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Immigration Office in Westminster, CA


         Over the years, a massive stream of humanity has crossed every ocean and continent to reach the United States.  Few nations on earth contain such a diverse mix of peoples, yet American society has been able to maintain a strong sense of cultural commonality in spite of these differences.  Slide number three illustrates this idea, showing the crowded immigration office in Garden Grove, California.  The people shown outside the office eagerly await their chance to become American citizens.  However, the country from which they have emigrated is most likely very different from that of the United States.  Chances are they come from a country where English is not the national language, where Christianity is not the dominant religion, and where societal norms vary significantly from those in America.  Yet this situation is not unusual.  Each year, census results reveal that the population make-up of the United States is becoming increasingly diverse. 
         This may lead to the conclusion that the continual influx of such “different” peoples weakens the sense of unity in America.  However, many scholars disagree, stating that a nation is an “imagined community,” in which there is an assumed cultural commonality in spite of race, class or geographical distance.  America is an excellent example of this concept, for it was populated by “foreigners” from its very beginnings.  While the notion of “multi-culturalism” may be growing throughout the nation, there is much evidence to suggest that political and cultural identities are still expressed within a national “imagined community.”