Immigration is Positive For Everyone

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I am an immigrant. My parents brought me to this country when I was 6 years old. Before coming to the US, my knowledge of this dream land was limited. I remember playing with my younger cousin and speaking in “English,” which was actually made up gibberish. My kindergarten school had a 1 hour English class a day. There I learned the words “frog,” “hello,” and “love.” I did not want to come to the US. I wanted to stay in Mexico living with my grandparents and the world I knew. I cried so much, and many years after would cry for my motherland. My heart would melt at the mention of my country. But soon the years passed, and the pain eased. I began to call this country my country, and began to think of myself as an American. Assimilation was easier because I was young.

My parents are immigrants. They came to this country as adults. Before coming to the US, their knowledge of the dream land was filled with fantasies. They wanted their kids to learn English, as it would set them apart. They came to this country to seek a better life for themselves and their kids. They left their family, their house, and came to work in a country whose language they did not master. They wanted to stay in Mexico living with their family and culture. They cried and felt the separation. The years passed, and the pain did not ease. They held on to their culture by attending community events and remaining close to their religion. More years passed, and the thoughts of going back to their motherland soon faded. They soon began to identify with the American culture and values. Now they cannot think of belonging anywhere else. Their motherland is the United States of America. They identify with American politics, watch the news, and hope for a better future for themselves, their brothers and sisters in this country. Assimilation was harder because they were adults.

Above are examples of what it means to be American, truly. Unlike any other immigrant in the world, immigrants are different in America. While we keep our cultural values from our country, we assimilate and begin to call America our country. It’s truly a melting pot.

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Immigration is a hot topic in Congress right now. Obama was reelected due to the support of a majority of Hispanics. The Republican party is tactfully changing their stance on immigration four months after Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, uttered the words “self deportation.”

I usually stay out of politics. I never really tell people my stance because well frankly, most of the time I want to scream at people and their ignorance. I am pro-immigration. And no, not just pro-immigration for technology and entrepreneurial experts, I believe we should let people immigrate who want to be a productive member of society: construction workers, janitor, farm workers. If they want to work and make a living, let’s let them in and be productive, tax paying members of society.

Paul Rand on immigration in this country:

My family’s story is like that of millions of others who came to this country. Every generation of immigrants wants these opportunities. Many have faced intolerance and bigotry.  It was not always easy to be German American in the face of two world wars started by Germans.  Intolerance is not new, and it is not limited to one language or skin color. But through our rich history, and for many millions of immigrants who came to America, such sacrifice and hardship was worth it. They wanted what all Americans want-better lives for themselves, their children and grandchildren.

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I’m usually not swayed by any political speeches. They all sound like yada yada to me. I’m a realist and I have, also, watched Netflix’s House of Cards.

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But I cannot ignore the resonating tone Paul Rand had in his speech to the Houston’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He spoke about his interaction with Latinos while working as a teenager mowing lawns.

I lived, worked, played, and grew up alongside Latinos. At a young age, I came to understand that it makes a difference whether you are an documented immigrant or an undocumented immigrant, that the existence was not easy for the undocumented but that opportunity in America somehow trumped even the poor living conditions and low pay.

I have met a lot of people who have accused immigrants of draining our economy and resources. People who say immigrants are taking the place of our citizens and don’t deserve it. People who say we shouldn’t give in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students because they are not American. I have gritted my teeth, in order, to not be disrespectful.

I am a true believe in laissez faire. Let the best win. So if our immigrants are willing to work harder to improve themselves, and just are willing to work harder than everybody else, why not let them. I graduated Valedictorian of my class, and beat my Caucasian best friend and Asian best friend. I received scholarships based on my academic performance, community service, and extra curricular accomplishments. This took work. Instead of having fun my senior year, I worked and studied for multiple exams, wrote a 40 page thesis paper, and completed a 2 year computer science dossier. I did this because I knew nothing in this country would be given to me, I would have to earn it. No way I was going to go to college without scholarships. If I didn’t have a college education, I would have to work at a McDonald’s. I didn’t want that fate.

Paul Rand states it perfectly:

Unfortunately, like many of the major debates in Washington, immigration has become a stalemate-where both sides are imprisoned by their own rhetoric or attachment to sacred cows that prevent the possibility of a balanced solution.

While I don’t agree with Paul Rand’s advice on policy of let’s secure the border first, and then grant work visas after an evaluation; I admit it’s better than nothing.

Frankly, I think if the immigration overhaul is contingent upon border security, immigrants will never be fully American legally. Congress and committees will find ways to delay amnesty and leave the new immigrants/guest workers in legal limbo; effectively and truly without a country to call their motherland.

Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers. 12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors.

