Today I have finished watching one of the best movies of 2011, “A Better Life”. I had seen the preview for it a couple of months ago, and was quickly intrigued. Now, one may ask themselves why I would be. And the answer is… I know how hard it is to be an immigrant in this country (the U.S.) or any country for that matter (these problems will apply whether you are considered legal or not). Many people tend to treat immigrants rather badly. Although this movie was based on the live’s of Mexican immigrants, this can relate to anyone who has had to make the long journey to have “a better life”. Maybe the resources are not that good in the native land, or there is too much violence leading up to the migration. But whatever the reason, people tend to migrate to provide a better life for one’s family, specially the children’s.
What I find interesting is the way immigrants are portrayed in the eyes of those who oppose the incoming flow of new Americans. We are seen as pests, scavengers, leeches, in other words, the worst of the worst. When these people are asked why they do not like immigrants they quickly say that we are gangbangers or drug dealers. What they fail to understand is that we immigrants are not all like that, yes there are people who fall off into that kind of life (it is not just immigrants either, some of the biggest crimes and drug usages are done in places considered “high society” and closed communities), but not everyone. And to top it off, they (those against immigrants) take away the identity of the individuals. We are no longer humans, we are “aliens”. These tactics are extremely disgusting. After all it is tactics like these that were used by Hitler when he made sure to destroy any other culture he believed to be in the way.
What’s funny is that when people think immigrant or for a worser term “alien”, the first thing that comes to mind is Mexican. But it is not just Mexicanos that come to the U.S., it is a whole array of people from all over the world who wish to bask in the light of opportunity to make “a better life”. Immigrants range from an immense ammount of diversity, that make up almost all the cultures of the world. After all the United States is a country of immigrants. So to deny the entrance of new Americans is rather selfish. One thing that should be pointed out is that the new wave of Americans is not like our predecessors, who came with guns and destroyed the cultures of the true native Americans. Compared to that past, this new wave is actually a rather peaceful one.
One other thing to have in mind is that humans always will migrate, it is our very nature. A great many people have migrated after all. Reasons range from survival, opression, bad environment, religious calling, riches, or to just explore and take humans to new horizons. This will continue to happen, after all humans are now looking to the vastness of space. Humans are made to migrate, so to say that we do not have the right to enter this or any other country is to go against being human. Most people that came here want to make “a better life” but because of all the restrictions and shunning, many are forced to go outside the law in order to survive. Now, I am not defending criminal behavior, but I do ask for understanding. We all are where we are because of the series of events that went through our life’s, the problem is that some have it worse off than others and not everyone is strong enough to pull through to lead a “good” life.
Now this goes to any immigrant, legal or not. After all I have seen discrimination to all of us disregarding what our status is. So if you should be reading this and happen to be an immigrant I will tell you this. Do not give up and fight for your dreams. Life gives you many challenges, it is up to us to go through them and prove ourselves worthy. And to those who oppose the influx of immigrants, I am sorry you feel this way. But please try to open your mind and heart and try to remember that we (yes including you) are decendants of immigrants. The only thing I ask of people is to try and have understanding. Life is not black or white, it has many variations so to choose only one side without taking into account the why, will only lead to conflicts and misunderstandings. And truthfully we can be better than that.
If you are interested in finding out about the hardships that many immigrants have to go through, then please check this film out. Another film that I really enjoyed is called “Shinjuku Incident” starting Jackie Chan. This film also deals with the hardships that immigrants face. In this case the immigrants are Chinese and the country is Japan. Although in two very different hemispheres, the similarities are extremely apparant (one more piece of evidence that we are all the same). I really liked this film as well so if you have the chance please check it out.
Sorry, I know I deviated a bit from the usual themes but I find this to be a very important topic. Plus this helps lead up to the next video.