America’s Immigrants Are a Source of Strength, Dignity and Pride

February 26, 2018. In this article the author, Clarence Hightower, argues that immigrants are who made America what it is today. He discusses the present contributions of immigrants to the U.S. by citing research, including FPI’s, which shows that immigrants are highly educated, very likely to be business owners, are homeowners, and their children are less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. He goes on to draw attention to the demonizing actions and rhetoric from the federal administration surrounding the decisions to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the two government shutdowns. He continues his article by noting the historical relations with immigrants that have been the foundation for building America. These include Haitians leading the way to the Louisiana purchase, the exploited labor of slaves, and the appropriation of land from Mexico.

And, as President Barack Obama noted during a July 2012 naturalization ceremony, “The lesson of these last 236 years is clear – immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century.”

Research reflects this sentiment and reveals the extraordinary contributions that immigrants have made and continue to make in this country today. For example, the Small Business Administration finds that immigrants are significantly more likely to start their own business and create jobs for themselves and others. In fact, the Fiscal Policy Institute reports that immigrant-owned small businesses employ approximately 5 million people and contribute upwards of $800 billion to America’s economy.

And whether we are the descendants of slaves, indigenous tribes, immigrants or refugees, people from every corner of this earth have contributed to this nation. So it shouldn’t matter if one is from Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe or elsewhere, nor should it matter what one has when they arrive. For it is those who came to this land with nothing that made it into what it is today and who have the imagination to make America live out its original promise in the Declaration of Independence.

Here is the link to the Asian American Press.

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