Friday, April 24, 2009

How Americans contradict themselves

I know this may be rather late, but a week ago at the JEA conference in Phoenix Arizona, I found myself waiting anxiously for my 10:00 a.m. session. The topic was about something that hit home pretty hard. It was about none other than immigration and border issues.
I may not be an immigrant myself, yet my richly accented last name yells that my family isn't from here (it is Rodriguez but when you pronounce it right it sounds like Rrrodrrriguezzz). Both my parents came to this country at a young age desiring nothing more than a better life, my mom was actually brought here against her will at 1 years old, similar to many immigrants. Yet both my parents achieved something that the rest of my family is finding difficult to achieve, their American citizenship. My dad walked out of the Sacramento court house that life changing day telling us, "I'm a fellow A-merican now!"
So as the session began, Jessica and I began to hear information that seriously only enraged us. Things such as the fact that most lawmakers that are against immigration have actually never even been to the border. Or the ignorant idea that most Americans have, that the border is but merely a line separating the two countries of America and Mexico. In reality most people don't realize that the border is much more than just a line on a map. It is a region, where Mexican children walk through the border to get to American school on the other side. Another wrong perception that most people have is that immigrants are the bad guys, that they are the people that bring all the problems that America has. While the border patrol is the super hero, who like a pest control worker, keeps all the bad bugs out of a big home. Yet most people don't realize that a while back a border control officer shot a immigrant right in his back, for no apparent reason, this border patrol hasn't been to jail yet.
As the speaker, who happened to be from none other than London England, continued to show us the difference between perception and reality, he taught us that as a journalist we must find the human story in an issue that is so drowned in policies and injustice.
The last thing that really got to me, was when they informed us that there are 6-12 year old children in detention centers, places where they await there deportation to their homeland. A center in Texas detains the children in shackles. They receive one hour of sunshine, and one more hour of education.
This information makes me want run to Texas, and show the people that children have no fault in these matters. Simply because their parents brought them here doesn't make them criminals. What gives these people the right to take away the warm sun from these children's faces, an education to boggle in their heads, and the right to merely stretch their bodies?
Since this seminar I have decided to help out however I can in the DREAMact. A act that would help illegal students to gain their citizenship after graduating from college or serving in the Army. Without this act, illegal students would otherwise have to take their degree to another country, since it is invalid here. http://
As a country we worry about our current recession, yet we have had to bring people from China, Japan, India, etc. to get a degree and use it here. Yet we can't validate the degree of a immigrant who was most likely brought here at a young age?
As I came back to California on Sunday afternoon, I was thankful for coming back to a place where you aren't really seen for where you came from, but by what you can achieve. So many Americans are against immigration to the extreme, yet they don't realize that we ARE a country made up by immigrants. All of them escaping the misery of their home.Whether it be the English running away from a crazy king, or the Irish running away from a a deadly famine, or even now the Latin American running away from poverty and drug violence. Our country has been built by immigrants, and we will continue to evolve as an immigrant country. Even our culture is full of traditions from other places. I once heard that Christmas trees are actually a tradition from Germany. And everybody really just loves that quick super size burrito at the taco truck. I just hope that as a society we can stop looking at immigration so negatively, and in reality see what it can bring to us and help us grow.


  1. I agree, whatever it is...
    While reading this, I was thinking of reasons why people might be against illegal immigration. an example was because of the gang violence and not being able to be as proper as them Americans. The truth is that being an illegal immigrant does not cause any of those ideas. everybody needs to understand that what's wrong with America is not all in what's considered right in wrong.
    To connect to the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, Huck constantly saves the slave Jim from trouble and tries to make him a free man. He knew it was wrong back then, but if he was alive now, he would know what a hero he was.
    Americans should think of theirselves these days and see if they are doing the right thing and nothing foolish again like slavery.

  2. By the way, I signed my name in the DREAM Act. It's something I believe in.

  3. I completely agree with you Lisette. why try and stop people from becoming citizens if they work and prosper just as much as the rest of the country. Now I will have to say that if one immigrates here, without the intent of becoming a citizen, without the intent of working hard to reach their goal, why even come? but the good thing is that most aren't like that, so thats not a true issue. Everyone deserves a chance, and denying what could be a positive force to our country seems stupid