Assimilation into the United States

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Political Science 355 Reflection Paper: Assimilation into the United States Immigrants leave their countries in search for a better life and improvement of their situation. There is no singular reason for immigration; motivations range from better economic prospects to political safety. As of late, the number of immigrants living in the United States is an estimated 11 million. Those who immigrate are expected to contribute to the United States culturally, politically, and economically. Yet, full assimilation becomes difficult to achieve when the immigrant is made into “the other” by the country of reception. The interaction between the immigrant and the citizens of the receiving country varies on whether or not their introduction into the new country is seen as a loss or something positive. These differing stances serve as a buffer for an immigrant’s desires, as they can either advance or stagger depending on how far their new situation allows them to advance. For this reason, the likely success of the individual depends on the descending community’s desire to embrace them. This acceptance or denial presents itself in the form of the resources available to “the other.” If these outsiders are not given the tools with which to function properly they will likely find solace in the ethnic specific networks that provide them with a means to survive. The distance between the new arrivals and the natives fosters a sense of distrust on both ends. However, the concern that the growing population of immigrants will compromise America’s national identity undermines our national reality. Historically, those who have willingly immigrated to the United States have had a desire to become part of American society, crossing borders and seas t... ... middle of paper ... ...influenced. This correspondence leads to individual growth because it pushes our understanding. As we begin to see the individual as a person and not as an “other,” we can, as a country, grow stronger. Regardless of our growing humanitarian stance towards immigration reform, many Americans still insist on having English as our national language. Though speaking the language would greatly close the distance witnessed in towns like Shelbyville, we must provide methods for language acquisition by working through difference. With the transition towards inclusiveness, an increasingly global perspective should also follow suit. Works Cited Portes, Alejandro, and Ruben G. Rumbaut. Immigrant America: A Portrait. N.p.: University of California Press, 2006. Snyder, Kim A. Welcome to Shelbyville . DVD. 2009. , 2011.

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