The value of immigrants

The success of our nation is dependent on the continual emergence of new faces, diverse ideas and creative innovation. Our history as a country is built on immigrants and their powerful and positive presence. Immigration was a topic largely ignored during the presidential race. Due to the economic crisis, immigration reform took a backseat and was never really mentioned again. Unfortunately, this economic crisis has just as much of an effect on immigrants as it does on our own lives. With this in mind, I want to illustrate applicable, economic âÄúchange,âÄù realized by immigrants in our own city. Until the early 1990s, East Lake Street had a reputation for being a street to avoid. Filled with topless massage parlors, crime and abandoned warehouses, it was ignored by the government and feared by anyone living outside of this section of the city. Fortunately, with a surge in Latino immigrants, they took it into their own hands to form a culturally rich community. Fifteen years later, one can see an economically profitable, culturally prosperous, significantly safer area. If you arenâÄôt familiar with this part of town, check it out. Swing by the Mercado Central and see the abundance of small shops selling a wide range of products. Or walk down Lake a few blocks and grab a bite to eat in the Midtown Global Market. They have a wonderful display with personal accounts, photos and artwork. This history is an overlooked example of the positive force immigrants can bring to this country. Through receiving an opportunity to pursue a dream, they were able to form a community and improve a part of the city that had been written off as hopeless. This change on Lake Street is only one example of the infinite cases around our nation. It is my hope that as we change presidents, the immigrant community will not be ignored, rather embraced and given the support that is needed. This country is built on immigration, and the power of a cosmopolitan community immeasurable. Brennan Mogck University student