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Exploratory Essay on Immigration

Immigration into the USA has recently become a contentious issue in the national debate. Democrats and Republicans have clashed with each other, and with the White House. Republicans have clashed with Republicans as well.

Why is immigration such a problem to a country that was founded on immigrants, and has inscribed ““Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” on their famous Statue of Liberty.

There are several reasons that emerge in the debate. The historical source of immigrants and national identity is a main one. The original immigrants to the USA were in fact Anglo Saxon Protestants. As their national identity grew, they saw themselves as a Christian, Protestant, English speaking people and nation. As further waves of immigrants arrived, they were, if not Anglo Saxon, primarily western European, and Christian and mostly willing to learn English, and be absorbed into the American way. Even when the Irish, Italians and Polish made their way to the USA, although Catholic they were Europeans, who fit into the predominantly Anglo Saxon American identity. They were minorities, who learned English and accepted the status quo. Also, many of them brought needed skills to the country.

This was a major factor of the sense of national identity, America was white, English and Protestant. The latent racial superiority overtones were only observed openly with regard to the African American slaves. However, as they were slaves and a small minority they were tolerated, if not welcomed. It is this that is driving some of the resistance to current immigration.

The source of the new wave of immigrants is not European, or Anglo Saxon. Rather the main groups of immigrants are Latin Americans coming from South America, and the Caribbean island. They are predominantly Spanish speaking, unskilled, and Catholic, and arriving in great numbers. This threatens the national identity in various ways. The threat they pose to the original immigrants is first in the sheer magnitude of their numbers. In California, Texas, and Florida for example. This threatens to change the whole culture of these and other states. Instead of being absorbed into the American culture, learning English and providing skills, they are demanding education in Spanish for their children, and the majority has poor education, no English, few skills and no resources.

Known as Hispanics there are about 50 million in the USA. Only Mexico has more. In the period 2010- 11 their numbers in the USA rose by 2.8 million. It is projected in 50 years time the Hispanics will constitute a third of the population of the USA. (U.S. Census Burea). It is this that has the Republicans concerned.

With such numbers preferring to speak Spanish, be educated in Spanish, and keep their Catholic religion their immigration is seen as colonization. Their lack of skill and resources as a drain on social security, medical and educational resources.

The massive amount of illegal immigrants already in the country – is another problem. About 11 million are currently living in the USA illegally. To Republicans they are lawbreakers, criminals who need to be deported, not supported. Others say reality dictates they must be given legal status because it is impossible to arrest and deport them. Plus many have children that were born in the USA, are in schools, and see themselves as Americans.

It is because of such complexities that immigration is such a contentious subject in the USA today. There seems to be no easy solution to the question of immigration into the USA, whether legal or illegal.

Tips on writing:

  1. Exploratory essays ask questions to gather and share information on the topic about immigration. It is not necessary to find answers.
  2. Introductions for exploratory essays are broad, as you are making an inquiry into a topic, not proving a thesis.
  3. Present the topic and the questions you will ask.
  4. State your research question clearly state what you want to discover, and why.
  5. Identify the issue, its causes and other factors of immigration. Identify decision makers and other interested parties.
  6. You do not have to supply solutions as the paper is for the purpose of identifying the problem.

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May 13, 2014

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