A History of Poor Support for Immigrants

(This post was written by Guadalupe Cruz, a Sophomore at June Jordan School for Equity and an intern here at the Freedom Archives.)

Recently I listened to a cassette recording that had a lot of information about different topics. It was a recording of a radio program called “Crossroads” that originally aired in 1992. The radio program had 3 parts to it. The section of the program which interested me the most was the first section which talked about how the government of California was cutting the budget for English classes for immigrants at city colleges.

The reason that it interested me was that many of my family members are immigrants and they are trying to make themselves legal residents or citizens of the USA. For that to happen it is required for them to learn English. If California had these budgets cuts and cut off English classes how can the immigrants become citizens? I’m thinking, if the government wants immigrants to become legal citizens why are they taking away the resources for them to actually become a citizen?

My mother right now is taking English classes. It took her a really long time to find a place to learn where it is free and convenient for her. Most of the time, when she looked for classes it was either she had to pay for them, change her daily schedule, or they would turn her away because the classes were too full. One of the main points in the program was that if the government cut the budget then there would be less classes and fuller classrooms. If the classrooms are full then teachers would have to turn away many potential students and those students would have to wait a really long time until they could get in. It’s hard for an immigrant to get a nice job if they do not know how to speak English.

I am not entirely sure if the government has added more money to the budget to help out immigrants enroll in English classes but there is still a problem because it took my mother some time to find a decent place to learn English. It would be really nice if the government paid a little more attention to immigrants’ needs than just trying to kick them out of the country.

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