|American Progress by John Gast, |
is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west.
This entire immigration debate makes me laugh. Throughout the course of American History, the US has had no problem declaring how much of a melting pot this nation is. You can go to Ellis Island and see the list of names of all the people who crossed our boarders looking for a better life. One can also go back into history and realize that our entire country is basically built on the fact that people from other nations have to come to this land to claim a place to call home.
From the moment European settlers came to this land and decimated the original people who lived here, there has been this debate about people who are crossing boarders. Yet, it has been Americans who have crossed boarders and called it the Western Expansion or the Manifest Destiny. This was our country's view of expanding or realm of freedom by driving out the Native Americans and pushing Mexicans south.
Our views of immigration become very convoluted with modern rhetoric about people who come to this country and take American Jobs. Most of time, the media puts a face behind these "immigrants" and those just happen to belong to Latinos (Mexicans to be more specific). Yet, there is very little attention paid to other types of immigrants that may be lighter in skin tone as if most immigrants who are European know exactly what they are doing.
The problem with the belief of jobs being taken is the simple fact that most of the jobs that these undocumented immigrants are mostly working are jobs that many Americans do not want anyway. Fruit Picking? House Keeping? Sure, the argument is that undocumented workers are willing to work for less thus pushing down the wages and making that job unattractive to the US Worker, but isn't that the fault of the people who are signing the checks? They are the ones who want to make more profit. And let's just say that these places do stop hiring these immigrants and just hire Americans for higher wages, the price of that product or service increases and then we will really complain.
My real issue with this whole idea of just pushing everyone out comes down to the issue of judgement. Many people assume that all undocumented immigrants are in this country for a negative reason. Not everyone has the same story. This need to lump everyone into one thing becomes very discriminatory and of course, in America, that is not surprising.
I am for immigration because this country was founded by immigrants. But, when history is written in a certain way that celebrates people like Columbus for "discovering" a country that was already populated then it is no surprise that the fight for immigration becomes a bloody one.