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Treasuring Immigrant's Cultural Identity with Assimilation

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Assimilation describes the act of taking something in and absorbing it fully. Assimilation comes from the Latin assimilationem, meaning “likeness’ or ‘similarity.”… Assimilation can also refer to the absorption of new ideas into existing knowledge. An example of assimilation is the change of dress and behaviors an immigrant may go through when living in a new country. Assimilation is defined as to learn and comprehend. An example of assimilation is to pick up playing a musical instrument or learning about history, writing or any other subject something quickly.

Cultural assimilation is the process by which a person or a group’s language and/or culture come to resemble those of another group. The assimilation policy was a policy of absorbing Aboriginal people into white society through the process of removing children from their families. The ultimate intent of this policy was the destruction of Aboriginal society. Assimilation is generally defined as adopting the ways of another culture and fully becoming part of a different society. Whereas integration is typically defined as incorporating individuals from different groups into a society as equals. The difference is subtle but significant. Assimilation plays an important role in how we learn about the world around us.

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Effects of immigration and Assimilation:

An important concern in immigration research involves the effects of immigration and assimilation on health, education, and social programs, particularly in areas of high immigration concentration. Much folk wisdom has viewed assimilation as a process of increase improvement and adjustment to American society. The main idea is guided by an implicit model to know socially and economically in the united states, immigrants need to “become American” in order to overcome their issues in the new language and culture. Today’s immigration is composed of newcomers from Asia and Latin America, areas with significantly different languages and cultures than those Europeans immigrants in the late 1800s and earlier decades of the 1900s. The traditional assumption is that immigrants have costs to U.S. society in the initial period after arrival, but that the costs decrease and the benefits to society increase as duration of residence increases.

In the United States the amount of money people have has made it difficult for there to be complete diversity, because not everyone has the resources or opportunities in securing a good job that will help them to support themselves financially. People who have the ability to pursue a higher education will most likely be able to have a higher-paying job in comparison to people who do not. For example, many people who come from a poor community don’t have the resources they want or need because they aren’t able to pursue a higher education. This cause them not to be able to have a high paying job and work in places such as stores, and factories that don’t require you to have a higher education.

In comparison to people who do have higher education, or generational wealth, there is a different outcome because they have the resources in order for them to support themselves financially. This is what makes it difficult for there to be complete diversity because people are separated due to the amount of money they earn and do not always have the opportunities to learn and appreciate each other’s differences.

In the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the people are not able to accept their differences even though they both share an island. Instead of the Dominican Republic and Haiti trying to join forces and make one another stronger the people are fixated on the differences. This causes for there to be certain restrictions on who is able to have access to education, immigration and even health care. The relations between the Dominican Republic and the Haitians have been broken since 1844, when Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti. This relationship was worsened, because it was carried out by a Dominican dictator named Rafael Trujillo, who targeted Haitians as well as Dominicans who looked as dark as them. He was trying to whiten the race and exert his power upon people, by killing them and putting fear in people minds just to prove a point.

Today in Dominican Republic, the relations are still as tense or maybe even more as they have been years ago. People in the Dominican Republic are wrong for treating Haitians differently just because of their origin, but, this shows how there will not be complete diversity. When I listen to the news on the Dominican channel I hear how Dominicans discriminate Haitians by not allowing them the opportunity to be able to emigrate to the Dominican Republic for access to better opportunities. As of today, based on the news, Haitians are being deported if they do not have legal documentation to be in the Dominican Republic. This is unjust because Haitians should have the right to go to Dominican Republic if they are looking for a better lifestyle.

Instead, most Dominicans judge the Haitians as “criminals” and “rapists” when this is far from the truth. Everyone is capable of doing bad but, not everyone will do so, being of a certain nationality should not dictate the character of that person; because just as Haitians have committed crimes on Dominican soil, so have many Dominicans. Another example is the differences in economy between the two countries. Haiti is struggling economically compared to Dominican Republic and is rated as one of the poorest countries in the world. While the Dominican Republic is ranked as having the 9th largest economy in Latin America. This shows that when differences exist people struggle with working together to be able to help one another become a stronger country. Unless people learn how to appreciate one another’s differences there will not be complete diversity.

Personally, as a person of color it’s important for there to be complete diversity. Unfortunately, we need to be realistic with how our communities and the world function as a whole. If our societies continue to function how they move today, it would not be possible to have complete diversity. The social structure in the United States and in the Caribbean, serve as examples as to why it is not possible to have complete diversity. In the United States, capitalistic ideals have made it difficult as well. In the Caribbean, such as Dominican Republic and Haiti, some people struggle to accept differences and treat each other poorly.

Interviewed:

My Mother Juana Marisol Rodriguez, was born in 1965, she was raised and lived her whole life in Dominican Republic. She came to the United States in June, 1991. She came because her parents brought her under their names. She was 25 years old when she first came. Her first language was Spanish of course, but she came to learn Spanish and have a better life for herself. She went to school in her home place and she finished when she was in 8th grade. She couldn’t pursue her dream in finishing because she had to work, life back then was different because parents needed their kids to work instead of going to school for a better life and education.

Now my mom came to the United states because most of her family was here already and she was looking for better opportunities for herself and so for her children if she was ever to plan to have. About a week later of her arrival to New York, she found a job at a factory and started to produce her new life… She met her one true love here which is my father who also migrated from Dominican Republic and was only 22 years old. 2 years later, they had my sister who is 25 years old now, 3 years later had my brother who is 23 years old then had me which is 20 years old.

People came to the United States for better opportunities, and also come for better chances at work, school and many other choices. Immigrants are interested to leave their former countries of citizenship, or residence, for variety of reasons, including a lack of access to resources, a desire for economic prosperity, to engage in paid work, better their standard of living, family, retirement and, climate. Others come looking for freedom or distress from political and religious issues.

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