Assimilation or Integration of U.S. Immigrants

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Different perceptions on whether American immigrants should assimilate or integrate into various social elements such as culture, religion, and principles have been the fundamental reason behind the controversies of immigration in the U.S.

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Massiel Diaz-Robertson Topic: Immigration Focus: Assimilation or Integration of U.S. Immigrants Thesis: Different perceptions on whether American immigrants should assimilate or integrate into various social elements such as culture, religion, and principles have been the fundamental reason behind the controversies of immigration in the U.S. 1. Introduction a. Hook) What makes the United States a great nation? Is it a democracy that supports diversity or is it the ability to assimilate people from different origins? b. Background) No one, not even the American Indians, can claim they were the original natives of the Americas. Only Africans in Africa have that liberty. c. Point 1) The US is known to be the land of dreams where everyone from whichever origin is welcome to succeed if they work hard enough. But the speed of globalization is instilling fear and heated discussion in American-born citizens. d. Point 2) Does America's success rely on the assimilation of immigrants for security and prosperity? e. Point 3) Or has it sustained and excelled due to the integration of different cultures, religions, and beliefs without changing people in search of uniformity? f. Thesis) Different perspectives on whether American immigrants should assimilate or integrate into various social elements such as culture, religion, and principles have been the fundamental reason behind the controversies of immigration in the U.S. 2. Body a. History and Statistics: A look into the current statistics of immigration and the immigrant community and their known or studied effects so that immigration can be established. i. Statistics of Immigration in the US: The current statistics on immigrants, immigrant community, illegal immigrants and the rate of increase in immigration since 1970. 1. 14 percent and 27 percent of the US population are immigrants and immigrant community respectively. 11 million American inhabitants are undocumented immigrants (Felter & Renwick, 2018) ii. Known Effects of Immigration in the US: With the support of empirical research, what are the proven effects of immigration in the country? 1. Immigrants are a source of labor, new productions, and technologies that are commonly used in the US and they commit fewer crimes (Lalami, 2017). 2. They have fewer effects on the labor market (Abramitzky & Boustan, 2017) b. Destructive and Integrative Assimilation: A look into the different assimilative perspectives. Some support integration, others prefer complete abandonment of native attributes. i. Perspectives of Destructive Assimilation: The type of assimilation that prefers complete abandonment of native believes, religion, language, culture, etc. 1. Relinquishment of all ties with the original country. Conflicts whether assimilation is about national values or identity. Those who support destructive assimilation pass policies against immigration of inclusion of immigrants and judge them as being sinister according to their noticeable signs of identity. "Immigrants are expected, over an undefined period, to become like other Americans, a process metaphorically described as a melting pot" (Lalami, 2017). ii. Perspectives on Integrative Assimilation: Support for the retaining of connotative individuality as a diversified resource of national power. 1. Supporters are against destructive assimilation and all for dynamic integration of different beliefs, cultures, and principles. According to them, only pragmatic factors such as fluency in the national language, education, financial success and familiarity with national history and culture matters (Lalami, 2017). c. Association of Integrative Assimilation with Success i. The eventual success of integrative assimilation concerning social values and principles 1. Empirical research shows that eventually, immigrants integratively assimilate to the American culture and have not much trouble accepting and living by its core values and principles. Second generation immigrants, after integration into the American education and social convention close to nearly assimilate as compared to the ambivalence of their parents (Hirschman, 2014). ii. The eventual success of integration concerning harmless economic and labor assimilation. 1. Within no time, immigrants economically assimilate as fast as American in terms of occupation advancement and income (Abramitzky, Boustan, & Eriksson, 2014). 2. After one and a half to two decades, less earning immigrants caught up and even overtook natives in the labor market (Abramitzky & Boustan, 2017). 3. Conclusion References Abramitzky, R., & Boustan, L. (2017). Immigration in American economic history. Journal of Economic Literature, 55(4), 1311–1345. Abramitzky, R., Boustan, L. P., & Eriksson, K. (2014). A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration. The Journal of Political Economy, 122(3), 467–506. Felter, C., & Renwick, D. (2018, July 2). The U.S. Immigration Debate. Retrieved from Hirschman, C. (2014). Immigration to the united states: recent trends and future prospects. Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies : Journal of the Malaysian Economic Association and the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, 51(1), 69–85. Lalami, L. (2017, August 1). What Does It Take to ‘Assimilate’ in America? Retrieved from
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For very many decades, immigration has been a significant issue in the U.S political
debates. It has been difficult for Congress to reach an actual agreement on immigration which
has resulted in many controversies regarding immigration. They are unable to weigh concerns on
economic factors, security, culture, as well as humanitarian concerns. With the recent election of
President Donald Trump, he vowed to settle the immigration issue in the United States in order
to prevent terrorism. With the controversial plans of building the Mexico wall border and the ban
on Muslims from entering the United States, the world had a lot to say on immigration in the
United States. The number of immigrants in the country has been steadily increasing, which has
resulted in almost 27 percent of the immigrants together with their U.S born children.1 The big
question that has brought different perceptions is as to whether the immigrants should assimilate
into different social elements. This paper has focused on whether American immigrants should
incorporate into numerous social components like culture, principles, as well as religion to be the
ultimate cause for the debates on immigration in the U.S.
Immigration and Assimilation
It is the nature of people to love their country, their communities, their families and the
cultures and religions that come with where you are born. The universe is known to bring a
different kind of opportunities to individuals during different phases in their lives. Some of these
opportunities mean that an individual has to leave their native land and move to a new land as
they embrace their new lives there. Many have termed immigration as a complex and disruptive
activity to the human soul while others have seen it as an opportunity to learn and integrate into


Ran Abramitzky and Leah Boustan, "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature
55, no. 4 (2017): xx, doi:10.1257/jel.20151189.

new cultures. The reason that Trump has always been against immigration into the United States
is the fact that immigrants do not assimilate into the U.S culture as he would have. This brings
disruption of values, beliefs among other aspects to U.S. All Americans, that is, the supporters as
well as the opposers of assimilation, are aware that for an immigrant to integrate, they should let
go of their cultures and totally embrace the customs of the natives. However, the United States
has advocated for assimilation to protect their national unity.2
The United States is known to be a land of dreams because anyone from any origin can
succeed in whatever they do if they choose to work hard enough. However, the American-born
citizens have become fearful due to high globalization speed. The immigrants have increased in
number, from all over, and they have come with new ideas, beliefs, and customs which might
slowly be absorbed into the United States. It cannot be said with confidence that America's
success is dependent on the assimilation of immigrants for prosperity and security. This is
because the small percentage may not have a significant impact on the policies that are made.
History and Statistics
The total number of immigrants in the U.S comprise 14% of the cou...

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