US Immigration

Prejudice Hurts

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"Prejudice Hurts"
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Prejudice against immigrants in the USA is just heart-rending. Prejudice hurts, and it hurts painfully. I try to understand why people generalize others, but as much as I try, I don't understand it. I'm Latino and I know the feeling of being prejudged. It's not something pleasant, that I can tell you. I did not come to this country illegally, I was born here.

However, my mom did come here illegally and I understand why. Immigration is a huge issue that cannot be explained in a couple of words. I understand why some Americans dislike illegal immigrants, and I give them the reason. They come here illegally, they break the immigration laws. That's simple to understand. What is not too simple to understand is the reason why they did it.

Life in Latin America is not simple to explain; so many gangs, cartels, drug dealers, corruption, etc. For some illegal immigrants, travel to the US is not an option, it's a must. Life in Spanish countries is pitiful; so much unemployment, few opportunities to educate yourself, vandalism, poverty, social inequality. It is just sad to see the kind of environment in which these people live.

I understand that it is not your fault, or my fault, if people in Mexico have no jobs, or if the government is stealing money from them, or for just their bad quality of life. So, why the US? Why not Brazil, or Chile? Well, believe it or not, the government of the US has a lot to do with the problems in some of the Spanish countries.

As I said before, my mom did come to this country illegally. She came from El Salvador, 21 years ago. I would almost bet without a doubt in my mind that few of you know what happened in El Salvador 25 years ago. Well, since you may not know, I'll try to describe it for you in a few words. El Salvador went into a civil war when the communist party first won the presidential election.

The democratic government of El Salvador, backed up by the government of the US did not want the new communist president, so they decided to overthrow him. The government army fought against the party of the people, for more than 20 years. Over 76,000 people were killed. More than 250,000 were wounded. And do you know what country provided the ammunition for those people to be killed or wounded?

Take a guess. Yes, it was the USA. President Ronald Reagan, with his government provided more than $100,000,000 in ammunition. From that time El Salvador has been in debt with the US.

My mom was one of the many hundreds of thousands who left the country during that time looking for a better future for their families. Now, we (my siblings and I), are the first generation born here. We didn't cross any border. We go to school and try to be not only good, but the best on everything. We have been honored many awards, we have won many trophies in many sports, many diplomas of recognition; we have always gone for the best.

It just saddens me when someone looks at me and thinks that I am an illegal immigrant or that I don't speak English. It just upsets me when people prejudge others by their skin context or their traits.

Prejudice hurts, and it hurts painfully. I just wish to see one day a world without borders, a world with a single language, a world in which there is no difference between races, a world with social equality so there would not be the need to emigrate from the place you love.

More about this author: Jose Blanco

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