Latin American Immigration And The U.S. Immagration Policy

2597 words - 10 pages

Immigration has always been a contentious issue in the United States. Benjamin Franklin thought that the influx in German immigration would flush out the predominately British culture in America at the time. (5) Furthermore, a continual wave of foreign cultures began pouring into the American metropolitan areas at the turn of the 20th century. The migration of Italians, Poles, and Jews across the Atlantic Ocean began a mass assimilation of cultural ideology and customs into the United States, yet many people thought that these migrants could not adapt. Today, the American society has become a melting pot of foreign influence; however, many cynics remain skeptical about the incorporation of Latin American people and their influences. Accordingly, these same critics are just as naïve as their previous counterparts, who refused to accept the many gifts and contributions these immigrants have to offer. We must ask ourselves: How long will it take to peacefully incorporate Spanish immigrants into American society? America was built on the movement of these cultures, and the current population of this country must set aside its non-democratic premonitions, and embrace the historical and positive aspect of Latin American immigration.

Spanish influence is prevalent in every corner of the United States. From music and art, to architecture and food, Spanish influence has become an increasingly popular lifestyle in America. Although these influences have been accepted into the American mainstream, the people that brought them are not. Critics believe that Latin American immigration has become a nuisance to federal aid programs, and the `ever-so-steady' job market. (11) This assumption reiterates the clear ignorance on behalf of the American people, who choose to disregard the vast amounts of good, hard-working, legal immigrants that have the same right to use federal aid, as the average American citizen. In 1996, Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act, which reassessed the distribution of government aid, and among other things, denied many legal immigrants SSI and food stamps. One pending problem of this bill is the serious impact of the lack of government money for the children of legal immigrants. (1) Without this aid, many Spanish immigrants will not have the chance to become educated, and therefore decrease the possibility of obtaining a good job in this country.

Unfortunately, welfare reform is a very difficult issue that faces this country, as is immigration. The political and social implications of welfare reform have yet to become organized in a way that benefits the maximum number of people with the littlest drain on our nation's economy. In 1980, the U.S. Census Bureau concluded that non-native immigrant households received 8.8 percent of government welfare, while about 7.9 percent of native American households received the same type of aid. (3) The difference between these two statistics proves that a there is no valid...

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