Progress toward immigrant inclusion must continue making strides

Immigrants are getting an improved quality of life today than they were a few years ago.

 

As one of the most infrastructurally and economically developed countries in the world, the United States of America is a land of tremendous opportunity. Looking at the history of the nation, it has always attracted immigrants who travel to the United States to fulfill their American dream. Being one of them, I have come to realize that my life as an immigrant is a lot better today than what others experienced even 10 years ago.

 

Truthfully, life as an immigrant is never easy. They arrive on foreign land, are often not fluent in the local language and are often unfamiliar with its culture. On top of that, they also have to deal with xenophobia and racism. Be it their accent or appearance, immigrants are often easy targets for marginalization. In turn, these factors may cause immigrants to suffer from lack of employment opportunities.

 

Not too long ago, immigrants who may not be perceived as Caucasian were treated poorly in the States. I have heard from my Nepali compatriots who arrived in the United States a decade ago that discrimination was very prevalent. Gas station owners would not give them jobs and even professors in college would treat them unfairly. Local Americans would not want to befriend them, which limited them to their circle of Nepali connections.

 

But now, times are changing. It is not as difficult to be an immigrant in the United States as it was a decade ago. Minorities have found a way to come together in their common experiences. I have come to realize this in recent days, after finding myself sharing a dorm room with my African friend. Whenever we feel lonely in our present circumstances, we try to comfort each other with our words and dispel the gloom of feeling alienated. I feel as though America, at the end of the day, has always been a country made up of people who despite their nationalities, came together to make their dreams come true.

 

Especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for immigrants, people have begun to come closer together than ever before. Even in an average American, I feel that the level of empathy has increased immensely. Furthermore, movements like Black Lives Matter have also had a tremendous impacts on making Americans more aware of oppression and discrimination. People are getting more cautious about how their actions may leave negative consequences on immigrants and people of color.

 

Now, it is in the hands of residents of the United States to make things even better, not only for local citizens, but also immigrants themselves.

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