I can still recall the first time I stepped foot into the land that I would eventually call home. My family and I emigrated from our homeland, Philippines, when I was nine years old. The new environment I was exposed to amazed me the moment I walked out of the airport. For the first time, I saw people of different skin color who spoke different languages and looked very successful. I wanted to achieve great things throughout my life, especially that I finally had the resources that will direct me into accomplishing my goals. My ambitious parents wanted a successful life for their children, a life that is hard to achieve in my home country. They envisioned my siblings and I to attend the best institutions in order to attain a good quality education. In the Philippines, it is rather difficult to find a stable job to support ones family. In addition, the economy is in bad shape due to the corrupt government that plagued our country. Our lack of money got in the way of a good quality education that can only be obtained from a few schools that require expensive tuition. In order for us to have a brighter future as a family, my parents made a conscious decision to immigrate to America. We left our families, friends, and our home to pursue a land that is overflowing with opportunities. Along the way, my adaptation took time due to the new language I had to learn and people I was exposed to. A few years later, my family is now living the American Dream. Even though I was born in the Philippines, the place where I spent most of my life and have grown as an individual is America. I will forever remember the struggles that I have learned from that shaped me into the person I am today; therefore, I can confidently say that America is the land that I call my home.
Many immigrants call America their home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of four Americans was an immigrant or a child of an immigrant (Camarota 529). Immigration is the act of coming in to a country of which one is not native to, usually with a purpose of permanent residence. Immigration dates back hundreds of years ago when the Europeans colonized the land that once was inhabited by indigenous Native Americans. Over time, America began to be populated by people of diverse races from different parts of the world in search for a better life. According to the year 2000 census, the number of the foreign born population is 31.1 million (Camarota 529). In the history of the U.S., this 57 percent increase from 1990 is the largest immigrant population thus far (Camarota 529).
Considerably, every individual deserves the freedom to live in any way that they please as long as it is carried out in a peaceable manner (Hornberger 524). As it states in a historical document of the United States called the Declaration of Independence, all men are endowed unalienable rights, which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Whether it is to escape war, poverty, corrupt government, or to seek greater opportunities, every immigrant has a reason to desire coming to America and should not be prohibited in doing so. America serves as a sanctuary for people who wish to leave their home country in search of a better life because of the strong belief for freedom that this country has (Hornberger 525). The founding fathers of America believed that the idea of freedom is the right to live ones life with a pursuit of any means in order to be happy without government limitation (Hornberger 524). As Hornberger states, “We have come a long way from the vision of freedom set forth by our Founding Fathers” (Hornberger 526). In a time such as this, it is essential to reexamine the foundations of this nation and evaluate the principles that are currently being practiced (Hornberger 524). It is necessary that America welcome immigrants who desire to reside in the U.S. because it is the original idea of the founding fathers who constituted the laws of this land that keeps America flourishing.
Moreover, immigration is crucial to the economic and developmental growth of this nation because it is an important factor of American way of life. America consists of the blend of cultures of immigrants from all over the world that created such a diverse population that molded this nation into a multicultural mosaic. The influx of many immigrants improves the growth of America as groups of people learn about each other’s culture, trade, skills, expertise, etc. Diversity is very important because it allows a community to share ideas with each other. It also provides various perspectives that create an open-minded society by accepting each other’s similarities and differences. A diverse America teaches its people how to relate with other cultures, thus globalizing our country’s sphere of influence. The greatness of America is the result of immigration that developed a powerful and united nation.
Immigration today is a highly debatable topic because of concerns about education, taxes, overpopulation, terrorism and other issues (Hornberger 526-527). However, the biggest issue of immigration is the concern about jobs due to the current economic recession that is occurring in America. The increase of unemployment rate is a result of America’s economy, which is not stable enough to sustain sufficient amount of jobs for every qualified person inhibiting this country. Although this may be true at the present moment, this economic crisis is not permanent. Limiting immigration due to this situation can possibly prevent potential leaders from restoring the economy. Ordinarily, immigrants are amongst the most diligent and dedicated people in the community (Hornberger 526). Because immigrants chose to pursue a better life in America, it is only common for them to have a perseverant attitude in achieving a successful life. Such people could be potential doctors, lawyers, politicians, lawmakers, and other professions that can make a profound impact in society. Furthermore, the job market is and will always be competitive. This should only motivate every competitor to strive to surpass every person, whether an immigrant or not, when applying for the desired employment position. In this sense, the future generation will be determined to pursue a higher education, thus resulting in a better future for America.
America should keep the borders open to immigrants from all over the world. What sets the United States apart from other nations is the fact that merely a few centuries ago, honorable leaders came together and developed a nation that is devoted into the belief that every human being has certain God-given rights that cannot be taken away by any person nor government (Hornberger 527). From any part of the world, a mother who cannot feed her children due to poverty in her home land should be allowed to immigrate to a country where she would have resources to feed her starving children. A fighting soldier should be able to send his family to a place where his children could feel safe. These are the freedom that all people are born with and should not be taken away. Without immigration, America will cease to exist. In a sense, every person living in America is an immigrant because this was not originally his land. Each and every one of us came from a culture and a background of another country, regardless if it was one generation or ten generations ago. America is more than just a land- it is home.
Camarota, Steven. “Too Many: Looking Today’s Immigration in the Face.” The Informed Argument. Eds. Robert P. Yagelski and Robert K. Miller. Boston: Thomson, 2004. 468-473
Hornberger, Jacob. “Keep the Borders Open.” The Informed Argument. Eds. Robert P. Yagelski and Robert K. Miller. Boston: Thomson, 2004. 463-467.