When one looks into the phenomenon of immigration, different scopes of the issues and points can be raised in regards to analysis from the social perspective. What is yet striking while researching the topic is the fact that most of the studies currently focus on the phenomenon of the legal immigration, disregarding the fact that immigration comprised a social movement when a lot of people crossed the border without the solid reasoning and fact of being noted in terms of documents. Therefore, the paper would focus on the three stories of illegal immigrants who arrived at the US based on the documentary “Undocumented Americans”.
First of all, one shall outline that illegal immigration existed since the beginning of the movement as such. Due to financial reasons, people were not able to afford to pay for the necessary documents that would let them enter the country of their destination. Currently, there are over a million of children who live in the US as undocumented citizens and about 4.4 million people by the age of 30. Such a large number illustrate the broad scope of the issue and demonstrates how different age groups are being affected by the phenomenon as such.
The first story enlightened in the movie describes the life of John Min who arrived at the US as a little child and did not presume of the possibility of being an undocumented American. What is indeed striking in the story is the fact that John Min’s parents did not reveal the real story of their arrival to the country. The immigrant status also depended on the fact of the information given by the family you came from. Also, the fact that a lot of things in the way of living depended on the documented status and the way American legislation worked marked as a shocking fact on the consciousness of a young man. The documentary also reveals the pictures in the evolutionary way, where one can see how the family life and transformations changed Jon Min’s life.
It is interesting to note the similarities and differences in the lifestyle of immigrants who were of documented or undocumented status. Judging by the pictures and by the story retold one may conclude that the daily routines of those who arrived as undocumented were not significantly different from the people who moved to the US with the legal status. By looking into the pictures, one can see the happy faces of children who were enjoying living in the “melting pot” and the American dream, just as they imagined their lives in the movies. However, later on the story revels the facts that family circumstances led to the necessity to ented the country with the undocumented status.
There are certain drawbacks undocumented immigrants face while entering the US. While looking into the story of John Min, one many see that he faced difficulties that were relevant as fundamental rights, which the US preaches. These were the options to obtain education or job that were evidently impossible for a person who entered the country with an undocumented status. Therefore, even though the US is known as a welcoming country for immigrants, the bureaucratic attitude and the way society treats you while knowing the fact of being an undocumented person changes drastically. Thus, the case mentioned above study comprises the fact of being an undocumented citizens makes one an exclusive member in an inclusive society due to the impossibility to change the status as such. The character emphasizes the fact of living in a constant fear as the personal revelation might lead to the deportation and might bring the whole family under threat of losing jobs and being unable to return to the US in the nearest future.
Another side of the issue might be seen from the perspective of Americans who work in the bureaucracy and face the fact that each year there are people who are entering the country, and are unable to integrate into the social life due to their entry status. The major issue related to undocumented Americans is the fact that the number of people coming to the US is increasing. What’s more, even if a person is lucky to get an education in the US, getting a job and having a possibility of social lift is excluded as such.
No less striking are the stories of Pedro and Silvia that are also presented in the documentary. All of the people in the documentary were shocked and did not clearly understand what the undocumented status meant for their future. What is also notable, is that in all of the stories parents arrived at the US with the good intentions to have a happy future for their children without understanding the scope of the issue that the future of their children whose status was also classified as illegal immigrants could have negative results for their whole careers. What’s more, the principle of meritocracy that is often exercised in the US was inapplicable for those who arrived into the country as undocumented citizens. Here the story of Silvia whose university refused to provide her financial support due to her status did not depend on her academic merit.
Thus, undocumented Americans comprise a significant part of the American society whose status remains unclear and who cannot contribute to the society in their full capacities.
- http://www.apa.org,. ‘Undocumented Americans’. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
- TIME.com,. ‘Undocumented Americans: Inside The Immigration Debate – Video – TIME.Com’. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.