Immigrants Undoubtedly Make America Great (Again)

Elaina Martin, Opinions Editor

 Is an American someone with United States citizenship, someone who simply embodies the ideals of the founding fathers, or something entirely different? Defining what it means to be an American is difficult because America is a relatively new country and is composed of a population that is entirely made up of people who are or whose families were immigrants, from the Native Americans who traveled to North America over the landbridge to the people who come to the United States and earn citizenship today.

   Despite the fact that the US has been a melting pot of different cultures and racial backgrounds for centuries, the idea that white people are somehow, in their limited achievement, superior has been violently encouraged by those in power. This is a viewpoint that is pushed on the public today by President Donald Trump, whose “Make America Great Again” slogan is emblazoned upon white people everywhere. His campaigns have only furthered harmful stereotypes and ideals and his platform gives an unfairly loud voice to propagates of white nationalism. According to Junior Francesca Kading, “Trump’s beliefs that whites are the only ‘true’ Americans are established in his racist policies and fear tactics. His entire campaign was based on the idea that all Hispanics are ‘rapists’ and ‘drug dealers’ and that African Americans, specifically Nigerian immigrants, should ‘go back to their huts.'”

   As maintained by National Public Radio, “…the modern Republican Party, [is a party] which has long positioned itself as the party of ‘real America’– a characterization with unavoidable racial shadings when nearly all Republicans are white people” ( Trump, a Republican, and his supporters, clearly support the notion that a “great” America revolves around one crucial detail: whiteness. Such concepts of racial superiority, while false, have set the standard for typical Trump administration positions on political issues. Trump built his 2016 campaign on racism against then-President Barack Obama, Mexican people, and immigrants in general. According to the Washington Post, he constantly pushed racist and anti-immigrant ideas to his “…supporters whose ideas about ‘real Americans’ do not necessarily include immigrants of color and those from certain countries of origin” (

   However, these people are as un-American as could be possible. According to The Atlantic, “Sixty-eight percent of white working-class voters said the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence. And nearly half agreed with the statement, [stating] ‘things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country’” ( In a country that is supposed to be a leader in diversifying politics and allowing anyone to succeed, these people live in fear of people who are different than them. Unfortunately, these people have deep-seated fears of diversity and insecurity when it comes to their lives. Although their voices are often the loudest, it must be realized that these people’s opinions don’t accurately reflect the country’s views, no more than Trump represents the rest of the country.

   Certainly, it is its immigrants that make America truly great. This country was built on the hard work and valor of immigrants, Americans, who are vital to the prosperity of this country. To say that immigrants aren’t valid and worthy of being seen as Americans is akin to saying America isn’t great. As stated by the New York Times, “Our [attitude] concerning immigration ought to reflect that reality and not the stupidity and ignorance spawned by fear” (

   Despite what Trump exhorts, “American” isn’t a specific ethnicity, it’s an identity. There are people across the country with every racial background, every skin color, and every religion that choose to identify themselves as Americans, and rightly so. Fears of cultural displacement are entirely unfounded, because immigrants don’t replace Americans, but become American.