Discover 17 essays about immigration that you can use to help your writing project stand out.
America is a nation of immigrants. From its beginning, the majority of the people that made up America came from countries in Europe, rather than from within America. So, there are many topics you can consider as you look to write essays about immigration.
If you are assigned to write an essay about immigration, you have many options. You can discuss the Immigration Act, the immigration process, the challenges immigrants face, and the ethics of the immigration debate. To get you started, here are
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- 1. Should Immigrants Assimilate to American Culture?
- 2. What the American Dream Looks Like in Reality
- 3. Should Learning English Be a Requirement for Immigration?
- 4. Assimilation Versus Multiculturalism: Which Is Better?
- 5. What My Immigration Experience Was Like
- 6. How Immigrants Can Retain the Culture of Their Home Countries While Embracing America
- 7. The Problem of Illegal Immigration and How to Fix It
- 8. Why Don’t Illegal Immigrants Come Here Legally?
- 9. Is It Hard to Follow Immigration Law?
- 10. How Immigrants Have Helped America
- 11. Does America Have an Immigration Problem?
- 12. Why Many American Immigrants Seek Economic Opportunity
- 13. The Deportation of Parents of Naturalized Citizen Children
- 14. What Rights Should Non-Citizens Have?
- 15. Immigrant Contributions Throughout History
- 16. The Impact of Immigrants on America’s Economy
- 17. Explore Immigration Trends From History
1. Should Immigrants Assimilate to American Culture?
Assimilation occurs when people come to a new country as an immigrant and embrace the new culture, beliefs, language, and values, often to the extent of losing their own ethnic identities. Is this something that immigrants should do to become Americans? Some argue yes, but others argue no. You can build an essay around your opinion on this topic.
As you discuss assimilation, decide whether or not you can have assimilation without losing culture. Can someone adopt the culture and behaviors of their new country without losing their own cultural identity, or are the two mutually exclusive? Answer these questions in your essay.
2. What the American Dream Looks Like in Reality
The American Dream, the idea that you can do and be anything within the borders of America, draws many immigrants to the country. But what is the reality of the American Dream? You can expound on this idea in your essay.
Sadly many new immigrants come to the country with grand ideas about what their life will look like, only ot find that achieving their dreams takes more hard work than anticipated. Yet is it possible if they put in the effort? Use your essay to answer this question with proof from your research.
3. Should Learning English Be a Requirement for Immigration?
Learning a new language is challenging. But if immigrants want to find success within America, they can benefit from learning conversational English. Should this be a requirement for immigration? In reality, most immigrants want to learn English, but it is hard and can cause significant delays in the citizenship process.
In your essay, answer this question and show why you chose that answer. Is this too stringent of a requirement, or does it make sense to make the immigrant’s path easier as they move forward with citizenship? This question is complex, and complex answers make interesting essays.
To help with this topic, read our guide explaining what is persuasive writing?
4. Assimilation Versus Multiculturalism: Which Is Better?
Assimilation is different from a multicultural view of America. With assimilation, the immigrant often loses their cultural background. If we view America as a multicultural country, we can embrace and value all of the cultures within our vast melting pot.
Which of these two views is the most realistic? Can we have a multicultural community while still being distinctively American? Decide which view you prefer, and then argue for its benefits in your essay.
5. What My Immigration Experience Was Like
Are you an immigrant or the child of immigrant parents? You can transform your life experiences into a personal essay about immigration. How did living as an immigrant shape who you are as a person, and what was your experience about getting legal immigrant or citizenship status like?
This type of essay provides a personal look at the realities of immigration. It can make it easier to explain why immigrants face challenges and what can be done to overcome those challenges.
6. How Immigrants Can Retain the Culture of Their Home Countries While Embracing America
One of the criticisms against assimilation is the danger of losing one’s home culture when assimilating into a new one. Asian immigrants want to retain their cooking and religious views, while Latinos may want to retain their art and holidays. Your essay can discuss how immigrant families can strike the right balance between assimilation and retention of their home culture.
This question is difficult to answer, so take some time to research it, so you understand the full extent of the problem. Be willing to insert some of your opinions into the discussion to make it valid and personal.
7. The Problem of Illegal Immigration and How to Fix It
Of the approximately 44.8 million foreign-born people living in America, approximately 1/4 are here illegally. The problem may not be as large as some politicians make it out to be, but it is, in fact, a problem.
Your essay can discuss why we have an illegal immigration problem, how severe it is, and what potential solutions are. Is the solution to deport those living here illegally, or create an easier past to legal immigration status? Back your ideas with facts from your research to build a solid essay.
