Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Diverse Sources Interview

Quotes collected by: Shelby McElwee
Source: Montana Jarrell
General Studies major at Texas State University, age 21

Question 1: What is your opinion about President Trump’s immigration policies that are affecting people across the country?

"I don’t think it’s uncalled for or that it’s wrong. I think that he states a lot of good points and it’s not geared toward one specific race or religion. It’s a general, broad statement that says, 'We need to start putting ourselves first,' and that doesn’t make us selfish, that makes us…smart."

Question 2: What, if anything, concerns you about the new law?
"I think the thing that concerns me the most is the fact that it can be taken in many different ways. It can be blown out of proportion, basically. People don’t do their research. They rely on the media for information and that is causing problems versus if you just go and actually read the policy itself. The only thing that I would say that would be worth going into more detail about it is the birth rights citizenship part because I feel like it could go either way. It depends on the case, I guess."
Question 3: Why should or why shouldn’t illegal immigrants be detained?
"People like to say, 'Oh, they came here to escape whatever; they’re not criminals.' But if you come illegally, you are technically breaking the law. Therefore, it does kind of make you a criminal. At the same time, if you have a government that’s not doing its part in keeping track of its own citizens, how do you know who’s coming into the country and not? As far as detaining them goes, I think that they should be detained until, like the policy states, no more “Catch and Release.” By catching and releasing, you’re not guaranteeing the safety of anybody. You’re not guaranteeing the safety of those being captured or your own citizens."
Question 4: Do you personally know someone who is illegal? How does that influence your opinion?
"I’m sure I know people who are illegal, but I think that, at this time, nobody’s coming out and saying it because of their fear for what’s going on and how people will take that. I’m not saying that everybody that is illegal is a bad person, but you also don’t know who they are if they’re hiding their true selves. And I think that if I was close to somebody, it might influence my opinion more. But I still think that there’s a right way to do things, and our government has not been taking the best steps in ensuring that those that do want to come over for good reasons with good intentions are getting all the resources and help that they should. And I think that because of that, there is a growing number of illegal immigrants coming in from all over, not just from one particular place."
Question 5: How do you feel about ongoing discussions with university administrations to deem Texas State a “Sanctuary Campus?” Do you think that status would affect how safe students feel on campus?
"I don’t think that we should be a sanctuary campus. The reason being because I think it would undermine the academic level of the school. Being a “sanctuary campus” wouldn’t benefit anybody, except those who are taking sanctuary there. And even then, you still don’t really know who these people are. So I don’t think that it should. And personally I wouldn’t feel safe. I can’t speak for everybody. I’m not a spokesperson for Texas State students, but I would not feel safe with it being a “sanctuary campus,” and the reason is because you don’t know who’s taking sanctuary there. I don’t know, I think it would definitely take away funding from those students who are there for the right reasons. And it would take away resources from us."
Question 6: How do you feel about Greg Abbott, our governor, saying that he would cut funding to universities that claim sanctuary status?
"I think it’s justified. We need to start putting ourselves first. We need to start taking responsibility for our own people. We can’t take responsibility for other countries’ citizens. Why should we? Why should we harbor that financial stress? And with financial stress comes emotional stress. And I agree with him. As a U.S. citizen, born and raised, I would not be happy going to a campus where I would have to pay my own way, all my taxes going to the schools and everything like that, just so that somebody could illegally come and find sanctuary at our school and use those resources when those resources could be put back into my own education. I don’t mind helping fund somebody else’s education as long as they are there legally."
Question 7: So you don’t feel that any of Trump’s policies directly target any demographics?
"I definitely don’t. I will say that in the beginning of his policy, it does talk about Mexico a lot, but I think that that’s justified more so because we are a bordering nation with them. But if you keep going through and you keep reading it doesn’t directly call out any particular group of people."
Question 8: Do you think that having a border/a screening process for people coming from other countries is racist or discriminatory?
"Absolutely not. You have a screening, you have a process that you have to go through. And I think that with the way our world is turning right now with the violence, and the media, and the fact that people aren’t educating themselves on what’s going on in the world, I definitely think that that is something that needs to be put in place because you can’t say you’re protecting your own citizens by allowing whoever to come into the country whenever and stay however long. Your citizens should be first and foremost the most important things that you protect. They’re the ones who put you into power. They are the ones who will back you when things go wrong. They are the ones who will fight for you and support you when the time comes. But you can’t say that about anybody else who comes into the country."
Question 9: Do you think that there are any other places currently in the world that the U.S. should use as an example when they look at Trump’s immigration policies? Other countries that maybe open immigration, open borders is not doing well, or is doing well?
Yeah, there are a lot of places that are not doing well. And unfortunately with the media, of course, they always point out the bad and you don’t really see the good. But I have a lot of family friends in Germany. My family is from Germany. So I get to talk to a lot of friends from there. There were multiple guys with axes running through their main train station. They are losing resources and government funding. They have a high tax rate to provide for free healthcare, but that free healthcare is now being provided to all of those refugees that they took in, and it’s making it hard for them to get the care that they are used to getting. It’s making it hard for them to get those resources that they have always been promised and that they have always essentially paid for, even though it’s considered free. It’s hitting a lot of people a lot harder than they realize because when they said, 'Our borders are open,' they gave people an inch, and those people took a mile. And so they didn’t have the preparation or the resources. And I think that neither do we. We are not in a place where we can just open our borders to whoever. And people aren’t seeing that."
Question 10: Do you think that having family in Germany, where things like that are happening, influences how you feel about this policy?
"Most definitely. I think that seeing it from both sides is very important. I think it is very important to do your own research and to form your own ideas on policies and just things that are going on. I have listened to them talk. I have listened to the tragedies that have been happening over there. I have seen it on the news and I have seen it in the media. I’m not saying that every single immigrant or refugee is a terrorist or some horrible criminal. What I’m saying is that it has done more harm than good. They now have access to resources that they’re not paying for, that they haven’t had before so they’re being able to take advantage of these more so than ever. And that does influence me, seeing how hard it is for my family friends to receive the healthcare that they’re so used to and how difficult it is for them now. There is a change in their attitudes toward other cultures that they didn’t have before. And that’s sad because I think that it’s very important to be educated in other cultures and religions. But yeah, that has definitely affected my views on this policy a lot because, like I said, I’ve seen it from both sides."
Question 11: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
"I think that there’s certain parts of the policy that could’ve been worded a little bit better, and I definitely think that there are some things that need to be taken into consideration that were not. However, I understand that this is an ongoing process and like any new policy, it’s going to need to be reformed and it’s going to need to be shined up a little bit. There are going to be tweaks that need to happen and changes need to be made. But I think as a start this is a great first step into securing the safety of Americans. And I’m not saying Americans as in white people; I’m saying Americans as in those who make this country what it is. Those who keep this country afloat and who have come together as one group of people. And I feel like with the Obama administration, that got so separated. That’s when I really saw our nation start to divide. And that was really scary to watch because you’ve seen what it’s turned into. I feel like Trump was handed a broken mirror and was told to fix it. He’s trying to put all these pieces back together. But I do applaud him for doing it, regardless of what everyone else is saying."


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