MIGRATION: Migration is a world wide phenomenon that can be viewed in either a modern or historical perspective. Historically speaking, migration has been happening for hundreds of years for various reasons such as racism, war invasions, search for a better life, famine, and poor weather conditions. Modernly speaking, in a great majority of cases, people have poor and developing countries that can’t provide good conditions for living and raising a family causing them to migrate to another location to in search of a better life style. Sometimes, in search of better education, one would migrate to another location to fulfill their destiny. Some even migrate in need to find unknown relatives that share the same bloodline as them due to fact there was a disconnection in where the family split through migration.
But there are plenty of reasons for migration in where a person just wants to relocate for their specific reasons. Migrations even plays a role in population, and even bringing in a new culture. Today, I will enlighten you about this topic by discussing the migration that occurred through out Barack Obama’s and his families life. Also, I will speak upon the Dust Storm that played a role in migration. To add on, I will inform you about he migration that occurred through out my relatives lives. And finally, I will speak upon the migration that occurred through out the movie “Scarface” that starred Al Pacino that played Tony Montana’s role.
My parents weren’t born in the United States, but they were looking for better lives and opportunities, so they migrated from Haiti to the United States. My parents growing up in such a poor country that didn’t provide much opportunity for them to be able to live a decent lifestyle forced them to migrate. In search of education, jobs, money, and opportunity, they decided to start a new life in the united States.
When waking up not knowing when you or your family are going to have the next meal, are you going to find the money to pay the landlord, can you pay your children’s education, afford medicine for when someone in your family that is severely sick, or any specific cause that revolves around unobtainable cash, can drive a person a stress level very high. In desperate need to escape hardship, hearing about the United States and what it had to offer such as opportunities, free education, and work, it was a done deal, they moved on forward. It was a every day struggle in Haiti for my parents, and they thought leaving Haiti coming to America was the only solution to end the struggle and give them a better life to live.
Due to difficult times and hard measures, sometimes it is inevitable to stop yourself from migrating to another location hoping for the better. And also, in search of better education, giving you chances to better opportunities in life, will persuade you to migrate to another location that is willing to provide that. There are various reasons in which someone can migrate and through out reading “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama, I’ve consumed particular reasons. In this book, Barack Obama explains his life and the life of his parents. Through out the reading, he elaborates on all the various migrations he has done along with his parents.
In “Dreams from My Father”, President Obama informs us on plenty of migration that occurred through out his family. Barack Obama, the son of Barack Obama Sr. who is from Kenya, and Ann Dunham who is from Kansas, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father and mother had divorced and his mother met Lolo Soetoro, a javanese surveyor from Indonesia. Both Lolo and Barack’s mother attended the same university. His mother and Lolo ended up getting married together and his new stepfather moved to jakarta, Indonesia shortly after graduating from the University of Hawaii. Obama’s mother graduated from the university as well and decided to move also to go join her new husband. Obama moved to Indonesia leaving Hawaii to live with his mother and he spent ages six to ten there attending school.
As years went by, he moved back to hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. He had earned a scholarship which enabled him to attend a college preparatory school from fifth grade till he graduated high school. His mother got a chance to stay with him for three years along with his sister but he wanted to return to Indonesia to do her anthropology field work, but Obama decided to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school. After graduating high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental college. During that period of time, he decided to visit his mother in Indonesia, and then after travel to Pakistan and India to visit college classmate families. Later, Obama decided to transfer to Colombia University in New York City where he majored in political science. he graduated from there with a bachelor and received two jobs in New York while he stayed there for a year. he later received a job in Chicago where he moved there and was a director of the Developing Communities Project.
Obama wanted to connect with the black community more due to him being confused growing up half white and black. After, Obama travelled to Europe for the first time for a period of three weeks and then decided to travel to Kenya for five weeks to meet unknown relatives from his father’s side to bond. Later, Obama then decided to attend Harvard Law School moving to Massachusetts. After graduating, he left and went back to Chicago. He later got a job again in Chicago where he got a book deal with the University of Chicago Law School. He later ended up becoming a teacher at the University. With him being a civil rights attorney and all the extracurricular activities he was involved in, that lead him to being state senator. Obama travelled back one to Kenya to trace his father’s foot steps.
