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Nation Of Immigrants Essay

1668 words - 7 pages

The American dream is an illusion of any person aspiring to be a part of a nation that calls itself “the home of the free”. Often imagery of America communicates ideas of freedom, equality, and success in life, from these we associate the American Dream. Immigrants are trying to escape from other nations where there are people dying in the streets and families that cannot make enough money to put food on the table. These people see America as the land of prosperity and opportunity; many come to this country for refuge. This view is shared throughout American history, when the Native Americans first arrived, to the settlers forming their colonies, to the Industrial Revolution, to the gold rush, and to this very day. Many people die to reach this land full of promise for a better life. However, the land of opportunity is not open for anyone, which is contradictory due to the nature of freedom and history of immigration in the United States of America.
Immigration is the reason for the foundation of our country. The colonists first fled to America in search of freedom from religious oppression. As a consequence, white men wiped out large numbers of natives from the land through disease and battle. The debate over who has the absolute right to this land will never cease – natives or immigrants. Over many, many years the immigrants have controlled America. The original immigrants have founded a nation on this land and paved a way for opportunities for all other men except the natives who they drove out to the worst pieces of real-estate. After forming a nation, the immigrants have one thing to fear, history repeating itself. This uneasiness is seen as far long ago as Benjamin Franklin who worried that the growing population of German immigrants in Philadelphia did not see the need to learn English or assimilate to the new American culture (Lochhead). Daniel Tichenor, an immigration expert at Rutgers University states, “One lesson from the past is that Americans have tended to celebrate their immigrant past but dread the immigrant future. They have often viewed the newest arrivals as menacing or as threats to the national identity or economy” (Lochhead 708). Being replaced or overtaken by the next generation of immigrants is one of man’s greatest fears. Although the history of our nation has paved the way opportunistically for new immigrants, out of fear, many feel the need to provide obstacles to outsiders trying to better their future in this country.
Nativism, the emphasis on local customs that outside influences cannot alter, strikes the hearts of the American people as they see immigrants as a threat to their lifestyles. What American citizens do not see is the fact that their lifestyles and customs originate from other lands. American customs and foods that appear native are all developed and evolved from other countries’ customs that have originally brought them to the United States. American food was originally what the colonists could find...

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