Breaking Barriers

Linda Pillcorema, Reporter

All the people living in this country are privileged. Compared to other countries we have a lot more freedoms and rights. Everywhere we go, we see different faces. Walking onto any block, you can find yourself with a whole new group of people. We all get to see the differences in cultures- like typical dishes of a certain country or even get to know about different traditions. This incredible diversity is what makes us unique from any other country in the world. Our country is made up of immigrants, although not everyone has the same feeling about immigration. We have seen this emotion play out in this past election.

Immigration was a very controversial topic during this election cycle. It has caused great indignation among many immigrants. MTV’s “Beyond that Wall,” a 10 foot x 35 foot interactive video installation in New York’s Herald Square showcases stories from people like artists, activists, and young people on immigration, identity and diversity in America. Participation from Diane Guerrero of “Orange is the New Black,” Arturo Castro of “Broad City,” Amani Alkhat (, and Cristela Alonzo of “Cristela” are sharing their stories of immigration.

This small wall, represents the border that exists between our communities. It prevents us from communicating with one another. Just by saying there should be a wall in a certain place can cause fear. People don’t realize that there is something beyond that. According to Brenda Abdelall, “what we need more is dialogue, what we need is more interaction with one another, what we need is to get to know one another,” and that, “putting up walls between us does the exact opposite. Beyond the Wall is getting beyond those labels and beyond those barriers, and being able to truly work with one another.”  We need to be more conscious that sometimes we are the ones who put up these invisible barriers, blocking out a certain ethnic group. Instead, we have to try and create a bridge that connects us all.

Our future 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, strongly believes in creating a great wall. He has stereotyped many groups, and unfortunately, many people do side with him. People like him don’t realize, or care, that they are instigating fear in our communities. Especially, those who are undocumented immigrants or students who are in college thanks to the DACA program. The fear of many undocumented immigrants is being deported to their countries of origin. Many of these people are parents who are scared, because their kids won’t finish their education here in the United States. Children fear being separated from their families. In reality, undocumented immigrants help the economy grow. For example, the Center for American Progress reported in 2014 that, “if all undocumented immigrants in the country were deported, the United States cumulative GDP would suffer a hit of $2.6 trillion over 10 years.”  There needs to be a common ground reached between border security and economic stability.

In this country, we all want peace in our communities. We hope for the best from our next president. President-Elect Trump should be mindful that all of us come from immigrants. He should create a program that secures America, but realistically and fairly deals with undocumented immigrants. All of us are Americans, because we all believe in freedom and opportunity. The walls we build between us, can only tear us apart.