By: Jocelyn Suastegui
CHICAGO WALDORF SCHOOL-DMSF
When many people think of America they think of this open and diverse country that has many cultures, languages, and types of people, which is true, but they don’t tell you about how poorly those people get treated. Those same people who bring their food, fashion, language, and basically their whole culture to America also get mistreated and disrespected. Many cultures and languages that revolve in America were not all greeted with open arms. Many cultures in America had to fight in order for their culture and people to stay alive.
My parents immigrated to America from Acapulco Guerrero in 1999, in search of medical treatment for my older sister who was born with Severe Intellectual Disability and Glaucoma in her right eye. They first landed in Tucson, Arizona where they then took a plane to Chicago IL. Once they got to Chicago they took my sister to Cook County Hospital, where they were then sent to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (which back then was known as Children’s Memorial Hospital). And up to this day, they do not regret coming to America, even though they are poorly treated.
How immigrants are not treated as I think they should be, I asked my immigrant family members that immigrated to America in hope of a better life, what they think the American government should do to treat their immigrants better. Some said to have the opportunity to fly to their home countries and back so they could visit their family that they left when immigrating to America. Others said if they had been in America for a certain amount of time and they had a clean record, to have the opportunity to become citizens or residents. One even said to just have the permission to work, as an immigrant. These are all reasonable things to ask for, that I believe the American government could do but for some reason is not. If there are any people out there that work hard to prove that they deserve to be here, it’s immigrants.
Now I am going to speak on personal opinion as to the daughter of a Mexican immigrant. What is funny to me is that America loves Mexican culture. The food, the language, the sense of style, music, dances, even our flag. Mexico’s flag was nominated the most beautiful flag in 2008. But how do you love a country’s culture, but have no respect or dignity for those who brought it to you? Immigrants are the most hard-working people out there in America. Not only that, but they also build up America and what it is today. Immigrants make America the diverse and beautiful it is.
Immigrants have built up America and its “Traditions”. What I mean by this is that many of the “holidays” that we celebrate here, didn’t even originate from America. For example, Christmas, the most celebrated holiday in the US. Christmas originated in Saturnalia Rome, but then the Duchess people from the Netherlands brought it over to New York in the 19th century. Another example like this is the 4th most celebrated holiday in the US, Easter. Easter and its name originated from Easter, England in the late 70s and early 80s. Then it was later brought to America in the 13th century by German Immigrants.
These are all the reasons why I think that America should appreciate more, or even just treat Immigrants better. They bring so much to us and get treated so poorly for what reason? They have done so much for this country for them to be treated the way that it is. That is why I wrote this article in hope of inspiring you to appreciate our immigrants more and help speak up for a change.