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Non Welcoming Stance For Latin American Immigrants

1335 words - 6 pages

Though the statue of liberty was finished in August of 1885, immigrants from many nations came to the United States even before the green lady was standing in the New York Harbor. The poem, The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, was later added in 1903, to signify the “golden door” that to many immigrants who were escaping strife or looking for a better life thought would await them in America. Though the poem suggested that America was a land of flowing milk and honey, immigrants did not find such a warm welcome that was suggested by the torch holding lady. In Mario Puzo short story, Choosing a Dream, he describes America as a place where immigrants or anyone can achieve “some economic dignity and freedom”, however, this is not the case for all. Particularly Mexican immigrants and other Latin American have felt the sting of coming to this country despite the claims of America being a welcoming country. America treats these immigrants as “commodities” or responds to their entering with prejudice and stereotypes. Other groups have assimilated successful into our culture but despite immigrating into America since the late 1880's, Latin American immigrants still get push back when attempting to join us.
Starting in the late 1800's, immigrants from various South American countries have been immigrating into America for a collection of different reasons. Like other immigrant groups, they immigrated due to extreme poverty from population increase. But many forget that during the 1840's America and Mexico were at war. Winning the war, America claimed land that was once apart of Mexico. Granting citizenship to those choosing to staying in America, many stayed hoping for a new start. Even then Americans alienated their new neighbors for a variety of reasons such as: not knowing English,or as relatives of the Native Americans, who were viewed as less thens, Mexicans felt like foreigners in their own land. Land left in Mexico and other countries continued to suffer, by the late 1900's, 80% of the population was living in poverty with no help in sight. Journeying north to America, Latin Americans looked to find work and to start a new life. When they first started to enter, many joined the agricultural workforce due to the Chinese Exclusion Act and later the Immigration Act of 1924 limiting the number of cheap laborers available. But in many places there was exclusion in basic activities such as shopping or attending school. In towns, they were only to go out shopping one day a week. Their children put in segregated schools with the African American children. During the 1860's political restrictions were put in place not only to limit to claim rights given to them via citizenship but also to protect their land. The government claimed millions of acres of what was once Mexican-owned land for themselves. Unfamiliar to the law or language there was nothing the immigrants could do against the Americans. Once slavery was abolished,Latin Americans took the...

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