American Immigrants in the Modern Era

January 29, 2018
By Inkxpaperx BRONZE, Rancho Santa Fe, California
Inkxpaperx BRONZE, Rancho Santa Fe, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Immigration is the fundamental basis on which the United States of America was built. Beginning with settlers in the 16th century, all the way to modern immigration of refugees and other migrants. Immigration built this country, whether it was the first settlers, the immigrants during the Industrial Revolution, or the immigration status of today. No person in America can say immigration does not affect them, because they are the foundation of this country. At this point in time, there is an immigration crisis, and our duty as Americans, because we are inhabitants of the land of the free, is to help those immigrants so they may thrive in this country and be free from the oppression they have previously faced.

As of the immigration boom in the 1800s, many of the immigrants that came to America were escaping religious persecution, economic hardship, or flawed government systems. Modern reasons for immigration include escaping from oppression, escaping violence or war, escaping poverty, or seeking better healthcare and/or opportunities. America is supposed to be a diverse country, with peoples from all over the world coming together and sharing their cultures. However if we keep denying immigrants the chance to come to America, there will be no diverse melting pot of culture. There will simply be selfish people with arrogant feelings of superiority. In the Constitution, the fourteenth amendment states that no state can “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” The ban of immigrants coming to America surely violates this principle, as we are not allowing those people to come into our country and experience the basic human freedom that everyone has a right to have.

During the 2016 Presidential race, candidate Donald Trump called for the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” This rightfully caused an uproar of the left-wing party as they identified that this was a violation of the first amendment right to freedom of religion. Since the election, no such ban has occurred, however President Trump has made it known that his stance on immigration is to ban it until an acceptable legal system can be devised. The majority of Americans would agree, there does need to be a vetting process of some sort, because we cannot simply allow every immigrant into the United States without ensuring the safety of the American population. But a vetting system does not mean a complete ban on immigrants. There are ways that immigrants and refugees have come to this country legally, and it has worked for many years. We are human. Surely no one can devise a perfect fool-proof plan that allows no dangerous people into the country. As of right now, the already in place system includes rigorous background checks such as reference checks, scanning of the iris fingerprints, the consultation of nine different government agencies, and weekly meetings are held to discuss a refugee’s case file. If President Trump wants something more rigorous, it will take years and years for any refugee to come to this country.

Of course the main cause of the desire for intense checking of refugees stems from fear. With terrorist attacks throughout the globe, everyone is on high alert. No one wants to introduce a potential danger to the country, which is why President Trump had called for the ban of all Muslims from entering the United States. However this is simply another example of generalization of a people. President Trump has been known to call Muslims “terrorists” and Mexicans, “rapists.” Generalizing a certain group in such a way is harmful for their reputation, and media bias portrays these groups in a way that does not reflect a good light of these people. Racism is clearly an issue here, as Trump has generalized these groups to be criminals. The right wing group also argues that immigrants are taking American jobs and resources from the native born Americans. This might have been a decent argument if any American person was truly “American”, except we all come from an ancestory of immigrants, except for the Native Americans.

It is clear that media bias has played an outstanding role in increasing the fear of Americans for letting immigrants and refugees into our country, when in reality the majority of these immigrants just want freedom, like any other person. Racial slurs from the President do not help these allegations, but provoke the public to turn their backs on the immigrants. This is wrong, as it is our duty as Americans to help these people and allow them to enjoy a life free from oppression and dwell in a country that gives them freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The author's comments:

I am extremely passionate about politics and the current state of our government. I believe that Immigrants are extremely important to this country, however they have recently been under unjust scrutiny. I am passionate about protecting the rights of the people, and as a descendent of immigrants, the issue of refugees and immigration is important in this modern day.

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