An American is a native or a citizen of the United States. Most of the people from all around the world come to this nation to become an American. Immigration is the most useful and legal process to become American. The history of the nation began with the immigrants. The process of immigration changed over the time which raises a lot of debatable questions in the political science. Fineman wrote the chapter two “who is an American?” in “The Thirteen American Arguments” to provide the pros and cons about the United States Immigration policy.
Fineman started the chapter with “the ‘Macaca’ incident”. George Allen was a Republican, used the word Macaca to an Indian American, named Sidarth. He was a field operator of Allen’s Democratic opponent Jim Webb during the 2006 U.S. Senate election in Virginia. Webb’s party claimed, Macaca was intended by Allen as a racial slur (“Macaca-term”). Sidarth had a hidden camera on him. He captured the whole conversation when Allen said, “So, welcome, let’s give a welcome to Macaca here! Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!” (p. 40). This video went online and for that reason Allen lost the election. He apologized for his behavior in public and he did it repeatedly. But it didn’t work out. The online magazine ‘salon’ posted that “Sidarth was the kid next door. He, not Allen, was the real Virginian.” (p. 41).
As Fineman said that “only a nation of immigrants could argue so earnestly and endlessly (and sometimes violently) about who can become one of its own.” This is true in a sense because all of our ancestors came to this nation to get better life and for better opportunities. This nation never intentionally opened the borders for people to get in. There was always some process to get into this nation. As this nation has a very large land with not enough population. So this country always needed new people to come to this land and cultivate it and make it stronger. From the beginning of this nation to the present days, the immigration process is working to bring new bloods with new minds and new perspectives (p. 41). So the question rises, who is more ‘genuine’ American? The answer gets fuzzy, because some business-minded leaders like William Penn to George Bush used the border gates for a large number of illegal people to get in to this nation. Most of the observers and polemicists like Ben Franklin to Pat Buchanan informed the government that the large flow of these illegal people can affect the economy and culture of the nation.
American’s are mostly known and seen more different than other nation’s people. Here a person is recognized by his or her ideas and aspirations, not the genetics or the geography (p. 42). People who born in a different country can be an American citizen and can feel like an American. Here anyone can become an American, and the process is the immigration process. So the problem which stands for becoming an American is the illegal. The border gates are opened for the immigrants only who come through the immigration process. But not for the illegal people, who come without any documents or any process to being recognized whether the person was a criminal or is harmful for the nation.
America loves immigrants because “immigrants come bearing not only muscle, but also fresh thinking and bursts of political energy” (p. 42). Immigrants who have potentials, can apply their ideas and make it happen. Only the United States offers the opportunities for its citizens to use their own ideas and can see the results. Lot of immigrants came here with nothing and now they have everything. After 9/11incident, the picture of this nation’s structure changed rapidly. There were a lot of security steps took place in every branches of the government. Even the immigration process got a hit and slowed down to avoid any potential criminal and terrorist attack. There was a lot of government approaches took place to stop the immigration process and shut down the U.S. border gates for everyone from the outside world.
“The immigration debate endures because the needs and instincts that underlie it are so fundamental” said Fineman (p. 48). Every action took to control or stops the immigration process because of the nation’s security. If one way was closed for a reason, then another way was opened to continue the flow of the immigrants. Immigrants are the base of this nation. They become the citizens and they are the Americans. Rep. J. D. Hayworth, a Republican from Phoenix, said that “I am not anti-immigrant! I am anti-illegal! These people are coming here, illegally, and they come with an assumption of entitlement that I find outrageous.” This is true from every aspects of an American. To make this nation stronger, we should broad the border gates for the new immigrants and welcome them to the United States.
Fineman, Howard. “Chapter Two: Who Is The American?” The Thirteen American Arguments. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2009. 39 – 55. Print.
“Macaca-term.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaca_(term)>.