Transnational Immigrants

Nancy Foner adequately summarizes many of the experiences held by immigrants in relation with schooling, and their connections to their homeland in these two chapters of the book. Foner mentions that transnational migrants of a hundred years ago, and those of today both still have the fundamentals of being transnational, but the means of doing so has changed vastly because of technological advances. These technological advances make it far easier to communicate; by the push of a few buttons on your telephone you can connect with your friends and family back home or even make “major decisions” in familial discussions. When I read this, I agreed 100% with everything that was being said. Although I am not a transnational immigrant, my parents definitely are, as they are always calling back home to see what is happening and to be updated on all of the current events. Even though transnationalism is still well alive today, and despite all the technological advances, it seems that people of today, have a less stronger sense of transnationalism of the Italians and Jews of a hundred years ago because of all the discrimination people faced back then.

Schooling was also a central aspect of many of these transnational immigrants who believed that in order to move up the social ladder, you need to move on to higher levels of education. The major difference between schooling for immigrants today and schooling for immigrants of a century ago, was that today there are many more opportunities for immigrants to gain education. The overall availability of higher levels of education has increased along with various programs intended to help immigrants learn English. New schools are even being implemented in order to aid these immigrants in this process of assimilating themselves into American culture. Unfortunately, with the influx of immigrants, came overcrowding of public schools which is becoming a huge problem. As a result of overcrowding of public schools, many immigrants are dropping out because they aren’t getting enough attention, which leads to poor grades. Education is many times the key to success, and without education, many immigrants will find it difficult to move up socially as Tyler said. Continuing transnational ties is made more meaningless without an education because you come to America to make progress, but without an education, it is hard to do so.

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