Immigration was the topic of the day at guest speaker David Peterson’s presentation on April 27. Peterson, a professor at UC San Diego, gave the lecture as a part of Immigration Awareness Week at Saddleback College.
“Poverty, stagnation, and overpopulation” were three of the main themes Petersen said he wanted to address in his speech, as well as misconceptions about immigrants and their effect on the U.S.
“People believe that immigrants have left their country because they cannot work, that they leave for a new life in a new country, and this is a very ignorant statement,” said Peterson. According to Peterson, and a new set of ideas concerning immigrants, immigration is a long-term process, and that immigrants do not in fact leave everything behind when they try and make a new life in America. Peterson, who belongs to this movement, says that that the idea was brainstormed by anthropologists, and that he considers himself a follower.
Peterson says that “the norm” is for immigrants to remain connected to their homeland, their family, and their country. Anthropologists realized something was changing abut 30 years ago, and they broadly placed it under the term Tran-nationalism – a belief that holds the country is made up of many different people, from a wide variety of cultures. An example of Tran-nationalism can be seen in the differences in the automobile industry of the past century, and the modern one. If one bought a Ford vehicle in the 1940’s, most of the car’s parts would be made in the United States. If you were to buy a Ford vehicle today, the parts and pieces that are used to make the car would be from all over the world. This example proves that our country is run by so many different races and cultures, but it makes us work and run the way we do.
Families are able to be Transnational due to advances in technology. With programs like Skype, it makes staying connected to the family in their homeland much easier than the old and expensive system of letters or telegraphs. Peterson says that most immigrants in the United States now, are not here to stay, they are here to succeed and push themselves. Immigrants will work in the United States, and will send money back to their families in their home country. Also, they visit their home country frequently, and eventually once they have done the job they needed here in the United States, they return back to their country. Many immigrants will pick up traits and bring them back to their towns and countries and allow them to flourish there. Immigrants have now become entrepreneurs, and are taking skills that they have learned, and applying them back home to improve in ways of life, business, and education.