The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Immigration policies should benefit citizens, economy, panel says

By Andrew Smith/ reporter

NW history and government professors hosted a roundtable discussion and opened the floor for students to voice their opinions over immigration reform March 23.

Among the top concerns were the politics behind structuring a government around an immigration process that benefits both the economy and U.S. citizens.

History assistant professor Jessica Patton provided the audience with a brief overview of the major groups who flowed to the U.S. during the 18th century noting the importance of understanding the events that led to America’s current view of immigration and common trends of the growing immigration population.

Patton said doing away with the quota system has removed some the stigma of cultural identities. With preferential categories, officials began looking at people who have family here or those with certain job skills, hoping that these immigrants will be integrated into the community more quickly and are likely to make better wages to support themselves.

History/government professor Laura Wood described the ethnic classes the media uses to label unequal citizens and the way the masses interpreted these labels.

“It permeated society about who people were and how we perceive them, and it will continue, and [immigrants] are considered to be unassailable or fearful — something to be afraid of because they are not American,” she said.

Government professor Julie Lantrip concluded the discussion with current issues shaping immigration by mentioning the impact of the campaign trail and the border wall in relation to the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

“Those people are in the United States,” she said. “They go to high school, they graduate, they come to TCC to go to school. But they cannot get federal financial aid because they are not citizens and are left in this limbo where they do not have a status but do not remember anything except the U.S.”

Lantrip stressed the importance to students of the pending legislation hinging on the upcoming election.

“We are all products of immigrants, and if we can remember that and how they are treated, it will help us understand what immigrants today are going through,” Wood said.

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