Ways in Which Immigrant New Yorkers Maintain Transnational Ties to Their Countries or Communities of Origin
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Ways in Which Immigrant New Yorkers Maintain Transnational Ties to Their Countries or Communities of Origin
In the modern society, people can no longer belong to one society and live according to one set of cultural norms, because countries are permeable. This is because of the widespread instances of transnational migration. Some of the transnational migrants will form their roots in their host countries as they maintain strong ties with their home communities. Take the case of New York, which has a relative proportion of Indian Migrants, most of the letters in the mail boxes usually belong to the Patel and the Singh of New York. Though these Indians are pursuing the American dream to a point where they even own homes in the US, a closer look at their way of life reveals that they are still pursuing the Indian dream as well. This is because they usually wire millions of shillings back to India for their relatives to start up investments or to help them improve their families and other economic activities. They also closely work with the religious leaders of the Hindu religion with a view of strengthening their religious disposition as well as building a Hindu religion that transcends continental borders. They are also actively involved in the politics of their homeland while they are still far in America and some of the wells to do immigrants sponsor political candidates for political seats by giving monetary assistance. Migrating to New York has not affected their nationalism, they are still involved in long distance nationalism and some of them will even return to India to vote during the national elections then move back to New York. Their Indian identity is still intact despite having been out of the country for long (Foner, 2001). Some of them even register for distance education in Indian universities to ensure that they remain rooted in the Indian ways of doing things.
Looking at the Dominican migrants in the New York, they may not have ties as strong as those the Indians have with their native country but there is also some level of commitment. Most Dominicans are more focused on their host country than their homeland but somehow, they remain influential at home. The Dominican immigrants in New York have been able to transform the economy of their home areas because of the financial support and the innovative ideas they send back home. American notions of gender, democracy and cultural dispensation seems to be creeping in very many areas of the Dominican republic because of the impact of the immigrants who have continued to maintain ties with their people in the homeland. Transnational migrants have transformed life in most villages in the Dominican republic as women are preferring men who have had an influence of the American life because e they know that such men are able to take care of their families than men who have never had the American touch (Pessar, 1995). The Dominican experience of migration to New York has led to political Tran nationalism and led to a change in the concept of nationality and citizenship in their home country. The immigrant New York migrants have championed the change of the home policies and have helped to shape their society using the expertise that they have acquired in New York. American doctrines are quickly spreading to the Dominican Republic because the migrants through the ties that they are maintaining with the home country are able to create an influence that is making the people at home to lean towards American experiences. Unlike the Indians who remain rooted in their Indian culture even when they are away from home, the Dominicans migrants are quickly assimilated into the ways of the New Yorkers and then spread the new culture they have acquired to their homeland. One of the most important aspects of the ties that they maintain is the fiscal one. It is estimated that Dominican migrants in the USA have been responsible for the economic revolution in the Dominican republic because of the massive amount of money they send back home (Pessar, 1995). Apart from sending money, the migrants also send merchandise for business and technological ideas that have helped to revolutionize their home country in almost every aspect of their lives. More and more Dominicans are moving to USA. Some of the migrants who have been away from home also return home for lengthy periods and this usually has an impact on the lives of the home dwellers. Though the migrants become easily assimilated into the American culture, the loyalty to their home country remains unquestioned and they are always proud of their Dominican identity (Pessar, 1995). When it come to maintaining ties with the home country by immigrants, the Koreans in New York excel better. These migrants are actively involved in every thing that happens in their home country. They are so proud of their Korean heritage that the have remained largely conservative and unchanged buy the American influence. 80 percent of the Korean immigrants in America are Christian and the go to their Christian churches of Koran descent where home based doctrines are followed(Min, 1997). The Most of the Korean immigrants send their children back home for education as a way of helping the children to stay rooted to their Korean roots. There seems to be a high level of cultural exchange between the immigrants and the natives at home meaning that the immigrants have avoided being assimilated into the American culture due to the maintenance of the home touch. As the other two immigrants tackled in this essay, the immigrants from Korea also have a very huge economic impact on their home country (Min, 1997). The immigrants do not prefer investing in the United States of America meaning that most of their earnings are sent back home for investment. The technological exchange between the immigrants and the home dwellers has helped to lift the technological ability of Korea bringing it at par with some of the technological giants in the world.
