Breath of Clarity

Lack of Acceptance Effects Identity Formation

The article “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas shows that isolation sabotages an individual’s true identity formation. In this case, the root of the author’s isolation stems from United States exclusion of ethnic minorities. This piece shows that the immigrant outsiders need to be viewed as admirable individuals, as opposed to inferior members of society. Natural born American citizens need to recognize the immense amount of persistence required for immigrants to overcome various forms of adversity.

The strict nature of the legal and unspoken social requirements to earn citizenship made it difficult for Vargas to ever discover his true self. When Vargas started the journey, he needed to be fully immersed in the new culture in order to be respected. It’s quite saddening that Vargas spent so much time watching american television to get rid of his native accent. Vargas was taught that in order to be socially and economically successful, he needed train himself to lose any natural qualities that were an indicative of a foreigner. Vargas never got the opportunity to discover what excited him about life because he was so focused on tackling the barriers that made the attaining citizenship difficult. Every ounce of energy was devoted to becoming someone who he naturally wasn’t created to be. It was all in pursuit of a better life. However, is it really worth it if Vargas never discovered his real self along the way?