American they don’t assimilate to American culture. Stephen

American Exceptionalism is defined as “the special character of the United States as a uniquely free nation based on democratic ideals and personal liberty,”(Tyrell).  However, Godfrey Hodgson, a journalist who studied at Oxford University, says” America is not as exceptional as it would like to think; its blindness to its own history has bred a complacent nationalism and a disastrous foreign policy that has isolated and alienated it from the global community,” (Hodgson).  This provides a view from opposite sides on how America views itself and how other countries may view America. A lot of incoming immigrants do indeed believe in American Exceptionalism, since that is the main reason they are coming to the U.S. American Exceptionalism also becomes relevant when talking about how immigrants assimilate or how they don’t assimilate to American culture. Stephen F Hayward, an american author and policy scholar says, “A person becomes an American by adopting America’s principles, especially those principles summarized in the ‘self-evident truths’ of the Declaration of Independence, such as ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Carl Friedrich wrote that ‘To be an American is an ideal, while to be a Frenchman is a fact.'” (Hayward). The fourteenth amendment of the U.S Constitution states that any person born into the United States is automatically a citizen here. This was written after the civil war so that they could address the issue about what to do with the freed slaves. This would mean that the slaves that are descendants of the Africans that were stolen from their home and were all born in the United States are citizens. It seems like this should include the Native Americans the white folks pushed out of their home since they were born here and are the actual natives of the land. Formally, the founding fathers thought of Native Americans as foreigners and gave slaves no legal protection (Byers 14). However that was before this amendment was written. Even so, ex-slaves still had almost no rights even though they were citizens. Eric Foner, an American historian who teaches at Columbia, says that ” The debates in Congress in 1866 make clear that the language was meant to exclude Native Americans, still considered members of their tribal sovereignties.” (Foner).The process of actually becoming a U.S citizen can be a very strenuous process. There are varying obstacles, depending on the social background an immigrant has, that can determine whether or not an immigrant can get a visa or green card, etc. People who are ignorant to the subject don’t grasp the fact that it can take well over a decade, or even much longer to gain citizenship.  Not only is becoming a citizen difficult, but while someone is in the process or already has become a citizen, it is still a struggle to exist as an immigrant in the United States. Rachel E Rosenbloom, a professor of immigration law and policy states that, ” … a closer look at the experiences of U.S. citizens within this system, both past and present, reveals the elusiveness of a clear boundary between noncitizens and citizens,” (Rosenbloom 3).  She continues to show examples about certain experiences, “There are many examples—stretching from the late nineteenth century to the present day—of cases in which U.S. citizens have had to wage protracted battles to prove their citizenship, or have been deported prior to being able to do so,” (Rosenbloom 3). This clearly illustrates that merely looking different than the traditional U.S citizen can be detrimental when trying to simply exist in this country Rosenbloom also mentions, “Scholars and advocates have long argued that immigration enforcement has widespread effects on U.S. citizens who are racially profiled as foreign,”(Rosenbloom 2).  This further shows the hardships one may face if they were to immigrate to the United States. With that said, it may seem like it would cause people thinking of immigrating to the U.S to not want to come here after learning the possible downsides. First, it may be helpful to know why people immigrate to a new country in the first place. Richard de Zoysa, an honorary research fellow and lecturer at London South Bank University says, “from the push factors indicated by a desire to escape low standards of living with few opportunities for advancement or through suffering political repression and failing states; to the pull factors of active recruitment, land availability and freedom,”(Zoysa 4). This gives an insight as to why a lot of people try to look for a new home in other countries. People who are trying to escape their homeland are most likely wanting to come to the U.S or Europe. However that’s where American Exceptionalism comes into play. Many around the world are familiar with the term ” The American Dream” and Zoysa outlines that,”The American Dream has no connotation or parallel in Europe,”(Zoysa 19). To the rest of the world, America may seem like the place of opportunity and freedom, and unlike Europe, those ideas have become synonymous with the U.S.  Zoysa also says, “While the USA liberalized its immigration laws, Europe adopted more exclusionary and restrictive programmes. Jagdish Bhagwati remains convinced that America’s more positive welcoming attitude to immigrants is responsible for its dynamism and superior economic growth, forged out of its diversity and continuing ability to disproportionately attract talented (and lesser talented) people from everywhere” (Zoysa 2). This could illuminate how people may view America when considering moving to a new country.The American Dream may seem like a strong pull factor that the United States has, however it sometimes can come along with similar factors that immigrants try to get away from; suffering political repression as Zoysa said. In the later half of the nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants in the United States faced a whirlwind of obstacles. Doug Chin, Hawaii’s Attorney General, gives a background about the Chinese Exclusion Act and an insight on how Chinese immigrants were treated in the past. Chin tells, ” The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited : (1) the immigration of Chinese laborers; (2) denied Chinese of naturalization; (3) and required Chinese laborers already legally present in the U.S. who later wish to re enter to obtain ‘certificates of return,'”(Chin 1). This presents the legal measures the U.S went to, in order to prevent Chinese immigrants from working, living and coming to the United States. He also shows, “Along with many state and local anti-Chinese acts, these federal acts were a significant part of a vicious, violent, brutal, systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing that lasted for several decades,”(Chin 2). This demonstrates the hardships Chinese immigrants faced while living in the United States. Most immigrants come here with the idea that the place they’re coming to is new and exciting and usually they won’t come expecting to experience more difficulty. American Exceptionalism can in a way, blind immigrants from what they’re actually going to live like in the U.S. Other immigrants face similar struggles, another group being Mexican immigrants. The author of the book, Illegal Immigration : Causes, Methods, and Effects, says, “The largest sustained flow of people across international borders, anywhere in the world, runs between the United States of Mexico and the United States of America” (Anderson). Like how Chinese immigrants came to the U.S for work in the eighteen hundreds, Anderson explains, “These physically challenging, low-paying jobs attract large numbers of Latin Americans, the majority of which are undocumented migrants from Mexico,” (Anderson). Coming to the U.S undocumented is an extremely dangerous act and it further proves how far immigrants are willing to go, just so that they can live, work or gain anything by being in the U.S. Overall, it is obvious the struggles immigrants face while trying to come or live in the U.S and obviously they wouldn’t endure all that if it wasn’t for one idea; American Exceptionalism.