Immigration is a subject matter that should be becoming a concern in the United States. There are three major issues concerning immigration, those illegal immigrants that come here illegally, those that cannot speak the language, and those who display their nation’s flag, but take residency in the United States. In approaching these topics there is a sensitivity that should be shown to those coming to this country. The reason being is that this country was founded by those who were immigrants.
There should be some history given on immigration to understand how the country has dealt with immigration in the past. The first major immigration since our journey over to this country was the immigration of African Americans through the slave trade; 500,000 were brought over until up to the time of the American Revolution (Bergen). This is one of history’s only forced immigrations. From 1830 to the year 1890 there were 7.5 million recorded illegal immigrants to this country from Europe and Asia.
This was brought about by the large number of growing opportunities in the U.S. for those jobs that were unskilled, and low paying, which will be discuss later. The gold rush accounted for many of the Asian and Latin American immigrants. In 1907 Japanese immigration was limited and Chinese immigration has been stopped in the years 1892 and 1902. (Bergen) To present there was an increase in the number of Cuban immigrants. This was caused by crisis in Cuba with Fidel Castro, and most that fled were the wealthy and educated.
Illegal Immigration is becoming more and more apparent in America as we move through the ages. As stated by Chris Cannon, member of the House of Representatives, “Our nation’s immigration policy has been of top concern in recent years, and for good reason. With between eight and twelve million illegal aliens in the United States, it is obviously a problem out of control.”(Brainy Quote) The leading concern for illegal immigration is coming from south of North America as Mexican citizens leave their low-income country and come to this land. Mexicans account for 37.8% of the total immigration into the United States according to the Center of Immigration.
This was concluded in the year 2000 and since then it is predicted that more will come. The number of Mexican immigrants has gone from 800,000 in 1970 to well over 8 million as of 2001, most of which are resident aliens.(CIS) The dramatic increase in Latino population has not been all bad. The Latinos make up a language pool of unskilled laborers that will work for very little money. However, to every shining light there is some gloom. This has led to the decrease in the ability for younger high school age kids to be able to find a job in those non-skilled positions.
Also as resident aliens they do not have the right to vote and if ever a draft they would not have to go fight for the country they live in. How is this fair? Stricter border patrols should be set and there should be more attention paid to those that are here on a temporary Visa and just decide to stay. In talking to those that are here legally and through research, many Americans now have some concern for the people who come here illegally. They are just as opposed as any natural born American would be to the whole situation.
Realizing that this was a nation built by foreigners, one would like to know why, when Americans chose English as the national language, they would be so willing to give it up. “Tomorrow we can expect to spend most of our lives in the company of neighbors who will speak in a different tongue” (Barnlund, pg 47). In theory it seems that more and more foreign tongues are being used in everyday life in America.
Not only does everyone hear these other languages, they are exposed to seeing it on billboards, directions to electronic equipment, and on television. If the citizens of this country were to start immigrating to other parts of the world, would that others would bend over backwards to bridge the language barrier as Americans have? One would hope that in other countries the American person would at least have the courtesy to attempt the language of that country. It is both rude and inconsiderate when in a foreign country not to be able to have at least a little bit of an ability to communicate with those around one. Instead, all Americans who do not know Spanish must compromise.
The symbol of this nation is the historic American flag, as some know it “old glory”. After September 11, 2001, one saw more and more flags flown throughout this country. This should be the only flag flown over U.S. grounds. However, one can travel throughout America and see Mexican flag flown over the top of an American flag by many residents. There should be a law to prevent these cases from happening. It is alright for an immigrant to be proud of one’s country but it is not right to fly their flag over the American flag.
One would hope that there are still those who are not willing to compromise the integrity of this country by putting this flag under another. Cultures need to have their boundaries defining how much they will bend to make others feel at home.
In conclusion, there are many men fighting today for this country which one could feel is being taken over by other customs. This is America where English is spoken and the American flag is waved. Americans show pride in the country and language while it lasts, because at the rate of illegal immigration, Americans will be the minorities to those that are here illegally.
Barnlund, Dean. “Communication in a Global Village.” Literacies 2nd ed. Ed. TerenceBrunk et al. York: Norton, 2000. 47-61.
Lee, Jonathan & Robert Siemborski. “Peaks & Waves of Immigration.” The American Immigration Home Page. 2005. 5 Nov 05http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/Immigration/waves_of_immigration.html
“Illegal Immigration.” Center for Immigration Studies. 2005 3Nov05http://www.cis.org/topics/illegalimmigration.html