Immigration is not a new issue in the United States. Every half century, there is a new perceived foreign threat to our status quo. From the natives (that’s a whole other discussion regarding the definition of ‘foreign’), to the African slaves, Chinese, Italians, Irish… the list goes on. The United States has an ugly history of xenophobia. Sadly, it never seems to truly go away in some portions of the country, with ethnic slurs still muttered either intentionally or unintentionally insulting. I eagerly await more news on the “immigration reform” that the President and Congress is supposedly coming up with, especially regarding these new threats.  Hopefully this chapter in our history will close soon, but I know better than to expect that this will be the last immigration issue we hear about.  Look for a future post regarding a brief overview of our history of ugly immigration policy and some teaching tips very soon.  I thought I’d post this political cartoon from 1879 in advance just as a bit of a teaser 😉 (click on the picture to make it bigger so you can read the text)



6 thoughts on “Immigration

  1. While I agree with this post in general, I think it overlooks two of three key things (in my mind) of the present immigration debate. 1) It’s about illegal immigration. I hear a lot of people trying to find racism and hidden messages in that, but the fact of the matter is, Congress is looking for a way to reward something we teach our children: No butting in line. If all of the illegal immigrants are suddenly made citizens, how it that fair to the ones who have been waiting for years to become citizens by following the rules (streamlining the immigration process is a whole different subject). 2) There is no push as there was in the past for immigrants to become “Americans.” People used to come to this country to become part of the American culture which created opportunrities. Now we segment ourselves into too many subgroups. 3) It’s not about the people. It’s about the politics.

    • First, thank you for your comment. Secondly, as I noted in the post, this is a short teaser. It was not intended to be a full discourse on immigration and the immigration reform. I am currently writing a longer post regarding the immigration issues in the United States. As it is a blog and not a book-length dissertation, obviously not every single fact will be in the post. As far as the “Americanization” of immigrants and the push for immigrants to become ‘Americans’, this actually has happened throughout history. Maybe not exactly in the same way that our generation understands it today but you will see this in my future post. I agree with you that it is not about the people it is about the politics. My post will not be a political rant, but merely an informational piece on immigration history as objective as I can possibly make it. Thanks.

    • There is definitely a lot behind immigration history. More than I could ever hope to write about on here but I’m trying to write a short history of xenophobia and immigration policy in the US as a future post. Thanks for your comment!

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