Two young children smile and hug each other.

Family Immigration Effect

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By Caitlin Flora

Immigration to the United States of America is as large of a topic now as it has ever been. Discrimination-charged rhetoric against it surrounds our political landscape currently, and people tend to look at it as a black and white issue, which it is not.

In many cases, people may not even be aware that people in their lives are immigrants, or are closely related to someone who immigrated here. In this podcast (transcript available), I talked to my childhood best friend whom I grew up next door to about her experiences being the child of an immigrant from a country that most people against immigration don’t think or worry about: Ontario, Canada.

Two young children smile and hug each other.
Best friends Caitlin Flora and Lily Fera smile for a photograph together in the spring of 2004 at a playground near their homes in Plymouth, Michigan. Flora and Fera’s families lived next door to each other until 2006, when the Fera family moved to Arizona. Photo credit: Jennifer Walker-Flora

It was interesting to hear about the ways that immigration directly affects her, even though it has been years since her mother moved to the United States. She said that the differences between her awareness of immigration as an issue in Michigan versus Arizona, where she lives now, are huge. In Arizona, many people against immigration focus on Mexico as the place to fear, and therefore treat Hispanic people with much more discrimination and disdain than they do her mother, since she is from somewhere that is not deemed a place to watch out for.

In this story, I go into some detail about the history of immigration, where we as a country are at with it as a topic of discussion now, and include insight from my childhood best friend about her own experiences as the child of an immigrant.

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