Immigration in our Nation

We all were immigrants once

The gist of it....

Immigration has been occurring near the borders of Mexico, around the area of the East, and sometimes the North. This has been happening since the 19th century until present day. Immigrants come to America looking for a better place to permanently reside in. Instead, many of them are faced with racial prejudice and fear. " Mexicans are frequent targets of racial prejudice." (Stigma) There's many falsely accusations that surround immigrants . This occurs because Americans fear that " immigrants will threaten our way of life. " (Kristof)

Stigma and Fears surrounding Immigrants

Immigrants are feared because they supposedly hurt the economy, yet statistics show otherwise.
Immigrants have contributed to $100 million in social security and paid $11 billion dollars in taxes alone.

Some think that immigrants will abuse the welfare system and steal jobs.

Others argue that immigrants create new jobs that bolster the national economy and that they don't even have the ability to even use public assistance due to their immigration status.
Americans try to even taking this angle to diseases. They say that immigrants bring all sorts of diseases that are going to kill Americans. "Lou Dobbs said that 'unscreened illegal immigrants' were partly to blame for an alleged 7,000 cases of leprosy in the United states from 2002-2005" ( Immigrants targeted).
This was proven wrong by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, when they declared that these 7,000 cases were accumulative of 30 and not 3 years .

An illegal immigrant girl's education and the DREAM act

Without a doubt, there are illegal immigrants within the United States. Here's a story about a girl and her struggles to try to finish her education within the States....

She was a child that was separated from her dad, who lived in United States for 8 years. Then, one day she moved to America with her entire family.
Usually excelling in her classes, she was faced with confusion when she started failing English. From then on, she tried tremendously to learn English and excel in her classes. When she graduated from high school, she ended up being accepted into an Ivy League school. She was ecstatic but at the same time also disappointed because she could not attend. When Obama passed the DREAM act, she was so relived. She gets to pursue higher education, without the stress of legal documents.

The DREAM act

An act that is bipartisan and allows children to pursue higher education is a good thing, right?
Some seem to disagree and here are the reasons.

"According to Denver Daily News, anti-illegal immigration advocate Tom Tancredo says the bill should be renamed the NIGHTMARE act" ( McFayden).

There are other groups that also support this idea. These groups believe that the DREAM act " would reward immigrants and encourage continued illegal immigration" ( McFayden). People fear that the illegal immigrants would take spots away from American students and make it difficult for them to obtain tuition assistance.
The DREAM act allows for innocent children to be able to get the choice of being able to pursue a higher education.
Unlike what the anti-illegal immigration advocates think, the DREAM act would help the Department of homeland security to tighten up the borders. Instead of focusing on innocent children illegal immigrants who grew up in the country, the DREAM act allows the department to focus on immigrants that pose a threat to the nation.

After going to college, these illegal immigrants would become immigrants. They would be able to work and add around 3.6 trillion to the economy by taxes.
Although there are fears of unjust surrounding the DREAM act, it is an act that will bring justice to innocent children.

Relating back to Literature.

The debates surrounding immigrants is the contemporary version of The Crucible. The fear of witchery broke the community within Salem. This can be applied to what is happening with immigration. People within Salem were so narrow minded that they would not believe anything else. This was proven by, "... a person is either with the court or he must be counted against it, there is no road in between" ( Danforth). Danforth believed that anyone who even slightly disagrees with the court is against it. There are no exceptions. With this idea in mind, it caused fear within the community. It caused the need for people to point fingers at one another. Some of these views are expressed by the people that oppose the DREAM act. They will only listen to the supposed negative side of the act. They only believed that immigrants would bring down the economy. They would not listen to reason like Danforth when presented with evidence. When Danforth was presented with evidence by Giles, Francis, and John, Danforth did not want to believe in the evidence. Instead he concludes in his mind that the three of them is forming conspiracies against the court. When Giles would not give him the name of the person who told him of Putman, Danforth wanted to lock him up. He says, "You are under arrest in contempt of this court" (Danforth). Instead of believing in Giles, he tries to arrest him on unjust terms. Like Danforth, the anti-immigrant advocates will try its hardest to avoid the evidence that immigrants help the economy. They only want to hear what they believe in and will not listen to other facts that go against that belief. When Mary Warren wanted to tell the truth no one would believe her. When asked if she saw any spirits, she said "no sir" ( Mary Warren). When the court asked Abigail, she lied and they still all believed her. They were suspicious of the Mary Warren's answer because it did not align with the court. The court would rather choose to believe in false evidence because it would be more beneficial to their cause. They wouldn't have to be responsible for all the lives they took. The opposition against the DREAM act are not substantial. The evidence that is presented from the advocates are all just appealing to pathos. It pulls on the strings of the heart but it doesn't have a leg to stand on. There's a lot of evidence that can prove that the DREAM act is good for the nation. Yet like Mary Warren in the Crucible, advocates won't listen to the evidence. They will just come up with more reasons to disprove the truth. This is how Literature can be tied back to contemporary events. The Crucible can be applied to the debates surrounding immigration because similar behavior of denying evidence can be found.

Author: Jessica Li


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