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10 comments

  • I don’t mind when bloggers share political beliefs that are different than mine as long as they are respectful when doing so. I think you made a well-stated argument. I find it funny that we both grew up similarly but have such vastly different viewpoints on immigration. I do believe that a lot of immigrants want to work hard and provide for their family, but a lot of the times that is NOT what I see. In my experience, I see a lot of the lazy workers who simply want to get by and take advantage of the system. I see immigrants who come to have their babies in our hospitals and don’t have to pay a cent and get tons of freebies and then go back to their country. I see immigrants who complain about being poor and yet drive the latest model car. I see a lot of people who take advantage of the system, who really have no desire to truly assimilate, and think the US should bend over backwards to meet their needs. And when they march in parades, I see them holding the Mexican flag demanding we give them rights despite their illegal status, when that would NEVER EVER fly in Mexico. Can you imagine a US ciitizen marching with an American flag in Mexico and demanding a driver’s license?
    Yes, I am Mexican, yes my parents were immigrants, but they did it legally and never became dependents on the system.

    • Erika, while I see your point, believe me I see it too, you can’t blame all immigrants for taking advantage of the system. Frankly, I know a lot of Americans, white gringos, who take advantage of the system.And as far as demanding, an American citizen would have no problem getting a license in Mexico, or flying the American flag there. I feel our country is special because we can all fly our own flags and still be American. It doesn’t matter if you are Iranian, Indian, Bangladesh, Chinese, Korean, Venezuelan, Argentinian, Mexican.

      As far as being dependents on the system, you really have to be more specific. Most of the programs so called in abuse like Medicare are broken to begin with. The truth is immigration is positive. All the undocumented immigrants who live in the shadows are not being tracked. Tracking is good for our society.
      As far as going through a residency program, part of the rules is you cannot claim any federal benefits. This will probably be a rule if there is an immigration overhaul. Immigration for undocumented immigrants is a big part of the overhaul, but the only one. It’s definitely getting more attention than anything else, but we have an immigration system that is broken.

      In my university, 95% diverse, I met so many students who came here for an education but were sent back or went to work in another country because there were not enough tech visas. I have also met immigrants who leave and go start up businesses in other countries taking their investment elsewhere.

      Nevertheless, I respect your opinions.

      • I think its a great discussion to have! You make excellent points and perhaps because I haven’t seen them with my own eyes, it is hard for me to understand. For example, I live in suburban Orange County and grew up in a predominantly-Mexican city so the only abuse of the system I saw was through immigrants and not the gringos ; ) But it never even occurred to me that abuses also take place by whites but in other parts of the country. You make some excellent points, and I am open to learning more. I will make sure to pay more attention to this issue. I still disagree though about flying the American flag in Mexico 😛
        Newlyweds on a Budget recently posted…The Death of Google ReaderMy Profile

        • It’s always about having an open discussion and discussing viewpoints you may not have experienced.

          Don’t get me wrong, there are immigrants that take advantage of the “system,” but it’s not only immigrants or Mexican illegal immigrants.

          I don’t believe anybody should abuse the system but it happens unfortunately.

  • Ooh, new layout!

    My family are immigrants – and yes, we did briefly receive some government support while getting on our feet, but my family went on to build a house and pay for it in cash, we all work and contribute to the economy.

    In my experience, which really is only specific to Asian immigrants to NZ, is that we work damn hard and contribute a lot, are humble and not flashy (the odd exchange student with flashy cars paid for by parents back home overseas excepted). On the other hand, through T’s family and friends, I see the worst examples of those who sit on welfare, have no work ethic and have kids they can’t afford. West Auckland’s white trash reputation is well deserved.
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    • Immigrants throughout history have shown perseverance. Americans forget this country was founded by immigrants. It didn’t matter if they here “legally” or “illegally.” Hah if we remember back to colonial times, this land is technically not ours right, but the British, Spanish, and French still set their flags on the ground and declared the land theirs.

      The railroads in America (on the Pacific Side to the Mississippi) were built by Chinese immigrants. The Irish had a huge immigrant population in Massachusetts.

      I just want people to remember our history. It’s so important to understand today’s complex issues.

  • I am pro immigration too. Immigrants work harder for less and that’s what we need in this country. People who are willing to uproot themselves for a better future has that intangible quality that we need.
    Retire By 40 recently posted…Can You Retire Comfortably On $31,722 per year?My Profile

  • As a first-generation immigrant, of course I’m going to fall squarely on the side of immigration being a positive. The hard work, innovation and drive and higher fertility rates of fresh immigrants is an injection of vitality in the receiving country. As far as the negative perception of “lazy workers” (an oxymoron) “taking advantage of the system”, there’s a simple set of solutions: get rid or reduce the system. The less “free” services that people can gank on, the less immigrants will be perceived as no-value-adding freeloaders.
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