have kept the administration from issuing work permits and allowing the immigrants to begin receiving some federal benefits” (Associated Press 1). What this piece of text is stating is that federal courts have disagreed with the Dream Act and because of that undocumented immigrants aren’t allowed to work with the permission of the country. This example shows why not putting the Dream Act is a part of undocumented people getting deported because they’re not letting undocumented immigrants work legally so the chances of them getting caught gets higher. This proves that deporting undocumented immigrants is a significant problem because the government is basically saying you can work, but you’re more likely to get deported so pick your poison work and get caught or go back because you can’t work. So one of the main reasons why undocumented immigrants are getting deported more is because the government doesn’t want to pass the Dream Act, which could help some companies and businesses make more money and help give the confidence back to many people who are scared to work and struggle with supporting their family. Some people might argue that getting rid of all undocumented immigrants is the answer to undocumented immigrants; however, the solution we need focus on is making the Dream Act go into action and help the undocumented immigrants not get rid of them. According to Mr. Guzman, “Overall, we find that the passage of the Dream Act would add $329 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030, demonstrating the potential of the proposed law to boost economic growth and improve our nation’s fiscal health”(1). What this passage is saying is that if the Dream Act goes into action the estimated number of dollars the economy would gain is about 329 billion dollars, and would make about 1.4 million more jobs by the year 2030, now I know for all the people who say 2030 is too much time let me ask you when people get rich do they get rich instantly or does it take time for their fortune to build up? This shows how good the Dream Act could help the economy and all the undocumented immigrants, I still don’t understand why people wouldn’t want to put the Dream Act into action, there are no downsides that I can see. *What I plan to do to help* A major problem in the US is undocumented people getting deported for no reason, but it can be stopped if the Dream Act goes into effect. If it doesn’t then, the problem will just get worse. Since I can’t get into politics because I’m not old enough, I decided to volunteer at a local Latino Resource Center and see how they help undocumented immigrants, so I could help some undocumented immigrants myself. It scared me because I didn’t know anyone who walked through the doors and I was giving my time to help them, but after I did help them I felt like I actually did something for someone and that it could help them go on with their day. I am also donating my own 50 dollars to the American Immigration Council. They are a non profit organization and this is their mission, “Our mission is to strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history and shaping how Americans think about and act towards immigration now and in the future” (American Immigration Council). That is what this organization is all about, to show that just because a person is an undocumented immigrant it doesn’t mean they are bad and dangerous. They also help all illegal immigrants no matter where they’re from. I hope you can find it in your heart to donate to my organization, you could be helping many people only with a few dollars, and you will feel really good about yourself after you donate. Trust me I felt a whole lot better when I donated. *Works Cited* "About the Immigration Center." American Immigration Council. American Immigration Council, 18 May 2015. Web. 15 May 2016.<>. Press, Associated. "Supreme Court Announces It Will Rule On Controversial Immigration Case." Newsela. N.p., 22 Jan. 2016. Web. 26 May 2016.<>. *Feature Photo: Rafael Silva. Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news #combatthesilencejh