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Living the American dream

Julissa Cardenas, Web Editor

Julissa Cardenas, Web Editor

Immigration has played a big part in my family and it has established who I am today.

Almost everyone from my grandparents to my parents came to the United States from Mexico.

Although both my parents are now U.S. citizens, they have and still make it a priority to teach my sisters and I the struggles they faced coming to this country and making a living as immigrants.

I grew up never being ashamed of who I was or where I came from and speaking two languages was and is something special to me.

I can honestly say that my parents acquired the “American Dream.” Buying a house and being able to provide for the family is unfortunately not something many immigrants achieve but my parents did.

Immigrants work really hard to make a living and it angers me to hear people bashing immigration. When people say, “immigrants take all the good jobs away from Americans” and “this is America we speak English,” it shows me that apparently they also speak ignorance.

This country was founded by people escaping persecution and crimes being done against them.

This new land was a fresh start for them, and they wanted a free country who valued fairness and the law. In other words, this country was founded by immigrants.

Being hateful and vindictive against someone simply because they do not have a little paper showing their citizenship is outrageous.

Growing up in a predominantly Latino community I learned to love my heritage, but I also learned and witnessed many injustices. It is an injustice to see many students wanting to learn and acquire a higher level of education, but not being able to simply because they do not have papers.

While one immigrant student wants to go to college, there is another student who is capable, but does not take the opportunity.

Instead they spend or waste their time doing absolutely nothing.

This is simply not fair. The frustration that comes with being helpless takes a toll on a person, and sadly I have had to say good bye to many family members and friends.

I am aware that they can go to school and receive a degree, but at what price? With no financial aid, or any place to use that degree, students are taking a big gamble.

Many good job positions are waiting to be filled by ready and willing people, but unfortunately there is nothing they can do.

This ideology that immigrants take all the “good” jobs away from Americans is just an excuse to blame and point the finger at someone for the economic problems in this country.

When a person needs money they will go out and find a job, anything to help pay the bills and ease the financial strain.

What people do not seem to notice is that in every freeway exit, there is always a bum asking for money in one corner, and an immigrant trying to make a living by selling roses, oranges, or any other items in the other corner.

It is a cheap excuse to say that jobs are limited because if an immigrant can make a living by selling items in freeway exits, I am sure those doing the blaming can find something as well.

Julissa Cardenas, a sophomore communications major, is Web editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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