Education through the eye of an Immigrant

Education through an immigrant eye

 

“A small step to care, a giant step to education.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen it has indeed

become that urgent on us to step ahead and get involved solving a well discussed but unresolved

issue. Immigrant students do not get the similar experience in school as the non-immigrant

students do. Apart from the language barrier, students who have immigrated face a harder time

to blend in with the natural resident students. This interaction could be from cultural difference,

or inactive racism. On the other hand, students who are natural residents of the country,

regardless of gender or race, have it easier to adopt the system of education.

 

Since the United States accepts the highest number of immigrants, it is obvious to assume

that diversity would be the least problematic of hindrances for the immigrant students. However,

it isn’t as smooth as our assumptions. Unfortunately, our school system is not effectively helpful

at this either. Most of the academic syllabuses are mostly focused on the results at the end of

exams. Which means, the students are more concentrated towards “studying for good grades”,

rather than cultural blending. This leaves immigrant students asking for more. They fail to learn

through human interactions because everyone else is caught up. You see, the mind of a child is

designed to imitate behaviour like adults. And there are adults who are not immediately

accepting of immigrants in the labour force. The impact of it can eventually fall on the

immigrant children.

 

Americans have a very complex relationship with immigration and have a very

negative connotation about the term “Immigrant”. Although almost every American recognises

that the USA is a country that was built by the immigrants and immigrants are acknowledged to

be one of the foundations of the unique nation that it is today. Talking from personal experience,

after migrating to this country, I have had the privilege to be in a US history class where I came

to know about all the amazing things immigrants have brought to this country, how immigrants

were welcomed to this land of ‘Free’ and opportunities. Yet when I introduce myself as an

immigrant, I get a stare that constantly reminds me that I am not welcomed here, I’m not a part

of this nation, and I will never be treated equally and accepted fully as an American even after

adapting to the culture and westernising myself completely, learn to write and speak English

fluently without any accents. I will forever remain an alien to them. I will forever be their matter

of hatred and un-acceptance because, immigrants like me are terrorists, rapists, job stealers,

thieves, drug smugglers and bring diseases to this country according to them. Now think about

all the mass shooting that happens in schools, movie theaters and even in churches. How much

contribution or involvement of immigrants do you see? Not very much. Because their

undocumented status takes their legitimate right to even own a weapon.

 

When people are speaking about immigration in such negative and hostile way there’s

usually some sort of fear that is connected to that hatred. And regards to immigration, it’s the

belief that if too many immigrants come to this country, Americans would lose the way of their

life. Which is perfectly understandable. And it’s one of the motives that drives this English only

mentality, and to many references this being a Christian dominant nation to choose not to be so

flexible about immigrants. However, I believe that it is not the hatred. I believe that people’s fear

is directly connected to people’s belief that this is the greatest country in the world. Now think

about it. How often have you heard that this is the greatest country in the world from people who

don’t even own a passport and has never visited another country? Most of the Immigrants are

often accused of being here for US citizenship and passport, where most of the immigrants are

asylum seekers, refugees or to simply here to reunite with their family members. Safety is a basic

human right, and reunion is basic human characteristics. These can’t be witnessed as crime.

According to a research done by Harvard graduate school of education, undocumented status

affects more than 1 million children today, which is about one-third of all immigrant youth.

 

Another 4.5 million U.S.-born youth have an undocumented parent. Children face barriers

because of their parents’ undocumented status, often related to poverty, fears of deportation, and

more, while undocumented youth themselves face increasing barriers to social mobility as they

enter adolescence and hope to obtain driver’s licenses, afterschool work, and financial aid for

college. Even when children themselves are unaware of their family members’ legal status,

being undocumented or the child of an undocumented parent negatively impacts a child’s

development. Now think, if students are constantly under pressure mentally, how can they even

focus on their academic activities properly? And not to mention the financial burden that they

carry and know that they will have to work their lives off just paying debts.

That’s not the case only for immigrant students though, even native-born American students give

up in this race of learning for grades and paying off debts. According to CNN money, native

born American students are moving to Europe to earn their quality college degrees for free

without any special requirements. And if you’re a student who migrated to USA then it’s just the

beginning for you. Your degrees and certificates that you’ve already earned are now worth

nothing. The American curriculum requires you to be educated according to it. And I completely

understand that it is important. But relearning the things you’ve already learned, would it really

be a good use of your time and money that you will be investing?

 

Now that doesn’t make education fall in the criteria of basic human right or necessity

anymore. It becomes more of a question of sustenance. If acquiring education becomes a

financial burden, then that implies that we are simply selling education, and students are

buying it for the sake of a degree. I agree that not everyone might have the equal ability to

acquire education, but education should be accessible and open to all. Be it native born, or

immigrant, thief or saint, child or adult, documented or undocumented, every human being

should have access to education. Nobody has the right to make someone else feel inferior. Not at

least by education.

 

Education is the backbone of a nation. We don’t need to be aggressive or violent or

inhuman to make America great again. Let’s come together and make education great again. Our

nation will then prosper on its own. And we students of today are the future of this country and

nation. If we don’t opt for standing for the right who will? Folks, it is now time for us to open

the windows, because the wind of change has begun to blow and will leave no leaves unturned.

And I strongly believe that one day it will take us to the magic of the moment where together we

will hold hands, share our dreams and generate a brighter, beautiful and better tomorrow for

everyone.

 

 

Work cited:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply