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.
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.
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.
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.