Have you heard of Google, Instagram, Uber, or Amazon? Let me ask you this, have you ever eaten pizza, Chinese food, hummus, or tacos? What do these companies and foods have in common? None of them would exist if it wasn’t for immigrants in the USA.
Do you know that the original “founders” of America were immigrants? Or that this country has been built by the strong hands of African slaves and cheap immigrant labor mainly from Europe, Asia, and Latin America?
I am Xahej Bajipura of Show And Heal. Over the past four months, I’ve interacted with one specific immigrant community. We’ve interviewed inspiring, beautiful Latino youth in South Florida.
1 out of 4 kids is Latino. By 2060, it is estimated that 1/3 of the US population will be Latino. So please open your eyes and hearts to our future presidents, astronauts, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, and doctors.
I am forever grateful for a young newspaper editor Lulu, an American of Mexican origins, who discovered my journalistic talents. We have so much in common, including loving, hardworking immigrant families. And we are both about empowering the communities we live in.
In San Francisco I grew up with Latinos. They have been my friends, classmates, neighbors, teachers, doctors, police officers, and mentors. Now they are my coworkers and students at one of the largest schools in Florida. Out of the 3700 students 67% are “Hispanic” a label invented in the US and is used only here. Every country in Latin America has its own food, music, dance, culture, and even languages.
I am ecstatic to share interviews of children who themselves are immigrants or second-generation American. I relate to this population given my family migrated to the US from India. Everyone came for the same reason European settlers came—economic opportunity, safety, and freedom.They risked their lives and persevered against the odds.
Currently, Latinos have the highest purchasing power of any group and employ 2.5 million Americans. It was reaffirmed in the interviews that their values are strong and centered in family, education, and hard work. Many work 2-3 jobs to support their families and save for higher education.
Lastly, immigration is nothing new. Our ancestors migrated at some point and we are where we are due to this movement. Please let’s stop living with the same fear and hate that our ancestors experienced trying to better their lives in America. We are all striving for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ourselves and families.