The Great Compromise: Immigration in 21st Century America
The concept of immigration in the United States is very passionate to every person who resides in this great country. Even though illegal immigration affects many developed nations from all over the world by different ethnic groups, we hear the loudest noise from Hispanic (primarily Mexican) groups. Whether you are in favor of amnesty or in favor of mass arrests and deportation, everyone can certainly agree with one issue, and that is the culture.
America has always been a culturally different nation, even during its inception in 1776. Spanish influence by the great Spanish Empire dominated many regions of the Southwest and Florida, French pioneers resided in Louisiana and apparently we also had Jews living in a mostly Puritan nation. During the great migration of the 19th century, European immigrants scattered to come to the United States in hopes of a better life.
The one difference that I and the silent majority of Americans agree on is the cultural difference. Many immigrants landed on Ellis Island in New York, many of them with nothing and given American names. Names like Nirocho Makacarewiz became Nick Marks, and many had to learn the English language. Today’s wave of immigration has the advantage of a politically correct atmosphere. Where many expect to be handed everything in their native language which is for most of today’s immigrants is Spanish. If Jose Martinez where to be changed to Joe Martin, it would be called racist.
Where Americans are being forced to adapt to Hispanic (primarily Mexican) culture, but the immigrants do not have to adapt to American society. I’m one of the fortunate Hispanic immigrants who came to this wonderful nation legally. Who earned the title of Citizenship, and adapted to the traditions and customs of my adopted land while not forgetting the culture that defines my heritage.
I believe that as a Hispanic immigrant, many of my people (legal or not) should begin to adapt to American society. To learn about the constitution and the history, rather than just quote it for political reasons. As a naturalized American, I feel that natural born Citizens should also recognize their origins of what it means to be an American. They may have been born in this great land, but I feel that I and many others earned the right to be called American. All of us, need to understand that all immigrants are not Hispanic and also that all Hispanics are not immigrants. This country has given so much to me and my family, and I have volunteered my efforts to repay those opportunities by joining the U.S. Military (twice) and voting.
I feel that us as a nation should begin to identify ourselves as such, not as African-American, Hispanic-American, Italian-American but just as American. Willing to defend the things that represent us as a nation, even if it means putting myself in physical danger to prevent the desecration of my American symbols. Regardless of your political beliefs, ethnic group or immigrant status I would have everyone who is very passionate about this issue show respect to the American Flag. Not out of some political ideology but just out of respect. You wouldn’t want to go to a friend’s house and desecrate their home? Why would you do the same to the flag of the country that you call home, even if it is just temporary? We are not a perfect nation, we never have been. But we must be a pretty darn good one if we have exodus of people wanting to come to the United States.
Compromise and understanding starts with communication, and since the last generation of immigrants were encouraged and expected to adapt to American society, Hispanic immigrants must do the same. It is only fair and I’m proud to say that I’m Hispanic by birth, but American by choice. And I think a lot of young people forget that.