Immigration Essay Example: Similarities and Differences Between Immigrants and Native People


Not a day goes by without a news station or politician bring up immigration. Some people say immigrants are vile people that come from foreign countries to destroy ours, why others compare them to Mosses, who left their home to find a better life. With so many biases, it can be difficult to tell fact from fabrication, so who are the immigrants of today? Are they truly all criminals who prey on our charitable nature, are they mothers and children running from war-torn countries? Or are they more like us than we have been led to believe. Immigrants live very different lives than native-born people, including where they work, how they perform in school, and how they impact their community. 

Migrants who come from other countries usually work in lower-skilled professions than native-born people; however. Immigrants have long been known to take positions that most people do not want, such as construction, landscaping, or caregivers.  Yet the extent to how many immigrants hold these positions are shocking. According to one study “,over 25 percent of home care workers are low-skilled immigrants or foreign-born" (Golant, 189). The care workers are not alone many other jobs rely heavily on migrant labor and it is very likely that if the number of immigrants was to drop the economy of many nations around the globe would face an economic catastrophe.  

In contrast to immigrants, low skilled professions, immigrants tend to play a major role in politics. Often people who are immigrants or who are related to them, by race or place of birth, feel very strongly about political issues and are more likely to vote than native-born people. In the 2016 presidential election, 13% of all voters were born in a different country and 32% of lawmakers were immigrants or first-generation citizens (McCarthy). Also, in the 116th congress, there are 15 immigrants and 63 children of immigrants who hold office. (McCarthy). Immigrants often take great pride in the country they call home and often feel the urge to take part in the democratic process. However, this urge is not felt by many native-born people who have often lived with these freedoms their whole lives. 

Portraying Immigrants

Immigrants are often portrayed as being criminals or as being part of gangs, yet these claims once again are more fantasy than fact. Immigrants are less likely to break the law an any from than native-born people. According to the Journal of Quantitative Criminology “When examined through a wider temporal lens than is typically employed, and accounting for the endogeneity of immigrant residential settlement, we find no support for the claims that immigration is a crime generating social process” (Martinez, 471). In simpler terms “immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes.” (Martinez, 471). Immigrants tend not to commit a crime since, the punishment for many can be deportation and they will likely never be able to come back to the country they have come to know as home. In contrast, if a native-born person was to commit a crime the punishment would likely be a fine or jail time, which is drastically less of a punishment than the loss of a lifetime of work.   

One area that immigrants and native-born people appear even is in school, yet the assumed unbiases of a school are often misplaced. Many immigrants outperform native-born children in school but struggle to assimilate and to attend college. Many immigrant families put a large emphasis on education and as a result, many migrants in school outperform their native-born peers. However, this is only true when immigrants are given an equal chance to succeed. According to Feliciano, who is an assistant professor at the University of California “children of immigrants outperform their peers with native-born parents in the U.S. educational system.”.  Feliciano makes the argument that immigrants and the children of immigrants outperform their peers in situations where they are given an equal opportunity to succeed. However, often a teachers’ biases or the child’s poor language skills can create a large problem form many students. In contradiction, Dr, Cheng, who is a professor at Singapore Management University, states that “These students'[Immigrants] poor living situations, incompetent language, and cultural barriers in mainstream United States schools” (page 587). The children of immigrants have been shown to succeed in many fields. However, as a result of poor language skills immigrate children struggle to assimilate and can be left in the dust behind those who have always know the language. 

Conversely, immigrants often do not have a secondary education and are less likely to attend college than native-born people. According to a study done by Jens Krogstad who is a member of the Pew research center, only 17.8% of immigrants have a bachelor's degree and less than 13.4% have a postgraduate degree. In contrast, according to the US Census Buro in 2018 48.2% of Americans had a bachelor’s degree. Unlike most native-born people, immigrants usually do not have a highly skilled background and are unable to save enough money to go to college for themselves. Rather, they save in hopes of their children getting the education they did not have. 

People who immigrate to a country live lives very similar to the lives of people born in the country, but they are often misrepresented as being alien or different from others.  After first arriving immigrants tend to work low skilled jobs since many do not have an advanced education. However, immigrants and the children of immigrants out preform native-born children. In contrast, native-born children have an easier time in classes such as Literature and Grammar. Immigrants also share the commonality that they rarely commit crimes. The New often portraits immigrates as being a burden on the economy or as being criminals that can destroy a country from the inside out. This could not be farther from the truth, immigrants work in positions no one wants, succeed in school despite all the obstacles, and take great pride in the country they call home.

 

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