Immigration Reflection

We often hear stories of Mexican immigrants in the Southwest being deported in the evening news or on the internet. It seems so far away from Baltimore and our pressing local predicaments of racism and police brutality. However, when I read that our future president threatened to deport not only illegal immigrants, but their children with American citizenships, it opened my eyes to the important matter at hand. Our country was heading down a dangerous path, and its effects could be more disastrous than I had ever dreamed of.
I couldn’t help but feel like the whole situation was extremely unfair, though some people would say that’s just life. The children, as many call “anchor babies,” had done nothing wrong. They could not help that they were the “wrong people” to immigrate to America, as Trump had labeled them. When watching the documentary film following the lives of immigrant high schoolers, the story of a Guatemalan boy especially caught my interest. His parents threatened to pull him out of school for getting poor grades and not completing his homework. The distraught teenager sadly told the cameraman “If I don’t go to school, then I’m just like every other Hispanic immigrant out there.” I know plenty of boys who don’t complete their schoolwork and get off with a light scolding. Unlike the Guatemalan immigrant in the video, they have the luxury of being able to afford college without a spectacular resume. When you realize that there’s a whole group of people who have the ultimate challenge of breaking out of the mold cast for them and achieving a bright future, it definitely puts things in perspective.
Ironically, it was this very group of people who founded our now judgmental country. After watching the documentary, I thought back to my own heritage. It was far from flattering, and my poor sharecropper ancestors had little to no records on them. It was not until my parents’ generation when my family finally was able to go to college. Though I am where I am today because of their struggles and hard work, I realized that their obstacles were much different from the immigrants’ issues today. They did not have to fear for their lives because of their religion, nor were they alienated because of their race. They also lived in a time where education was not necessarily mandatory for success. Today, immigrants have work hard to get into college to reach any successful job. Not only do they have to keep up their grades, but they also have to find the money to pay for college tuition. As America loses the fluidity of its class system over time and gains more judgements views, immigrants are having a harder and harder time breaking free of stigma and a low-income lifestyle.

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4 Comments

  1. I agree with this. Anchor babies have done nothing wrong, if anything, have resolved some of the problems in America. For example, many immigrant children have gone off to amazing schools and turned out to be amazing leaders (take a look at Sonia Sotomayor). Also, yes, I do agree that the competition in the work force has increased by a lot as many more immigrants are entering the United States. We have been working on these problems for a long time since the earliest immigrants emigrated from their countries. Actually, my class has been learning about the Great Depression and how the government created millions of jobs for those who lost their jobs, many of whom were immigrants. That being said, also during the Great Depression, immigrants were blamed for many job losses. Do you have any suggested ways of reducing the competition or opening up more jobs?

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    • I think that the first step towards evening out the economy is trying to get inner city schools back on their feet. Nearly a century ago, city schools had the best teachers and education. Since many immigrants tended to move towards urban areas in the late 1800s and early 1900s, this situation evened out the economic gap between the natives and immigrants. Now that private schools lead in education rather than free public schools in the cities, immigrants cannot afford to catch up to the natives, resulting in the economic gap growing wider.

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