Humans are like parrots; what society tells them, they repeat and believe to be true. However, this habit often creates unseen barriers that divide and alienate people from one another. In Luis Alberto Urrea’s book The Devil’s Highway, Urrea tells the story of 26 illegal immigrants who are abandoned as they attempt to cross the Mexico-U.S. border. Through their story, Urrea reveals that there are invisible borders that create discrimination, such as language, ethnicity, and economic status. In order to break down these borders, education is essential to prove that they are unnecessary constructions of society.
There are approximately 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States spawning from many different countries and continents. Illegal immigrants come to America to escape from many different kinds of mistreatment from their home country. When an individual moves they are often followed by others who are encouraged to find a better quality of life. Obtaining a citizenship is strenuously difficult to attain because of raised standards, language and education barriers, along with the fear of the United States government and society projecting bias towards immigrants. The feeling of being burdensome, unappreciated, and unintelligent due to the language barrier when communicating with others.
Firoozeh writes about her life as an Iranian immigrant to America. Her family is treated with kindness by neighbors when they come to live in America and get lost on their way home from school: “…the woman and her daughter walked us all the way to our front porch and even helped my mother unlock the unfamiliar door,” (Dumas, 7). Firoozeh and her mother are not discriminated against because they are immigrants who don’t speak English, the Americans help them despite their differences. Had the neighbors not been helpful and patient, Firoozeh’s journey home would have been somewhat traumatic and daunting. While this a rather specific isolated example, it can serve as an analogy for all immigrants’ experience.
Because of this lack of English education, we fail to assimilate the students to be functioning members of the United States. The way we are able to assimilate students is to create better programs for students who are learning English; that way, when it is time to enter the workforce, they will be able to understand what it takes to move ahead in this country. The article states that “Good bilingual immersion programs provide such an environment by giving English speakers and English learners ample opportunities to interact in and out of the classroom.” Assimilation relies on the need to acquire the social and psychological features of a group. Most Latino students in schools today hold a very small grasp on our language and our social system, which is partly due to the rampant segregation.
In addition, the vocational services set standards and guidelines throughout the workplace to provide services for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students. “Our society is full of people whose contributions and desires to integrate often go unnoticed and unfulfilled. ()” “Ignorance is Bliss.” The lack of knowledge from ignoring what the world has to offer to you is hindering our society today. These immigrants play a vital role in American society and the economy, but we have yet to fully understand or implement a plan to accommodate their needs for them to achieve success as a U.S. citizen.
I have had the privilege to help two friends of mine named Brian and Jose learn English. Jose is an honduran refugee who has been thrown into a new country with no way of communicating and very few connections to root himself in his new home. Brian is a Colombian immigrant who moved to this country after being taken aback by it’s beauty and opportunities. I have helped them both in part because I know how hard it is to build a foundation in a foreign land. Furthermore, I want them both to experience American culture without being overwhelmed, or infatuated with the culture that they forget their own.
Throughout history, humans have always been afraid of anything and anyone unlike their culture. Even in the twenty-first century, there is heated debate surrounding illegal immigration in America; some believe that illegal immigrants from Mexico are stealing jobs and harming the economy. These irrational fears are discussed in Luis Alberto Urrea’s book, “The Devil’s Highway,” which tells the true story of 26 illegal immigrants who are abandoned after crossing the U.S. border. Through this true story, Urrea shows the mistreatment of illegal immigrants, and his use of historical examples reveals that immigrants have always been subject to prejudice and persecution in the United States.
Challenges and hardships encountered by foreigners immigrating into the United States are demonstrated through Jake’s experiences with the Shimerdas, the Russians, and other foreigners. Due to the Shimerdas limited capacity to speak, read, write, and understand
Immigration is deeply rooted in the American culture, yet it is still an issue that has the country divided. Marcelo and Carola Suarez-Orozco, in their essay, “How Immigrants Became ‘Other’” explore the topic of immigration. They argue that Americans view many immigrants as criminals entering America with the hopes of stealing jobs and taking over, but that this viewpoint is not true. They claim that immigrants give up a lot to even have a chance to come into America and will take whatever they can get when they come. The Suarez-Orozco’s support their argument using authority figures to gain credibility as well as exemplification through immigrant stories.
Introduction Informative, contemplative, and different are three words to describe “How Immigrants Become ‘Other’” by Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco and Carola Suárez-Orozco from Rereading America. “How Immigrants Become ‘Other’” talks about unauthorized immigration. More specifically, this source talks about the other side of the issue of unauthorized immigrants; the human face of it all. “How Immigrants Become ‘Other’” depicts the monster from one of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s thesis in the article, “Monster Culture (7 Theses).” The monster seen in the source “How Immigrants Become ‘Other’” is the one that Cohen talks about in his fourth thesis, “The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference.”
In the article, Two Sisters, Two Americas, the author, Brooke Ross, informs readers of the Saravia family’s story and the effects of being a “mixed-status family” with worries of being deported. A mixed-status family is a family with a combination of illegal immigrants, and citizens living in the United States. A path to legalization should be created for people who are already here illegally, but border security should be tightened to prevent more people entering the US illegally. These immigrants do jobs that most Americans don’t want. For example, “such immigrants do jobs that few Americans want, like working on farms and cleaning homes” (Ross, 10).
The Devil’s Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea is the true story of 26 men who attempted to cross the Mexican border through the bleak Sonora Desert in May of 2001. Urrea describes the lives of the men who attempted to cross, what happened to them, and the response of the people working on the border and who encountered them. He explores the issue by describing both the personal experiences of people trying to emigrate from Mexico to the U.S., and of people working on the border. The story was made both realistic and compelling through the information gathered and research conducted for a full year prior to writing the story.
When I think of illegal immigrants, I think of middle-aged people crossing over a big fence to enter the drug cartel in the United States. This picture is wrong. When thinking of this, I am picturing one person with one story, when really there are hundreds of thousands of different stories. Like the boys in the book, there are tons of kids who cross over with their parents and they don’t even remember the event when they get older. Similar to Lorenzo, Oscar, Luis, and Christian, many children have been in America for as long as they can remember and it is home to them.
The United States is a place of freedom. We are a mixing pot that unifies as one. Many religions, cultures, and languages make their home in the Unites States. Many foreigners see the U.S. as an opportunity to seek better lives and education, but when it comes to foreigners and native-born non-English speakers that do not yet know English, it becomes a little more difficult to go about an average day let alone make a better future. Children in school often become English Language Learners, or ELL, to assimilate to the American standards.