National Security

By | Assimilation, Commentary, Defense, National Security, Terrorism, trump, Uncategorized | No Comments

The 9th Circuit today, in an unanimous decision, indefinitely stayed the Executive Order banning individuals from the 7 Muslim countries. The broadly written order, called by Mr. Trump as “Beautifully written….which even a bad high school student would understand”, banned anyone coming in from the seven countries and applied to Green card holders, visa holders and everyone. The Trump administration argued that the seven countries were identified by Mr. Obama as terrorist breeding ground. After the defeat, Mr. Trump has said that he would issue another executive order. Hopefully this one will be narrowly drawn and exclude people possessing a green card or a visa.
But the real issue is that Trump is ruling by creating fear in the minds of people. That fear when generalized lead to the hatred of all Muslims. So far, this country is everyone’s country. You did not have to be Christian or white to belong here. Is there a particular dress code or food or entertainment that defines America? If this was Saudi Arabia, we women would have to cover ourselves head to toe. If we were to live there, we would curse at the heat and the cover and would not like that country. Similarly, getting people to not wear the hijab in France has led to Muslim people feel alienated. And thus, the most number of radicalized Muslims are from France.
I hear a lot of talk of how America needs to “assimilate” the Muslims. Is eating pork, or dressing in shorts American? Is eating beef American? How do you define America? And CAN you define America? You feel American if the general people love you and are friends. So far, America had done an amazing job doing just that, accepting everyone, no matter what our ethnicity is. We listen to Fareed Zakaria or Arianna Huffington, no matter their accents. Trump’s America might fail to do that. By hating Muslims, they will effectively shove Muslims to become radicalized.
And this brings me to my final point—Travel ban. I will even refrain from uttering the word Muslim. Is travel really essential to learn to become a terrorist? We have the internet. I have done many things that I would normally not have; simply by watching you tube videos. A recent New York Times article investigated the so called “lone wolf” attacks and proved that ISIS is behind all those killings. And the hatred for Muslims will only exacerbate the situation. Maybe Trump has no qualms about putting America in danger, because an unsafe America will only increase his power.

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Immigration and Assimilation

By | Assimilation, Citizenship and Naturalization, Commentary, Immigration Policy, Uncategorized | No Comments

My US born children have often been asked, “Where are you from?” Houston, is often not an acceptable answer to the questioning party. Its usually followed by, “Where are you really from, or where are your parents from.” This probably happens to US born non white children. I remember that American Immigration Lawyer’s Association had a blog about how important immigration is when Jeremy Lin had his “Linsanity” moment. Yet Lin was born in the US. However, the question still arises, does Immigration demand assimilation?
Color cannot be changed to “look” American. However assimilation was a big question since our country’s history. The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1906 limited Immigration to “Caucasian” descent only. US v Bhagat Singh made a case that Mr. Singh was Caucasian of Indo European descent. The SCOTUS held that even though he might be of Aryan race (which they said was probably intermixed with Dravidian blood) Immigration was still impossible because he would not be able to “assimilate” into the American society. That made all people of Indian descent, including the father of Amar Bose, the creator of Bose Speakers, illegal.
However with successive waves of immigrants from England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, all brought their culture and their food, and assimilated into the melting pot of American society.
The US has a melting pot philosophy, while countries like Canada or France have a Cultural Mosaic. The difference is whether the country considers itself homogenous vs heterogeneous. Proponents of Multiculturalism decry Melting Pot theory, yet the Mosaic system has been shown to cause more discrimination. In a Mosaic system, the majority always think they are better than other groups. Yet, in modern times, it can be argued that assimilation is difficult, because the world is more connected. Immigrants can easily keep in cultural contact with their homeland via the internet, and thus create more of a mosaic society living in their own cultural world, and not embracing the “American” culture.
Whatever the case may be culturally Immigrants have made USA very diverse. You can get superb food from practically all major countries in your own city. Birth of fusion culture arises everywhere, from food trucks, to rock music. This year more than 1 million people applied for Citizenship, proving that most Immigrants are happy and love America.

Written by Annie Banerjee, for Banerjee & Associates