Tuesday, April 04, 2006


It seems to be the hot topic at the moment, so why don't I weigh in?

My basic thought about all kinds of immigration: It's good. I want more of it.

Explanation of basic thought: This country was built by immigrants, even, sometimes, illegal ones. Immigrants are the one class of people who best fufill my interpretation of the "American Dream." (work hard, get at least a little bit ahead, give your kids a bigger leg-up than you had)
And what does it say on that statue in New York anyway? Oh yeah..."Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." We call ourselves a land of oportunity, it's time for us to show it.

However...(those of you who have read me before were waiting for that, right?)...we are not currently set up to recieve a whole ton of un-skilled immigrants who will immediately join the dole line. A couple of obstacles to a free immigration policy are...the minimum wage cuts down on the number of available jobs (jobs in general, not quality jobs), the welfare system we have would be too expensive if we had a ton more unemployed people, we would probably all get sick and die if we didn't check out the mass of immigrants we'd get with an open door policy....and of course, we have to be careful of terrorism.

Those are important reasons for requiring some sort of checks on the flow of immigrants. However, we can fix most of them with a minimum of effort. We can screen for diseases and terrorists while allowing more people the come into the country legally. If more people can come here legally, then they would. Most of the illegal immigrants in this country would love to become a legal resident and start paying taxes, and we should let them. It would be great if more people born here in the US would pay attention to this attitude and turn off the TV to go find work. If we got our immigrant work ethic back, we wouldn't need welfare and stuff anymore...and this country would be able to support many more immigrants, who would then work hard, make advancements in productivity and make our quality of life better.

Teddy Roosevelt has a great quote about immigration:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.

We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but
one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

I think this brings up an important point in the debate...that of assimilation. It's very important for immigrants to come here an become American...not come here and become hyphenated. I don't mean that they should give up their habits and traditions, but I do think that they should consider themselves an American who celebrates different holidays and speaks another language. They should not expect the Americans already here to convert to their ways.
For the most part, I think that this already happens with our immigrant culture. Sure, it doesn't happen always in the first generation...but how many languages have you learned in your lifetime? Was it easy? I think it's enough to expect the second and third generations to become more and more integrated into mainstream America. If you object to this, please, tell me, which immigrant group came to American and immediately blended in with the rest of us?

What do you all think?

No comments:

Post a Comment