Hatred is not the new normal


Americans may connect with different things as they hear the word “immigration.” The first thought could range anywhere from border wall, illegal or foreign, to resilient, hardworking or creative. While some may have a thought about their school friend with whom they shared lunch, some others might think of better known names as Elon Musk, Albert Einstein or Natalie Portman. America has always been known as a country of immigrants, and it is not unusual to hear news about them. While sometimes the newsreader talks about an immigrant Nobel laureate or an Academy Award winner, some other times, the recitation is about a refugee problem, disease transmission or family separation policy.

Immigration in the United States began during the time of colonization. Sometimes, the process was involuntary with people being brought in as slaves. Other times, however, people entered voluntarily with factors like the gold rush greatly affecting their decisions. History saw people crossing the border and the border crossing the people. This process still continues everyday, and controversies on whether or not this phenomenon positively impacts the United States of America remains to be answered. Amidst the buzz of opinions, my outlook tells me that the diversification of population positively impacts any country.

The U.S. is a melting pot. Different metals have come here and melted together to form a beautiful alloy of America. Its identification lies on the diversity in race, religion, culture, cuisine, education, technological advancement and languages. The residents of this country have become global citizens due to their ability to understand the world from different perspectives. The immigrants who have landed here have assisted in making the country through their contributions in physical labor and mental strength.

Studies show that the number of educated immigrants is increasing. According to a research “Education levels of U.S. immigrants are on the rise,” published by the Pew Research Center, 17.2 percent of immigrants 25 years and older had a bachelor’s degree and another 12.8 percent had attained a postgraduate degree in the year 2016. Among the immigrants, Indians were the most educated with more than three in four aged 25 and older having a bachelor’s degree or higher. The study also projected Asians to be the largest immigrant groups in America by the year 2055.

I am not turning my head from the problems that have arisen along with this mechanism. I understand the voices saying that immigrants have brought crimes, drugs and unfair business practices with them. The concerns from unfateful incidents like the Sept. 11 attack are understandable. However, a few of such incidents do not define the vast majority of immigrants. Those people are outliers, and are farther from the core values of most people who come to this country with hopes and dreams of a better future. There are always bad people, and these extremists should not be the defining factor for any society. Personally, I think it is decent enough to say America can solve some problems like crime and drugs by strict implementation of laws within its border.

Immigrants are among those stars who shine to the world to identify the red, white and blue flag. They should not just be tolerated, rather should be embraced and accepted. Immigrants have given many things to this country, including the apple pie, which is a longstanding symbol of America, the recipe of which originated in England. So, the next time you enjoy a meal in an Italian restaurant, or have a cup of Masala Chai in an Indian restaurant or grab a taco as you get late to work, think of those immigrants who have helped shape who you are and decide for yourselves if they are among the ingredients that make your apple pie.