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BingQing Wang
Professor Malvin
English 114 B
5 April 2016
Lay a Hand Immigrant Center
Ever since California became one of the United States’ territory hundred years ago, it has
been called the land of opportunities and have attracted, yet still attracting, millions of people
from the whole globe. And as the second largest city in the United States after New York City,
Los Angeles has always been a number one choice for immigrants. In fact, according to
California Department of Finance, there is about 18.6 million people living in Los Angeles and
only 27.5 percent of them are white. As if right now, Los Angeles is the city with most
populations and immigrants. Immigrants have played a huge role in Los Angeles and have
affected everyone’s daily life, but not many people take a in depth look about immigrants. In
fact, they are struggling more than people could think of and I believe it will be a benefit for
everyone to have an immigrant community/help center.
All these people that immigrates to Los Angeles, has come along with a culture, history,
and a dream to this land, the dream of having a better life. Some of them succeed and some did
not, struggling ever since the moment they come to this land and live in the bottom of city 365
days a year, in a such vicious circle. As an immigrant myself, I have always wish there could be a
help center for immigrants. A center for those who are struggling in a foreign country and give
them a place to work together and help each other as whole. The center name will be Lay A
Hand, it represents the idea of the center and the goal that we wish we could accomplish. We

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wish everyone could lay a hand when there is someone seeking for help, does matter where they
come from, what language they speak, nor what color they are. Right now, I have not seen a real
help center for immigrants, the only place that is close to help center is a wall outside of an Asian
super market called Hawaii Super Market. On the wall, people will paste papers that say things
like job offering, looking for roommates, tutoring, or house renting etc. The main concept is
pretty much the same but the difference is that the help center will be more organized and
become a stabilized place for people to look for.
Since Lay a Hand center is about help immigrants, its location is choosing to be able to
help more immigrants, so it will be located somewhat in the center of county that has most
immigrants. In this case, El Monte or Pasadena will be the best place to have the center located.
The center will have five stories, each story will have its specific function and use while having
more rooms to be more specific and clear. In the first floor, we will have a reception desk to ask
people their needs and tell them which story they should go to. Besides the reception desk, we
will have a mini playground for kids, sofa and tables for adults to relax, so people could come
even if they do not have a problem. In the second floor, we will job offering that we help people
filter and choose base on their status and needs. There will be approximately ten rooms and
everything will be done privately, so therefore all the information about them will be safe. We
will have mixed stories for story three, four, and five, in these three stories, we will have all kind
of services that people need to get their thing going, for example, lawyer, an emergency doctor,
tutoring, house renting etc. most of things that people need could be find right here, even if we
do not have it, we could guide you to the place that solves your need.
The point of having Lay a Hand center for immigrants is that it helps organize the
immigrant community and solves their needs. Some people might say that it is modern society

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now, people can find everything they need in a big city like Los Angeles. It is true that Los
Angeles has everything, but the thing is that, also because they are living in a big city like Los
Angeles, it is too complicated for immigrants to know where to go to solve their specific
problems.
It is easy to say that it is hard for immigrants to fit in the community as there is all sorts
of problems well above one’s head. There are not only problems as being in a strange city,
language barrier, but also racism. It is true that there is law against racism and government has
always treat it as a priority problem, but it still occurs in people’s daily life. My dad is a first
generation immigrant, what it means is that he is the first one in our family that came to Los
Angeles, knew nobody and started everything new on his own. He told me that most of people
might think that the biggest problem that immigrants are struggling with is language, but little
did others know, it is the prejudice that people have toward immigrants. When people try to
apply for a job, the first impression that others have is dirty and surreptitious. On newspaper or
online sources, there is articles about Chinese immigrant working without a citizenship or green
card and they get sent back to China. It is true that they are working without a proper status, both
the owner and worker also know the fact that they are working illegally, but what can they do
when there is no other way out. This is where the help center will take place to help these
immigrants find a job that does not offend the law. The other point of having an immigrant help
center is to introduce immigrants to the society, to give people a better understanding of who we
are, so therefore eliminate the prejudice that people have toward immigrant and improve the
society.
Throughout Los Angeles history, there has been racism ever since the first immigrant
took a footstep. As “Guide to Twilight L.A.” said in one of its article “By the 1920s, Los Angeles

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was a “land of opportunity” not only…. Most of the new communities that sprang up in and
around the city were open only to “white Americans.” Indeed, some were open only to “White
Christian Americans.”. In school, kids will bully immigrants on everything they do. The
language they speak, the culture and habits they brought from their country, or even the cloth
they are wearing. With Lay a Hand center, we will promote the idea of equality and the fact that
language and color do not represents a human being to everyone, therefore, even if some
veterans are too used to think what were taught and saw, the next generation will start to change
their mind set about immigrants.
Some people said that build Lay a Hand center will only benefit the immigrants and the
plan that we said about equality and future generation is too far from now and can hardly see the
benefits for the community. It is not a great idea to promote a such public space while we can
spend the same amount of money and effort for something that could see benefits right away and
share the benefits to the whole community. What they said are true that the center mainly serves
immigrants and Los Angeles residents are hardly getting any benefits, but it is because that Los
Angeles residents are already having the kind of services and they will not get any more on Lay a
Hand compare to all the other centers that serves them. Also, according to Center of Immigration
Studies, it has stated that immigration have helped the growth of economic, the benefits they are
giving to businesses are substantial. The idea of helping immigrant will attract more people to
immigrate, therefore while it looks like Lay a Hand center is only helping immigrants, but in fact
it is benefiting the whole community.
In an article by Sociology of Education, Beyond the Family: The Influence of
Premigration Group Status on the Educational Expectations of Immigrants' Children, it has
talked about the status of immigrant children and the influence on them. Immigrant parents often

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have too much expectation on their children that it exceeds and collapses the kid. While helping
immigrants, Lay a Hand center also focus on helping children improve. Everyone knows that
children are hope of a family and the future of everything. With Lay a Hand center, the situation
where immigrant kids’ talent got wasted will not happen again and when they grow up, they will
become people that benefit and improve the society.
Lay a Hand center is a safeguard for immigrants. Often in time, a pure immigrant come to
Los Angeles and does not know what to do and how to do, they spend their money little by little
and one day they find a greedy boss that offers them a dirty low pay job, from that point on, their
struggle begins and they cannot even afford a flight back to their country. With Lay a Hand
center, immigrants that recently come will have all their questions answered and we will find
them a job that at least allow them to save a little after paying for their living, and a cheap house
for them to live. Even if they are new to this land, we have most of services that they need and
they do not have to spend an hour for a specific place, we will be the place!
Although it might seem like that Lay a Hand center is not a necessary, but it is a must for
all the immigrants that are struggling in this land. For those people who has been living here their
whole life, they cannot understand the struggle of living in a foreign land with foreign language
and culture while you are forcing yourself to accept everything by yourself. Immigrants are all
fumbling in the dark and do not know what is going to happen next, Lay a Hand center could be
first candle light that lights up the dark and help them find their path.

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Work Cited
Guide to Twilight L.A., Anna Deavere Smith, Race and Racism, page 19
Facts About Los Angeles, Discover Los Angeles.
Beyond the Family: The Influence of Premigration Group Status on the Educational Expectations
of Immigrants' Children, Sociology of Education
Immigration and the American Worker, Center for Immigration Study