Immigration And The American Identity

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 ”A broken immigration system means broken families and broken lives” DACA, Chinese, and Black immigrants during this time period had a rough time in the US due to them being either excluded from society, treated badly, or were not accepted as a “white. The Jamestown colony was the first successful colony to be able to not fall under. Although they had times where they were scarcely low on crops, they were able to pull through it all in the end. Another colony was named the Plymouth colony. It was an English colonial venture and the very first settlement was at New Plymouth, named after John Smith himself. One of the main goals was for people to have their own freedom of religion and to be accepted. An indentured servant or indentured laborer is an employee within a system of unfree labor who is bound by a signed or forced the contract to work for a particular employer for a fixed time. They came over because it was a good way to make money. They had been promised land and goods. Indentured Servants ended up working for more years than they should have and ended up working for almost entirely their whole life with no way out. 

How this has impacted the American Identity is that people part of Jamestown, Plymouth is mostly white people. Since most of the population was white, it affected the way people viewed the American Identity. It was viewed as you needed to be a white person, believed in Christianity, and did what any other white person would do. Here is the issue though, Indentured Servants were not considered part of the American Identity because most of their skin was not white and they did not believe in Christianity. To this day people of color are still not considered white and are treated differently than a normal white person would be treated. Now let’s discuss people during the Civil War times. 

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The Cherokee was a Native American tribe that originated in Georgia and adopted Christianity into their culture. The Cherokee changed their whole culture just so they could resemble white people and their lives. Unfortunately, they were still excluded from the American Identity due to their skin not being considered “white”. The race of a person was considered a bigger issue than religion during this time period. Missionaries are people who travel all around the world to influence others to start believing and worshipping the religion they believe in. They helped make people believe that one of the ways of being white is to believe in no other than God and to be a Christian. They helped bring people into the religion of a white person and to be a part of the society. During the Reconstruction period, the Irish and German immigrants came to the United States. They migrated due to land being cheap and available after the Civil War. They also came because they wanted to able to speak their mind, have a better government, and be free. The Irish and Germans were able to show that Americans were white but also worked very hard. 

The Irish were not considered part of the American Identity while Germans were. Why is that when they are also white? Most Irishmen were Protestant. They were thought of as inferior and not as good as people who are Native. This affected Irish people so badly that they struggled every day to try and make a living for themselves. Although they went through all the pain and guilt, they were eventually accepted into the American Identity. Is life for immigrants better now during modern times? Well there is a program called DACA that was made for children who were not born into this country to be able to legally live here without getting deported even though their parents brought them into the country illegally. The parents of these types of children brought over kids under 18 and overstayed their Visa’s that only allowed them to be here legally for a short period of time. It is said that if your parents are illegal immigrants then you are not wanted in society and will be excluded from the American Identity. During these desperate times over 1.3 million, African Americans traveled from the South to the North where many cultural Neighborhoods were established for these people to keep their culture alive. They traveled North hoping for freedom, higher wage jobs, and to be more respected by the people around them. People (mostly Chinese Immigrants) migrated from their Native country in hopes of a better life in the US. 

Most of these people were held back for days, months, and even years and would not be allowed into the US for a very long time. It was seen that if you were not a white person you automatically are seen as someone who was a criminal for the way you look and would usually be seen as a threat to whites. This determines that people are still having a rough time when it comes to American Identity and living as a colored person in a white society. Americans take in a great deal when it comes to the American Identity and who conforms to it. It can depend on your skin color, culture, or where you come from. Many different types of people have faced discrimination in America and still do to this day. 


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