As you may know, thousands of high students have been skipping classes this week to protest new federal laws that will try to stop illegal immigration into the United States. With all the protests, sign-waving, and school-skipping, we feel like perhaps the community is confused about how the United States works. We wanted to take this opportunity to explain it to you.The United States is like a library. The library is open to the public and can be visited by anyone. The library welcomes all visitors. But if a person wants to use the library’s resources or spend time in the library, then he or she needs a membership card. True, getting a library card will require some paperwork, but after the paperwork is done, that person will have all the privileges of any other cardholder.
However, some people do not apply for library cards. Instead, they simply take the books they want without properly checking them out. This is called stealing. When people steal the library books and do not return them, the library has to replace those books. To cover the costs of replacing stolen books, the library has to charge fees and fines to its card-carrying members. This situation is especially prevalent with children, who may not know better. But every time a child without a membership card steals a book, it has to be replaced with funds from the library members.
The library has its own language that it uses for its vital functions. Let’s say that one library uses the Dewey Decimal System. The library members spend time learning how the Dewey Decimal System works. Now let’s say that another person, not a library member, starts visiting the library. But he or she is used to books being categorized by the Library of Congress Classification system. Even though there are membership classes explaining how to use the Dewey Decimal System, that person only wants to use his or her Library of Congress Classification system and refuses to learn the Dewey Decimal System. Every time the person tries to look something up, he or she has to ask the librarian for help instead of learning a new system.
The library might need to build a fence around its property. The library has the right to build this fence around its property.
We are not against immigration. We love that the United States has such diversity and so many different cultures incorporated into it. We welcome anyone that comes into our country legally. The point is millions of people over hundreds of years have immigrated into the United States through legal methods. Why should we make exceptions for our friends from the south?
Laura Israel, junior, and Randi Stayton, sophomore