Essay Immigration From Latin America And The United States

Essay Immigration From Latin America And The United States

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The first five weeks of the course Latin America Through Another Lens has introduced me to another perspective on Latin America and immigration to the United States. We have watched films, read articles and completed research to better understand many Latin American countries and the people who call them home. Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and El Salvador have all been covered, and I found the movie Balerso to be especially interesting. The course introduced us to immigration from Latin America and we took a closer look at five myths that are often associated with immigration, and I was curious about the myth that immigrants are a drain on society’s resources. It is a myth that immigration is a drain on society’s resources and it is likely that over the course of time immigration has helped society.
In the history of the United States, immigration from Europe has helped fuel the positive growth of the nation, and the immigration act passed in 1965 opened the door widely for non-European immigrants and as a result, 40 million foreign-born immigrants now live in the United States. These immigrants make up 13 percent of the population and more than half of these migrants are from Latin America and the Caribbean (MacDonald & Sampson). These immigrants come to the United States to find jobs, go to school and to pursue the dream of providing for their family and living a good life. This dream was well represented in Balseros by Rafael Cano when he said he wanted a house, a car, and a good woman (Balseros). Immigrants come to the United States to pursue a better life for their families and this pursuit is shown to have a positive impact on society. The New York Times reports multiple studies have concluded that in the ...

... middle of paper ..., and that research shows an increase in immigration in large cities did not result in an increase in the homicide rate (MacDonald & Sampson).
The myth that immigration will put a drain on society has been part of every period of significant immigration in the history of the United States, and each time as historians reflect on the period this myth is determined to be untrue. Immigration is proven to result in economic and social growth in the regions that receive immigrants. Recent studies show greater than six percent real per worker income growth as the result of immigration. Today, immigrants from Latin America are benefiting small towns and gateway cities across the United States. The belief that immigration is a drain on society’s resources is nothing more than a myth told by people who are afraid of change and lack the understanding that research provides.

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