Academic Master

Education, English

Nebraska: If Not Immigrants, Who?


Mike Baen, who is the vice president of the University of Nebraska Agi Natural Resources, presented a lecture with the theme of “ Think Global, Act Local.” The theme explains what is going on in the world has to do with Nebraska in the past, present, and future. The session started with Dr Lortus Gouveia, who specializes in Migration and Latin American development. Nebraska is a state that was founded on migration, and almost every community is living there. The government played a key role in allowing immigrants to settle in their territories. Several thousand native Americans from different nations inherited the Kansas (Nebraska) territory in 1858. Gouveia’s main focus was to examine the role that immigrants have played in the social, economic, and cultural development of Nebraska and its diversified communities. In 1860, 25% of the Nebraska population were immigrants, which is almost twice the number left now in 2016 (7%). Immigrants enter Nebraska mainly due to the demand for labor. It is not important to just let immigrants roll into your country, but to provide them with their basic necessities along with the atmosphere of the community they are living in is also important. This was one of the main reasons that in 1858, the percentage was 25%. At the start, demand for labor was high in the industrial sector, the Meatpacking sector, and the Agricultural sector.

Most of the immigrants ts were Czechs, Europeans, Mexicans, and Germans. Most of the Czechs who came to Nebraska were intended to be farmers, but along with them, many tradesmen and professionals came too. The experience of groups like Czechs resulted in more than two million European immigrants setting on the plains between 1870 and 1900. The immigration policies were so simple back in the 19th century and in the 1900s. Big politicians and influential people were hired to help out immigrants in citizenship matters. People now used to get in line, pay the court fee, wait for their turn, and get citizenship. It’s as simple as that. But is this really as simple as it’s told? No, it’s not. Nowadays, citizenship procedures are not as simple as they used to be. Race enters the whole discussion of deserving, not deserving, legal or illegal, and right at the time with enormous force. Somehow, America becomes racialized. Now, everyone has to fit in between White and No white. Sometimes, an Irish man is treated as a No white. When Mexicans immigrated to America, they were hired by the sugar-beating industries, which were later on declared as the Mexican industry. During the depression war of 1930, about half the Mexican immigrants were deported mainly due to their criminal activities. From 1960to 1970 Mexicans were considered as foreign-born and they were growing at the slow pace, more Mexicans were coming into America.

By the 20th century, more capital had been invested in the agricultural sector, and this sector was beginning to grow at a faster rate. A new breed of meat packing company led by IBP, which is now owned by Tyson, brought a revolution by implementing a number of changes, like relocating the meat packing factories from urban to rural areas to create more jobs and opportunities for people living in those areas. After a while, again, the meat packing industry was known as the industry of Mexicans because most of the workers were Mexicans. Now politicians, chamber of commerce, and influential people are working together to welcome new immigrants. New legislation policies have been adopted by the country, providing immigrants with equal rights and basic needs, especially foreign students, and providing them with the knowledge and opportunities to work for their companies. This was one of the reasons that the percentage of immigrants in Nebraska rose again to 7%. Now, every big industry in Nebraska has a share of immigrants working with them (Immigration| Nebraska: If not Immigrant, Who? 2017).


From the lecture, I learned that immigrants play an important role in the development of the country in which they live. If the government takes care of the immigrants coming into their country and the procedures are not complex, it would result in more immigrants coming into the country. For me, it was an informative lecture that enabled me to see how things can go your way and how things would change for you if you’re an immigrant.


Immigration| Nebraska: If not Immigrant, Who?. (2017).



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