Is physical labor the only profession immigrants can accomplish in the United
States? This is the question I asked myself when I was researching the topic of immigration in America.
Immigration from Central American and Latino countries has been a prominent issue in American news. Many Louisianans are on the fence on whether immigrants are “useful” to them.
Americans today are leaving rural areas of the United States and going to other countries for a “better opportunity”. This leaves many job positions empty, meaning unemployment rates are higher.
I have seen that many Americans are pushing for the use of immigrant labor to fill these job positions. Employers want more immigrants to replace the empty positions left behind by Americans. This is contrary to what Louisiana residents wish.
The racist agenda that “immigrants are taking our jobs” builds upon this. Many Americans believe that American labor is less valuable than immigrant labor, and that this is the cause of their unemployment.
In “Our Views: If we want a demographic future, we need to find it in immigration” written by The Advocate’s editorial staff, they state that “Older workers looking to retire ought to be worried that the long-term economy which will pay for their retirement and Medicare benefits isn’t crippled by anti-immigration policies.”
This could be viewed as a pro-immigration stance, were it not for the fact of what this comment actually insinuates. That aside from only viewing immigrants as laborers, they are also just more tax payers for the American economy.
An immigration overhaul was attempted during the Obama administration, and this caused many work visas to be emitted. These work visas gave many immigrants the opportunity to do taxes properly and reap the benefits they are owed.
Immigrants pay taxes commercially and through their paychecks. They are not given the tax benefits as American citizens, like Medicare, retirement funds and the simple ability to say and vote on where their tax money goes towards.
So, for certain working class Americans to only be pro-immigration whenever it is beneficial for them is very shameful. Why are immigration policies only being advocated for because immigrants would lead to a large influx of money into the American economy.
Why do immigrants have to fund the United States education, healthcare and governmental processes if they, in turn, do not get those resources. If that statement was not enough, the article later then assures Louisiana residents this: “One can be confident that the power of American popular culture is not in decline; their children will be Americanized whether they grow up in Boise or Baton Rouge.”
It seems to be ensuring Louisiana residents that immigrant culture and language will not be an issue. Since this is America, immigrants and their children must assimilate to American culture.
The use of verbiage that is similar to past horrific events should give this writer the notion that what they are saying is not morally correct. Former Louisiana State representative Odon L. Bacque Jr wrote a letter for The New Orleans Advocate, titled “A modest proposal– send newcomers where they are needed”.
In this letter, he suggests that Governor Ron DeSantis should have sent the Venezulan immigrants to places of low settlement and high needs for labor jobs. Places like these have many communities with only hispanic laborers, so this is where he feels immigrants would best feel comfortable.
These comments made by both Louisiana residents and American citizens are deplorable. It completely shocked me when I saw that this is how immigration is viewed in the United States.
When did “go back to your country” become “let’s send you where we want you”?
This type of thinking is what is setting back the United States. If the United States and its leaders and representatives were smart, they would give immigrants legal status.
This would increase the amount of people getting higher education, thus leading to a better America. But they are not smart, they constantly make it harder and harder for immigrants to reach the American dream.
When an immigrant comes to the United States, it is not for a fun vacation. They are fleeing from their countries for the simple chance of a better life. So yes, they work these labor intensive jobs with efficiency and dedication.
This does not mean that they should get taken advantage of and only used as work mules. Most immigrants are professionals in their home country. Doctors, lawyers, teachers and engineers are only a few of the professions immigrants have had to give up when fleeing their home countries.
College education has been made nearly impossible to be reached by immigrants. Seen as “international students,” they are made to pay at least double of what a U.S citizen pays for college tuition.
Due to the restrictions the U.S. has on college education, this further sinks young immigrant adults into the labor work field, stopping them from seeking future education. Many young immigrants aspire to have a college education, possessing the same skills as any other American college student, but being stunted by a legal status.
I appreciate the recognition that hard-working immigrants are getting, but that recognition needs to be directed in the correct places. Immigrants deserve the right to attain a higher education and leave these labor intensive work fields.
I end with this, immigrants are not to be feared. Immigrants are not here to replace Americans; they are here to work and succeed. The United States and its citizens need to remember their roots and respect hard working immigrants.