As the years pass, America becomes an increasingly diverse civilization. Millions of people are enticed to leave their homeland and cross national borders to enhance their quality of life. America represents grand possibilities of better jobs, improved familial economic conditions and an education, whether it be learning a trade or receiving formal academic guidance. Immigrants are stereotypically viewed upon as those who accept the lowest paying jobs that most native-born Americans will not take, which is considered to be productive in nature for the benefit of the American economy. Yet, to the natives of the host country, immigrants are seen as a threat by competing for those scarce jobs that do not require any education or training, especially during an era where unemployment is on the rise. However, isn’t it better for the economy if the immigrants entering the country are productive, even in the lower paying jobs, rather than dependent on financial aide from the government? This question will be addressed, while comparing two different groups of migrants, the Tongans and the Hmong people, in their experiences of productivity versus dependency as they assimilate in America.
Historically, the western culture reigns superior in America, and still stands true today. Immigrants and refugees are compelled to assimilate to the western culture, especially acquiring the language skills needed to communicate with the majority. Learning English is a very difficult task according to the majority of immigrants, including the Hmong and the Tongans. The Hmong originated from China, but had moved around to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Their journey to the United States was a long, distressful ...
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...this, tension between the two groups could escalate, instilling resentment towards immigrants and refugees by the native-born Americans, and fear of being discriminated against for the immigrants. There has been talk of closing America’s doors, especially after September 11th, or only allowing educated immigrants in who will produce for the economy rather than strain our financial resources. These are extremist ideas and would only create global resentment towards America. Thus, there needs to be some form of meeting in the middle and it is up to our government to appease both sides, in order to maintain America’s tradition of opportunity for all.
Koltyk, J., New Pioneers in the Heartland, 1998, Allyn & Bacon, Needham Heights, MA.
Small, C., From Tongan Villages to American Suburbs, 1997, Cornell University Press, United States of America.
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