Just Like Us

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Argumentative Essay about Helen Thorpe’s Just Like Us
Just Like Us by Helen Thorpe is “The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America.” The story revolves around four high school students; Marisela who is a gaudy, driven, dramatic girl who wears “twice as much makeup as anybody else in her circle.”(8) Yadira who is a strong and reserved girl who “never gave away anything important with her facial expressions.”(8) Elissa is a star athlete and Clara usually dresses like a tomboy. They are all eighteen years of age and top students at Theodore Roosevelt High School together in Denver, Colorado, whose parents all came to the United States illegally from Mexico. All four of the girls have grown up in the United States. They all have hopes of living the American dream. Marisela and Yadira do not have their legal documents and therefore are not legal American citizens, Clara and Elissa; on the other hand have legal documentation. During high school the girls struggled with the question about their futures and discovered that it was going to be a lot more difficult then they originally imagined. Malcolm Gladwell said, “Helen Thorpe has taken policy and turned it into literature.” This quote perfectly summarizes one of the central themes in the story. People’s perceptions of undocumented immigrants clearly affect the way Marisela and Yadira live. Should undocumented immigrants be able to have the same opportunities and privileges as documented immigrants? An illegal immigrant is a citizen of a foreign country who comes to the United States with out permission from the government or stays past the allotted time of their visa. With that said, what makes someone an American Citizen? An American citizen is an individual who was born anywhere in the United States or its territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, nationality of one or both parents, or by going through the naturalization process. American citizens do not need...
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