Before I took this class, when I heard the word "immigrant" what popped into my head were vague images of people who came to the United States in search of a better life.
Now when I hear the word "immigrant" I still think of people who come here in search of a better life, but the picture is much clearer. I see the Irish people who came here after a great famine in their country. I see Japanese people stuck in internment camps. I see Italians and Jews being treated unfairly at Ellis Island. I see African Americans being shipped here as slaves.
I see that being an immigrant is a lot more difficult that I first realized. And I will be forever grateful to my great-grandparents who got on that smelly boat headed to Ellis Island at the start of the 20th century.
Immigration has shaped our country. Immigrants play a huge role in what makes our country great, but the way we have treated immigrants in the past (and, to a degree in the present) is part of America's shameful history.
Our country would not be as diverse, and, in my opinion, nearly as interesting as it wasn't for American Immigrants. Just look at New York City alone and you have "Chinatown" Little Italy" "Harlem" as well as blocks of Indian restaurants and Brazilian restaurants as well.
If I had more time in this class I'd love to visit other areas of New York and do more landscape assignments. I really enjoyed my visit to Harlem, and learning about an area I passed every day on my commute to work, but knew next to nothing about.