Pros and Cons of More Immigration Term Paper

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Balance of Fragile things is an engrossing novel that raises a lot of points and questions. As such, there are a lot of directions that the author of this report could take for this report but the author has selected one in particular. American immigration is a hot-button topic that gets up the dander of a lot of people. However, one reason the topic is so contentious and roiling is the historical, nationalistic, racial (not racist) or even bigoted viewpoints and avenues that many people take. However, the aforementioned historical fixation is a lot of the problem and that needs to be disregarded in favor of the future. While there is a ton of proverbial water under the bridge vis-a-vis immigration, focusing on the future and a continued expansion of who can realize the American dream will be the most beneficial to any and all people involved including both immigrants and American-born residents.


There are a couple of reasons that continued or even expanded immigration in the United States should be welcomed rather than shunned. One example is that it increases the diversity of America's people. While it is true that many of the original immigrants to the United States were white Europeans, mostly from Great Britain, France and Ireland, that has changed over the years and there have been huge influxes, for one reason or another, of Latinos and black people. These immigration waves reshaped America for the better even if there were a lot of problems, conflicts and dastardly behavior in the interim. Many of these waves are (or still are, in some respects) treated like dirt like the Irish when they first got here and the blacks when they were enslaved and/or other discriminated against. Unfortunately, the cycle continues with people like those in the novel with the Sikhs in the book perhaps being the most poignant example. Many ignorant people confuse Sikhs with Arabs, not unlikely what happens a lot with Indians (another race that is depicted in the novel) for the same reason, and this leads to them being treated in a racist and/or second-class citizen type of nature. Even as recently as 9/11, when Arab men mostly from Saudi Arabia perpetrated an attack against multiple sites in the United States, Sikhs were targeted as "revenge" for the attacks even though Sikhs are truly in a class of their own and they are a peaceful people. The 9/11/Sikh dimension as it relates to American society is specifically covered in the book when the newspaper editor was peppering questions about the subject. However, the people that believe and think this way are in the stark minority and indeed many people from that part of the world are very educated and have a lot to offer the United States in terms of both cultural integration and expansion of perspectives as well as skills highly desired by employers around the country.

Another reason "moving on" with the immigration movement and process is important is that the immigrants as depicted and shown in the book for this class show the scrappiness and determination that can only make the United States better in the long run. Being protectionist and/or xenophobic in nature, no matter how ostensibly noble and well-intentioned the motives are, is exceedingly unwise as the birth rate in the United States is barely enough to maintain the current level of population, let alone expand it. Indeed, one of the primary targets of 9/11 was New York and that happens to be where this book is set. Countries that are so frigid and cold to the outside in any way or another end up dying off such as what is seen in Russia and the like where populations are falling even with the best efforts or the local governments to counteract that. This is even after the U.S.S.R. dissolved. This is relevant to the book because Latvia, the source country of one of the book's characters, was indeed part of the Soviet empire until Latvia broke away in 1991.

A similar but slightly different reason to expand the immigration policy in this country rather than contract it is because the trend of globalization in social media as well as the corporate world simply means that resisting this growth and change is just going against what is going to happen anyway. As such, immigration policy should match the global and societal forces that are already under way. Vulcanizing the "American" experience and trying to pigeonhole it into a certain forma nd function is hypocrisy in light of the same criticism being levied by those same people that tend to collect and congregate in areas with only their own people. While that can and does happen a lot, it is far from being the rule and new immigrants to America avoid and resist integration and assimilation into the United States mostly because of fear of being mocked and mistreated, not unlike what happens to the Sikh characters (Paul and Vic) in the book. Again, while some people hold close-minded views, they are not the norm or the majority and continuing to open the floodgates of multiculturalism will only jettison and eliminate the negative and/or racist mindsets that pervade certain subsections of America.

The theory that multiple-culture groups can work together is proven in spades by the book itself. In the state of New York, we have people that are Sikh, Latvian, and Indian all coming together in times of both peril and sadness and this is despite the modicum and amount of mistreatment that the endure for no reason. Even without that, there is a lot to bear with the sinkholes and the mysterious illnesses (or not so mysterious) in the form of Maija having her mystery illness. These people themselves being of varied backgrounds but still gladly and unabashedly pulling together would be something worth of notice in any country, let alone the United States. Rather than one of them being in their country of birth, basically none of them are and this makes the challenges all that much worse when their presence and cultures are challenged, mocked, bullied for and so on.

Another reason that immigration should be ramped up is that it will encourage people to be more facilitating and cooperative with one another. It will expand the horizons and perspectives of both the immigrants and of the people that are already in the United States who have ancestors, some recent and some distant, that were immigrants themselves. The aforementioned penchant of people to siphon people into groups like themselves rather than welcome them with open arms actually encourages vulcanization and reduces assimilation. Of course, there is no need to forsake for forget about one's culture and origins but to reject or ignore immigrants to this country only dissuades them from assimilating them and things like this are absolutely manifested in the book. One example, already noted before, were the ignorant people apparently lumping Sikhs with Arabs and treating them in a racist manner…and that would be true even if Paul and Vic were indeed Arabs and/or Muslims.

However, the immigrants to the United States will have their own ethical and cultural action items to work out. For example, there is a point in the book where a child character is asked to say grace and one of the characters is mentally against that idea. In the United States, praying by children, both in pre-arranged or scripted fashion as well as spontaneously, is common. In that way and many others, the immigrants themselves and their presence here will inform and educate the people of the United States but the same will happen in reverse and not all of the manifestations of this are inherently bad or something to be avoided. Obviously, the culture shock for both ends of the spectrum, the current residents and the new ones, will be lesser with people from Western Europe, Australia and the like. However, the only real logistical barrier to integration and assimilation is language. New immigrants to the United States are well served to learn English so as to make the transition easier but American children and adults, not unlike some of the bad actors in the book, need to be understanding and patient and understand that everyone truly has to start somewhere. Just being in the United States is enough to put them well ahead of the curve as compared to their former country and this is even true of people who do not speak English.

Yet another reason why immigration should be ramped up and encouraged is that there already elements in the United States that have little to nothing to do with foreign cultures and languages that bring smiles and warmness to the hearts of new residents. Such an instance of this in the class novel was found on page 14 when Paul was smirking about the use of the letter "K" in the Kwicki Fill letter because the letter K. had a firm place…[continue]

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