Immigration is the result of people wishing for a better life as they are promised the ‘pursuit of happiness’ only attainable via the American Dream. The belief that the American Dream is in fact sought after is validated by America’s diverse immigration issue. I can personally argue that the American Dream is achievable for people from other nations solely through immigration. As an eighteen year old girl who receives money from her father each week to go on shopping sprees and adventures, I can say I live a very comfortable life. The source behind my financial stability is the years my grandparents spent as manual laborers. My mother went through her nursing certification while my father grew his empire as an entrepreneur. The end result of their hard work is evident through our lifestyle. This was attainable solely through their faith in the underlying value they saw embedded in immigrating to America.
My passion towards immigration has been ignited as of recent national affairs surrounding the newfound presidency. With the inauguration of Trump, many racist people were coaxed out of hiding via the brazen statements made by the new presidential candidate. As someone actively participating in my culture and community, I felt the need to protect my own Indian immigrant family and my Latino immigrant friends. With threats of a wall looming, the rate of hate crimes crawled upwards. The increase was 44% over a three year span and was frightening to me. I decided to strongly identify with immigration and the label of being an immigrant.
Immigration has remained an ever changing subject. It has taken center stage as a political hot button, the motive behind justifying racialized attacks and the lack of jobs, and the rite of passage for those coming to America in search of a better life. Immigration was first documented as early as 1600 when the Europeans first established themselves on the shores of America. The largest forced migration occurred during the 17th century. With the exclusion and attempts by the United States government to diminish immigration, immigration strengthened and became far more powerful. From the Chinese people who were forcibly removed from the gold industry during its boom via the Chinese Exclusion Act. To the people lined outside of America’s southern border waiting to be granted asylum and amnesty, immigration has been leveraged in order to remove obstacles despite the hurdles placed before you.
In current day, the topic of immigration and how someone feels towards the topic is used to gauge political stances. The politics behind immigration allows for charged debates between two starkly contrasted groups. The debate behind immigration is relevant today as much as ever. One side calls to ‘deport them all’ where the other strongly assert that we should provide aid to those seeking refuge between our borders. The only common ground evident is the mutual recognition and different by definition version of the preservation of the American Dream. This means that predominantly republican people hold the belief that we are able to preserve the American Dream by opposing immigration. People who possess predominantly democratic beliefs argue that the American Dream is for everyone as ‘all men are created equal’, thus allowing immigrants to pursue it.
Immigration has remained prevalent in the life of myself and my ancestors. The Punjabi people are the result of Persian caravans which migrated south and conquered a small portion of the Indus people in the subcontinent of India. A direct effect of immigration results in the integration of cultures. A lasting memory was forged in my mind regarding immigration on two separate occasions. The first occasion being when my aunt’s visa request was approved, allowing her to come for my uncle’s funeral here in America. The circumstances behind it are grim but seeing him laid to rest allowed my aunt to pursue her own version of peace and happiness. The second occasion was where my father opened his first liquor store, the amount of pride I felt in knowing my father didn’t have a college degree and was still capable of such feats invoked a sense of pride which encourages me.
The article regarding Chinese immigrants in the United States, the online article about immigration in the United States before 1965, and the article about the correlation between hate crimes and the news and the new president are my three sources of choice. They were convenient because they were online. They are not only extremely informative, but concise and to the point. The point of view is not based by person. This detached approached made the articles more informative and true to fact.
Among my literary findings, the three books I have chosen are “ Tell Me How it Ends; An Essay in 40 Questions” by Valeria Luiselli. I chose this work of literature because she discusses the first hand contact she had with children when she worked as a translator. The second book is called “In the Country We Love” by Diana Guerrero. The Orange is the New Black star revisits painful memories regarding immigration. The third book, “The Line Becomes a River’ by Francisco Cantu features a perspective from a male in contrast to the previous two females. He recounts his time as a guard who implemented rules no matter how many severe in nature.
My investigation into the realm of immigration led me to many dead ends regarding the legal system. Many immigration issues today are the result of a flawed system. I would look into the logistics of the legal system regarding the immigration system. I would try to answer the fundamental questions held by many regarding what makes immigration so difficult. I believe that our ignorance as a society adds to the pressures already faced by immigrants.
This picture is one of my favorite pictures regarding immigration. I believe in meeting hate with love, this is well exemplified through the warp of the statement ‘Make America Great Again’. Instead the slogan ‘make america kind again’ is shown. This leads me to believe that America is still salvageable in the hands of people who are in my generation.The picture was taken in Wisconsin. The second image pushes forward the theme of a melting pot, the flags are sewn together in an attempt to show how smaller fractions of a nation are used to comprise it as a whole. The image also features people holding the edges of the flag. Many people of different backgrounds are shown.