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Jon Corn
Professor Malvin
English 115 TTH
10 December 2016
Immigrants are People Too
The refrain this not your country echoed for a lifetime (Rodriguez 20). This quote is
so relevant for the year 2016 that the fact that it was from the early 1960s would not even have
been thought of. This quote was mentioned in Always Running, an autobiography about Luis
Rodriguezs life in the LA gang society. Luis experienced countless acts of murder, fighting,
violence, and drug abuse during his lifetime in this gang. His upbringing would have been totally
different from the start if Americans learned to respect immigrants for who they are, hard
working people who just want to be treated equal and have a fair shot towards success. There is
such a negative association with immigrants today in this country. Our president elect, Donald
Trump, offered to build a wall to keep them out and called them rapists and murders, but they
are not all like that. Immigrants deserve an opportunity. Our country should respect and give
everything needed to the immigrants to provide an equal opportunity at success because of the
history of America, the economic impact, and the reduction of gang violence.
America would have never been created and the working class would have never been
increased without the immigrant footprint. There were people from Britain and all over the world
who migrated to America in the 1600s and onward for religious freedom and a new economic
opportunity. By 1790, the majority of the American population was 65% British descent, which
included people from England, Scotland, [and] also Ireland (A History of Immigration in the
USA.). The actual American born people were the minority of this time. People came and still

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come to achieve the American dream, where anything is possible. When people say they do
not want immigrants to come into this country, they are denying the history of their own people.
In the country, virtually all (93%) of the growth of the nations working-age population between
now and 2050 will be accounted for by immigrants and their U.S.-born children (SecondGeneration Americans.). The whole working class of the country is founded on immigrants,
made up of immigrants, and is still growing because of immigrants. By 2050, first and second
generation immigrants could make up 37% of the countrys population (Second-Generation
Americans.). The immigrant population is growing and they are the ones who will move our
country forward by their willingness to work. It will be normal to know someone who has
directly migrated here or has history in his or her blood of someone migrating here. They are our
history and should be respected not trashed. If America wants to keep growing and stay the best
country in the world, it needs to honor our past and give equal opportunities to immigrants.
Besides the population numbers, the immigrant footprint is shown through Americas
motto and one of its most famous historical document. The slogan of America, established
around 1776, is E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one. It truly represents Americas history with
immigration. The forefathers of this country knew our history and this slogan represents that. No
matter what the race, religion, or background is, when someone comes to America, they are
American. They all represent being one, equal under the American flag, and the true American
values. The Declaration of Independence also shows our history. The document said, All men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that
among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (Spalding). A lot has changed since
1776, when the document was created, but this country is still struggling to welcome immigrants
in. The forefathers took in immigrants and cherished their background so much, that they

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included them in our cemented history, shown through the words all and unalienable. They
welcomed everyone by not singling out just American born citizens. Americans need to keep the
history going and accept immigrants because that is whom we are.
Immigrants are the stabilizer in our economy and without them the whole market would
fall. They help the economy grow. They are willing to do any type of low-level job just to live in
America, provide for their family, and still chase that American dream. In the book, Always
Running, Luis Rodriguez and his family are having a hard time living because their immigrant
parents are stuck in low level jobs because they are not treated economically equal as American
born people were during this time. Luiss dad was one who really suffered and had to work had
just to survive because of his background. He had a B.A in biology and published many Spanish
textbooks, but when he came to America all was forgotten (Rodriguez 30). He had to lower his
standards and take an unskilled job as a janitor to make money. Many immigrants today do jobs
that typical Americans would not be willing to do. They do those jobs because, just like Luiss
dad, all they want is a chance to earn money, so they can stay in the country and become
American citizens. When the immigrants take those jobs, they are actually complementing the
Americans in this country. Research done from 1960 to 2008, written about in the Federal
Reserve bank of San Francisco Economic Letter in 2010, showed that the economy absorbs
immigrants by expanding job opportunities rather than by displacing workers born in the United
States and once business adjust to the immigrants coming in, output per worker increases
(Immigration and the US economy 41-42). They help keep many other jobs alive and the
economy is positively impacted because of the immigrants, so the country should be embracing
them and providing more support to help them get jobs.
There are many counter-arguments about immigrants and a main one is that all

