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Social Crossroads of an Illegal Immigrant

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Most individuals that migrate to America are in pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Since crossing into the U.S legally can take some time, many choose to migrate illegally, thus becoming an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, many of the individuals that chose the illegal path to freedom do not have an education and lack labor skills. Their decision to cross means they will spend their time in America fighting for unskilled labor opportunities (i.e. janitorial, landscaping, housekeeping, etc.). Although the money they earn is better than the money they were earning in their native country, it typically is not enough to support a family in America. Therefore, both parents must work to achieve their pursuits.

American Way of Life

Naturally, the parents and the children attempt to assimilate to the American culture. Yet they struggle to retain, understand, and preserve their cultural identity. Historically, the most fruitful subcultures have been the ones that have adapted to the American culture as a whole, espousing the shared vision outlined in the amended United States Constitution. It is easier for the children to assimilate than for their parents to assimilate. The parents make their children speak their native language in the home. However, while at school, the children speak English to further assimilate with their friends, and by extension society. The parents often talk about earning enough money to go back home one day. The children agree at first, then disagree as they further assimilate into the American way of life. A strain now exists in the home - between loyalty for the mother country and loyalty to America.

Due to the American cost of living, most areas that have low rent to sustain an unskilled labor force are often in crowded and blighted cities. These blighted cities are often populated with other illegal immigrants; individuals that share their same dreams and pursuits. The parents encourage their children to study hard in school and get a real job one day – to move into a better community. The families that assimilate to the American way of life prosper.

Goals of the Individual Supersede the Goals of the Family

For other families, assimilating into the American culture is difficult. Sometimes the parents and the children need to work just to make ends meet. In America, the goals of the individual supersede the goals of the family. In some immigrating cultures, the opposite is true – causing a strain on a successful assimilation. Sometimes this means putting school off – just like their parents did for them – to meet the goals of the family. Since both parents need to work, some youth socialize with gangs to find acceptance. Unfortunately, a life of crime ensues - and an ethic stereotype is propagated. Families that emerge from this social class live in a cycle that is difficult to break.

The politicians reach out to this social class and convince them they are culturally oppressed - if it is not the white man that is blamed for their oppression, it is the government for not providing better jobs, or it is the school system for not properly educating their children, or even the cops for being racist. The politicians, special interest groups, protesters and other well-intended, yet uninformed, individuals answer the call by offering more and more public services in exchange for their votes. The minorities acquiesce, the oppression continues, and the cycle repeats itself– thus, creating a class system disguised as a byproduct of social injustice.

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