Problems Facing the Children of Immigrants in their Families or at School
Some of the problems that the children of the immigrants face at home may be the disruption of the family roles and the interaction patterns when their parents experience discrimination, isolation in the society or even unemployment. This can make the children to lose their cultural heritage. Lack of proper health care and adequate housing may also affect the children of the immigrant population especially the ones living in conditions of poverty. Language barrier is another problem these children face especially at school. This leads to marginalization especially in school because they cannot engaged in major educational activities conducted using the dominant English Language (Foner, 2001). The fact that the children learn English faster than they learn their parents may lead to selective filtration of information leading to family tensions. These family tensions may also be brought about by different cultural dispensations, as the children may feel self-conscious regarding their native culture. The children of the immigrants often find themselves in a stressful situation in the midst of divergent cultural dispensations that increases their vulnerability to psychological problems. They may also face adjustment problems that may lead to poor performance in school or even the use of drugs and alcohol by the youngsters. The other problems that arise out of this cultural clash are low self esteem and more hassles as compared to the children of the non immigrants. They also suffer from anxiety because of the aftermath of discrimination of immigrants that may lead to arbitrary arrests or deportation. Deportation may lead to fragmentation of the family leading to instability and economic difficulties (Foner, 2001). The disappearance of one of both parents fearing deportation may be traumatic for the children that may lead to display of aggressive behaviors. The children may be bogged down by anxiety, feelings of shame or feel criminalized by the arrest of their parents. Family separation or isolation may lead to depression, loss of appetite, aggressiveness and even poor academic performance in schools. Children who are separated from their parents during childhood usually suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD).
Stigma in New York
People of African ancestry undergo a lot of stigmatization in New York than in Jamaica mainly due to the competition for the economic resources (Foner, 2001). Americans are known to prefer the labor of the immigrants rather than the labor of the African Americans. This has led to a lot of competition for dwindling numbers of positions especially those that need low education and skills. This has made the native African Americans to develop a big hatred for immigrants whom they accuse of stealing their opportunities. The rise in the number of immigrants who can provide labor at a cheaper rate has been a boon for employers but a disadvantage for the African American population. Most of the Immigrant of African descent hails from Jamaica where they run away from harsh economic realities. Jamaican economy is reliant on agriculture while its educational system is substandard making most Jamaicans to flee their country to go to America for greener pastures. When they arrive in America, they face a lot of Stigmatization especially from African Americans who loathe them because of the competition they pose (Foner, 2001). Some Jamaicans have been attacked by the New Yorkers while others are openly discriminated, taunted and even isolated. It is important to note that this stigmatization has nothing to do with race and has everything to do with competition for resources. It is worth noting that the current levels of immigration have had impact that is more negative on the African Americans especially the ones with low education. When it comes to the competition for the jobs, the African Americans are usually the losers, since the immigrants are more favored because it is known that they are highly susceptible to manipulation by the employers than the natives. The competition is not for jibs alone. The two groups usually compete for other social amenities like housing, education health care etc. The native population has grown uncomfortable due to the increasing dominance of immigrant populations especially from Jamaica. The open preference to the migrant populations in the employment sector has precipitated a social conflict that has engendered massive stigmatization of the immigrants which has some times had deadly consequences. Some of these consequences have been life changing for the Jamaicans (Foner, 2001). They have realized that they are an unwanted lot and their attention is now focused home. They have stopped making massive investments in their host country and they are now channeling their resources home. The migrants have also realized that their salvation in the foreign land lay in their strength as one; as a result, they have strengthened ties with each other in order to form a formidable wall that will cushion them against the effects of the stigmatization. The immigrants have also gone back to their Jamaican cultural heritage and they have strengthened their ties with the people at home (Foner, 2001). Some of them are acquiring high levels of education while abroad to make them eligible for the high cadre jobs that are out of reach for most of the African American population. The Jamaican Migrants especially those of African descent will always find that there is high levels of stigmatization in New York than there is back home.
Foner, N, (2001). New Immigrants in New York: New York: Columbia University Press.
Min, P.G, (1997) Changes and Conflicts: Korean Immigrant Families in New York: Washington: Allyn and Bacon.
Pessar, P (1995).A Visa for a Dream: Dominicans in the United States: Washington: Allyn and Bacon.