The readings and podcasts focused on immigration, something very relevant in today’s society. As Dr. Bezio spoke of the unsubstantiated fears and biases that surround immigration, Gloria Anzaldúa and Jacob Riis’s works provided testimony and example. America still holds on to the idea of being a melting pot, but the actions we have taken against immigration says otherwise. America has made the process of immigration very difficult and placed restrictions on who is even eligible to apply. We claim that we are open to everyone, but then prevent an easily accessible way to immigrate.
Immigration comes with negative stereotypes. People associated certain races with bad characteristics that gave them an excuse to fear and discriminate when in reality, this fear was completely unfounded and wrong. In the same way Americans use the job excuse as a reason to restrict immigration. As the podcast mentioned, the opposite is true.
A focal point of immigration is tied to “The American Dream”. Oxford languages defines “The American Dream” as, “the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.” It is supposed to be obtainable to all that come to America, a reality that does not seem true. Gloria Anzaldúa describes the identity crisis that burdens her life. Jacob Riis illustrates the harsh conditions that immigrants faced, specifically in New York City, which disadvantaged them and kept them in a system where it was hard to break free. They didn’t have equal opportunities to achieve all there dreams. They had to deal with poverty and conditions that kept them struggling to stay afloat. This makes me wonder if the American dream is something that is actually obtainable to all or restricted. America has restricted immigration and made it very difficult. Once it is achieved, there are still internal biases that threaten people’s cultural identity and ability to succeed. People should not feel targeted by their language or their heritage or their cultural identity? So I am wondering, is the American dream just that, a dream?
I agree with you in that America’s morals seem to be quite hypocritical. The American Dream is portrayed as accessible to all people, yet immigrants struggle greatly to achieve it, and even enter our country to try. We make it very difficult for people to immigrate into the United States, causing illegal immigration to be a larger problem.
I think that it is important to shed light on the fact that often times people do begin from different starting lines. As you mentioned, minorities often have to deal with more adverse conditions, more struggle, and more oppression in order to reach the freedom, liberty, and pursuit of happiness promised for everyone in this country. In acknowledging this, we can begin to try and solve it, metaphorically giving everyone an equal view over the wall to watch the baseball game, as Dr. Bezio mentioned early on in the semester
I liked how you talked about the irony of the term “melting pot”. As a country we have prided ourselves on being a safe haven for everyone and for everyone to achieve the “American Dream”. The podcast and readings reveal that both of these things aren’t the truth. The restrictions placed on immigration aside when a immigrant makes it to the US they experience anything but the “American Dream”. They face discrimination from ignorant people based on false assumptions about immigrants developed during the industrial revolution. I think it is important to face this hypocrisy and do something to change it.