A Nation of Immigrants


After reading the article by Paul Kramer I got to feel the fear that Americans had when refugees began flocking in the nation in large numbers. Most of the visitors coming in the early 1900s were non-Christians which was a bother to some Americans. According to the article, the American industry was at a boom stage and the demand for workers was quite high. It is, therefore, true to say that the nation opened doors for refugees in the hope that labor supply will increase. But one notable thing is that the move to allow foreigners in the nation was risky as they could have been terrorists or lazy individuals who will just be beggars all throughout their stay. Initially, the Statue of Liberty was a symbol of trans-Atlantic republicanism and Franco-American friendship. But this changed after Emma Lazzarus was called to compose a poem aimed at supporting an auction for collecting funds for the statue’s pedestal. The Statue of Liberty became a welcoming icon that opened doors for all foreigners seeking refuge in the United States.

There are two stories when it comes to immigration and America. Some people believe that there was a time when the nation was pure and sheltered from outsiders. This group of people is definitely in support of the measures that Donald Trump takes in reducing the immigrants in the US. These are the Americans that believe the coming of refugees into their soil has done the nation a lot of harm than benefit. Although this might seem harsh it is not entirely irrational. There is congestion in some states in America which leads people to miss out on amenities that they pay taxes to get. Trumps orders of suspending the entrance of refugees will control the nation’s population and help the government be at a better place in catering for all the citizens.

In 1924 after the First World War the United States closed door for most nations, excluding immigrants from Asia and restricting European immigrants on grounds of national origins quotas. The implication of this is that the issue of restricting foreigner from entering the nation is something that has been there for ages. Even before the US had become a superpower nation people from various parts of the world yearned to reside in America. At this time cases of terrorism were not rampant therefore switching citizenships was not a cumbersome process as it is currently.

The meaning of refuge became a contested issue in immigration politics during the years of the Cold War (Kramer). Activists have been on the forefront trying to redefine refugee status in the U.S. From reading the article one notices that in the immigrants in the US are responsible for most of the nation’s success. The reason behind this is that most of the refugees that move into America go there with the goal of improving their living standards. With such a mindset they put themselves into seriously productive activities. However, the treatment that these foreigners receive sometimes is not that pleasing. They are discriminated on the basis of race, ethnicity, and culture.  

When Trump was voted in as president, most people were surprised by the news. But after reading this article I am no longer shocked by Donald’s victory. It is evident that quite a large percentage of Americans have never been of the idea of letting immigrants into the nation, and these are the people who supported Trumps candidacy.

Works Cited

Kramer, Paul A. “Is America a Nation of Immigrants or of Ugly Nativism? It Has Always Been Both.” Slate Magazine, 3 Feb. 2017, slate.com/news-and-politics/2017/02/trumps-muslim-ban-and-the-long-history-of-american-nativism.html. Accessed 3 Apr. 2019.

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