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immigrants are not smart enough, so they only do low level jobs. The people supporting this
argument believe that they are immigrants and they do not have the skills to do higher-level jobs
so they just stay in the low level jobs for life. That is wrong. A lot of the immigrants start in lowlevel jobs because they are not respected. The employers immediately look down upon them
because they are immigrants, just like Luiss dad, and a lot of them are actually highly qualified.
It is shown through the development of new business in this country. In 2012, immigrants
created 28% of all new firms last year. They were also twice as likely to start a new business
when compared to those born in the United States (Pagliery). Most of the low skilled jobs
immigrants take are short term and low paid, so it motivates them to create their own businesses
because they still have to pay the bills like everyone else. Immigrants are much more smarter and
capable than people give them credit for. They give more to the economy than they take away so
their respect in our society should increase. Immigrants are valuable and the country needs to
help them to keep our economy alive.
The labor system in America would be disrupted if there were not any immigrants to do
the work. Without immigrants many businesses would fall. There would be no bottom man to do
the work that enables the top man to have work. An example of this is seen in the agricultural
industry, because every farm job supports three to four others up and downstream in the local
economy (Jacoby). The immigrants, who are willing to pick the fruit, now create jobs for people
to transport, process, and sell the fruit. If they were not willing, then those jobs would not be
created. It is a continuous cycle. Immigrants also increase the demand and create new jobs
because there are now more people in the country who need to buy items to survive. If big
chunks of immigrants were not in the country, companies would lose a lot of consumers.
Immigrants maintain our economy so they need to be accepted and given support in our country.

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Many immigrants are alienated because they were not born here nor speak English and
they do not feel capable to succeed and become one of the many immigrants who help our
economy thrive. They feel left out, which results them being involved in gangs or drugs to make
them feel better. If the country supported and provided good programs and schooling for them,
these immigrants would be using their energy in positive ways, like working or inspiring the
youth to stay out of violence. Luis Rodriguez is a prime example of this. In his elementary
school, there was no way to integrate the non English speaking children, so they just made it a
crime to speak anything but English (Rodriguez 27). It did not accept his culture or find a way
to make him feel welcome, so his self-esteem became undermined at such a young age just for
being himself. He felt bad and lacked motivation. He needed a way to feel better, so he ended up
joining a gang because he wanted [the] power and wanted people to know who he was
(Rodriguez 42). He was voiceless and needed to find his voice. He eventually found his voice
and stayed out of gangs with the help of Mrs. Baez and the Quinta Sol literacy contest. Mrs.
Baez kept him on track to graduate high school and provided an outlet for him to express his
opinions about school issues. The Quinta Sol literacy contest made him feel valuable and finally
gave him a chance to use his voice. Someone believed in him, he was given a chance to succeed,
and now he is making a difference in the community and all around the country. Luis is helping
young Chicanos through his organization Tia Chuchas. If the country provided the right
opportunities for immigrants and respected them, the country would be a better and safer place.
We would have more people like Luis Rodriguez. Immigrants are a part of the future generation
and need support too.
Immigrants are in our blood. The immigrant footprint is seen in our slogan and the
Declaration of Independence. It is very clear that the country was founded on the basis of being a

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land of immigrants and is still a land of immigrants. They are the founding people of this country
and continue to make up a large chunk of the population here. They contribute to our working
class and economy in such great ways that really get underappreciated. They start more
businesses, increase demand and consumerism, and allow specific jobs to keep going. Besides
immigrants huge economic impact, when given the proper support and help, they also impact
gang violence. Gang violence would decrease if the members had a proper support system given
through work, school, and other opportunities that the country needs to increase and greatly
support. It is a positive outlook anyway it is looked at if the country respects and provides the
immigrants with everything they need to have an equal opportunity to succeed. Immigrants are
people too.

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Work Cited
Anonymous, . "Immigration and the U.S. Economy." Monthly Labor Review, 133.11 (2010): 4142.
A History of Immigration in the USA. Sutori, Sutori, www.sutori.com/timeline/a-history-ofimmigration-in-the-usa.
Jacoby, Tamar. Without Immigrant Labor, the Economy Would Crumble. New York Times,
New York Times, 17 Apr. 2012, www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/08/17/couldfarms-survive-without-illegal-labor/without-immigrant-labor-the-economy-wouldcrumble.
Pagliery, Jose. Immigrant Entrepreneurs on the Rise. CNNMoney, Cable News Network, 8
May 2012, money.cnn.com/2012/05/07/smallbusiness/immigrationentrepreneurs/index.htm?iid=HP_River.
Rodriguez, Luis J. Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. Willimantic, CT,
Curbstone Press, 1993.
Second-Generation Americans. Pew Research Center's Social &Amp; Demographic Trends
Project, Pew Research Center's Social &Amp; Demographic Trends Project, 7 Feb. 2013,
www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/02/07/second-generation-americans/.
Spalding, Matthew. Why Does America Welcome Immigrants? The Heritage Foundation, The
Heritage Foundation, 30 June 2011, www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/06/whydoes-america-welcome-immigrants.