Kids Knowledge is Power Series: Should You Be Afraid of Immigrants? Part 1

There has been a lot of talk in the news about immigration. Some people are loudly for it, and some are loudly against it.  The arguing back and forth is enough to make anyone shiver, but should you be afraid? The answer is"No" especially when you understand what immigration, and even emigration, is all about.

First, let's look at the definition of each of those terms. Immigration is when a person comes to a country that is not his/her own to live permanently. Emigration is when a person leaves his/her country to live permanently in a different one. So immigration is coming, and emigration is leaving.

Immigration is not new. In fact, we are all immigrants in one way or another, and it happens in every country throughout the world. Let's just look at America. 

Scientists believe that the first immigrants to this country crossed the Bering Land Bridge from northeastern Asia more than 13,000 years ago. Their immigration led to the Native American tribes. The next wave of immigration came during the Age of Exploration when Europeans started moving west for gold, land, freedom, and trade. Since that time, people from other countries have flocked to America looking for many of the same things, but mostly for freedom and a chance to live a peaceful life. So how many people born in a different country are actually in America?

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are over 80 million immigrants and their America born kids in United States. They make up about one-fourth of our population. Chances are you have classmates who were born here after their parents came from another country.

When you understand what immigration is, it becomes less scary and therefore no reason to be afraid. However, there is more to immigration that just looking at the definition or the numbers. Next week, we will look at the difference between illegal immigration and legal immigration.

"You are our future, and knowledge give you the power to make good decisions."

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