American by Choice

The "New World" was a magnet attracting millions from the "Old World." The discovery of The Americas in 1607 caused one of the greatest folk migrations in history. This on-going immigration also caused a continuing source of controversy from the early days until today. Ever since the Spanish first came here as settlers, immigration conflict arose with the natives over issues regarding virtually the same issues that exist today... except on a different level. The history of immigration reveals that nearly all of us have immigrants in our ancestry. Americans are a

A significant proportion of immigrants have worked hard and made sacrifices for their adopted country and their families. Many naturalized citizens (immigrants) have exhibited such commitment to their communities and this country and displayed outstanding initiative in civic participation, professional achievement and responsible citizenship that they have been recognized for their outstanding achievements. They are, perhaps, among the fortunate immigrants who were most successful at integrating into American society.

Multi etnic familyHowever, immigration integration for the masses is difficult, at best. By definition, "immigrant integration is the process of economic mobility and social inclusion for newcomers and their children." With language barriers and cultural differences, immigrants are often misunderstood and even outcast. With no employment or low employment, immigrants find it difficult to support their families.  It leads to unrest and often injustice. The most recent report prepared by the Legislative Research Committee in Frankfort, KY on immigration shows the impact of immigrants on our economy and community resources.
Integration affects institutions and mechanisms that promote development and growth of our communities. It impacts childcare, children's and adult education, the workforce, health care, government services, elder care, politics and more.

  • Successful integration helps build communities.  They become stronger economically and more socially and culturally inclusive.
  • Successful integration helps break down barriers that prevent "brain waste." When American government, businesses or other entities do not recognize the credentials of foreign-born academically and professionally trained personnel, it creates underemployment and unemployment for foreign-born professionals. American communities can benefit by the influx of immigrant workers in many unfilled positions.
  • Research by the Immigration Policy Center demonstrates the waste of human capital is a significant loss to employers, host communities and the immigrants themselves. Turkish woman swearing the Pledge of Allegiance

 

To become an "American by Choice," immigrants must overcome linguistic and cultural differences, along with racial biases. Education and compassion go a long way toward helping immigrants who strive for the "American Dream." When immigrants work hard daily to live up to the standards they have set for themselves. Kentuckians are known for their hospitality.

"The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a Wilderness."
William Glasser

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