Immigrant Integration

Looking into a typical school cafeteria, after a few moments of observation, one can begin to see the differentiation that occurs naturally in this environment. That’s not to say that there are ridged boundaries that all students follow; however, classification can arguably be said to be a subconscious choice.

We can see similar events take place on a broader sense, where countries have too committed this same act. Focusing on immigrants, one can easily see how countries fall into the same act. Integration of immigrant communities in any country is essential in creating a more dynamic and less tense nation. However, as others would argue, is it an immigrant’s obligation to assimilate into the dominant culture? And, if so, then who defines the dominant culture and what is it exactly?

To begin with, what does immigration integration look like? In the 1997 U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform states, “Naturalization is the most important act that a legal immigrant undertakes in the process of becoming an American” (Immigration Policy Center). Indeed, immigrant integration can be achieved; however, it will require for us to look beyond differences, and instead, work together to achieve a similar goal. In this case, the prosperity of the individual and our nation are intertwined with the eleven million immigrants residing in the United States, as recognized by President Obama (President Obama: Immigration Reform Speech). As we continue to follow the immigration policies that are being suggested, and eventually implemented, let us hope that our politicians will keep these thoughts in mind.

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