Through out reading chapter 11: “Dust Bowl Odyssey” from the book called After the Fact: the Art of Historical Detection written by James West Davidson and Mark Hamilton Lytle, this chapter enlightened me a lot about the topic of migration showing me how poor weather conditions can play a big role in causing people to migrate. The dust storms caused people to migrate because of the fact that it brought in famine and unemployment. The poor weather conditions in that area were so horrible, it just caused poor living conditions, which made people have to leave their current location in search of a better life.
The Dust storm began May 9, 1934, and by May 11, the dust shifted down to South Atlanta and Boston. Every year on, the storms blew in worst. There were 22 dust storms in total in 1934 and it grew to 72 storms by 1937. The storms were so intense, people thought it was the wrath of god in where when the rain failed them, the crops withered, and the winds hurdled the loose soil across the nation. The crops kept falling, the farmers debts kept growing, and soon the banks repossessed the farmers farms. Several farming states felt the wrath of the storms coming in. After watching the storms effects, statistics showed how California gained more than a million new residents in the 1930’s. Mostly affected by the bad weather and the Great Depression was the south west plains. Unemployment in the region hit one-third of all workers.
People started assuming moving to California was the answer to everything at the moment guessing that the state could be helpful at the crisis moment. 43% of California which is nearly half of California, were now farmers and laborers. Families walked to California in search of a better life. 95% of all southwestern migrants to California were white. The population in California was growing fast and California didn’t know how to control this migration, so billboards started to come up saying things such as “no jobs in California”, “6 men for every job”, “no state relief available for non residents”, and “keep out”. Although California’s economy suffered and unemployment,remained serious, the state of california was much better off than most of the nation. The economy of California actually grew during the 1930’s.
Good Highways, bus routes, and railroads linked the southwestern plains to California. Because the trip was was so manageable, most families did not necessarily see their move as permanent. By 1940, 83% of all men in the city were eligible to wok had found jobs. Only 28% of the dust bowls refugees found their way. Migration was causing farmers to make deficit in profit. This migration caused regular farmers from California to complain about farmer migrators and made foul remarks towards them. The United States has been transformed by a civil rights revolution ever sine the dust storms swept across the south western plains. It has been reminded of its diversity by the renewed tide of immigration in the wake of the Immigration Reform Act of 1964.
For example, in the 1983 film called “Scarface” directed by Brian DePalma which starred famous actor Al Pacino who played the lead role character of Tony Montana in the movie, migration played a major factor in why Tony Montana reached the success he did in he film. Tony Montana was from Cuba and after departing from there in search of his “American Dream” , he tried to migrate to the United States but was denied by INS officials who seemed to believe he was involved in political criminal activities . So, they detained him and sent him to a camp called Freedomtown under a expressway with other fellow Cubans while the government reviewed their visa petitions. While incarcerated in that camp, Montana was offered a deal to kill a former aide of Fidel Castro called Rebanga for a visa by Frank Lopez (a wealthy, political astute man who dealt cars and was involved in the drug trade) for the simple fact Rebanga tortured Frank’s brother to death.
But in desperate need of that visa, to escape the poor life in Cuba, he murdered Rebanga, and then departed to come to Florida. In Florida, he got involved into the drug trade and got into certain situations which lead him to meeting a drug lord called Sosa. By Tony Montana migrating to Bolivia for Frank’s personal business purposes, Montana and Sosa make friendship, which leads to Tony taking over the cocaine business in Florida. Even though the story ends very brutal with the death of Tony, migration was the cause of why Tony reached his success illegally due to the fact of him trying to escape poverty and search for his “American Dream”.
As you can see, migration plays a big role in the world that we live. Migration is the cause of population increase and decrease. People migrate in cause of chasing a better life style in which they are trying to escape the bad living. People migrate in search of education, jobs, family, opportunities, escaping poverty, famine, and poor living. Migration is the key to success in some cases, in where finding another location to live can branch them off into great possibilities. Migration can cause reduction in money that used to be obtained regularly due to increase in venture. Migration basically has its ups and downs, should be controlled due to population increase which may have its consequences. But, migration has its pros and cons where it could be beneficial for the migrator or not be beneficial for the people of origin in the location the migrator moved.
DePalma, Brian & Stone, Oliver. “Scarface”
Obama, Barack. “Dreams From My Father” 1995
West, James & Mark Hamilton. “After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection” : chapter 11
Courtney from Study Moose
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