8. Why Don’t Illegal Immigrants Come Here Legally?
People have to come to the United States for the purpose of employment, humanitarian relief, or family reunification, and getting proof for each of these can be a huge challenge. Simply coming to seek a “better life” is not sufficient.
Many unfamiliar with immigration policies ask why immigrants don’t do things the “right” way. Your essay can explain why by outlining the challenges to becoming an immigrant. This essay could help build some compassion for the plight of people who want to come to America correctly, but simply can’t.
9. Is It Hard to Follow Immigration Law?
Why are there so many illegal immigrants in the country? One potential reason is that it is difficult to become a legal immigrant. Do some research on the process of immigration to see how hard it is, then answer this question in your essay.
If immigration law is difficult to follow, consider proposing immigration policy changes to help the problem. People coming to America to seek a better life, only to find the path blocked by many roadblocks, could become legal immigrants with just a few changes.
10. How Immigrants Have Helped America
Immigrants are often criticized, but are there ways they have helped America, too? The answer is yes, and you can prove some of those helps in your essay. American immigration has helped strengthen the U.S. economy. many immigrants have brought scientific and political innovation to the country.
Focus on some of these benefits as you build an essay that supports the positive side of immigration.
11. Does America Have an Immigration Problem?
Donald Trump was famous for saying he would fight the “immigration problem” in his presidency, but do we have a problem with the immigrant population in our country? Do immigrant groups hurt America, or help it?
Answering these questions can be an effective persuasive essay. You can have an opinion about whether or not we have a problem, and then prove your choice through your writing. If you decide that we have a problem, you can determine solutions and talk about those as well.
12. Why Many American Immigrants Seek Economic Opportunity
What draws people to America. For many, it is the promise of economic opportunity. In many countries, especially those with socialistic tendencies, entrepreneurship is not something the government encourages. In America, immigrants can pursue their passions and make something for themselves.
You can craft an essay that looks at the reality behind the economic opportunities for immigrants in America. While the potential is there, it can be challenging to reach it. This challenge is part of what makes this an excellent immigration essay topic because you can contrast the expectation of many immigrants against the reality they find when they get here.
13. The Deportation of Parents of Naturalized Citizen Children
One problem that hounds the world of immigration is the problem of minors who are born to immigrants within the United States. These children can have American citizenship because they were born in our land. Yet if their parents are illegal immigrants, they can face deportation.
This problem creates an ethical dilemma, and ethical dilemmas are great essay topics. Children need their parents, but undocumented immigrants always face the risk of deportation. With 4.4 million US-citizen children living with at least one undocumented parent, this problem is massive.
14. What Rights Should Non-Citizens Have?
One of the criticisms against massive immigration is that some immigrants receive government help, even if they are not citizens. Is this simply an unfair argument? This problem sparks an interesting essay topic. As non-citizens, should immigrants have the same rights as citizens?
You can argue that basic human rights, like the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are given to all people, regardless of immigration and citizenship status. However, some of the rights of a government-provided to its citizens are not. Decide your stance on this controversy, and then defend it in your essay. You can also discuss the reality behind this complaint.
15. Immigrant Contributions Throughout History
When you look at America’s history, you can see that immigrants have had a significant role to play. For instance, Albert Einstein, the famous inventor, was a German immigrant. Sergey Brin, the founder of Google, is a Russian immigrant.
In this essay, you can look at immigration to the United States as a way our history has been built. You can then discuss specific people who made contributions to our history but were immigrants. In this way, you can show that immigration has some benefits for Americans.
16. The Impact of Immigrants on America’s Economy
One of the reasons many people fight having many immigrants in America is because of the supposed economic implications of undocumented immigrants and people working illegally without a green card. Yet what is the economic impact of immigrants on our country? This question is worth considering as the subject of your essay.
For instance, people sometimes criticize migrant workers for taking jobs away from American citizens. Still, in reality, they often take the work that citizens aren’t willing to do, such as hard labor on farms. Others criticize the economic impact of immigrants taking Welfare or participating in government programs, but those same immigrants also spend money at local businesses. You can look at this question from all sides to determine if immigrants are hurting or helping the American economy.
17. Explore Immigration Trends From History
There are many instances in American history when immigration happened in huge numbers. During World War II and its aftermath, the Diaspora that occurred sent many Jews and Russians out of Europe and to America. After the Vietnam War, we saw an influx of Vietnamese immigrants.
For your essay, pick a historical time such as these and discuss how it impacted immigration. What political factors were in place that forced people from their homes, and what caused them to turn toward America as a result?
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