July 3, 2005

EVERY GENERATION GETS IT WRONG:

Immigrants Benefit U.S. Economy Now as Ever (James Flanigan, July 3, 2005, LA Times)

Almost 36 million foreign-born people live in the U.S., some 12% of the population. The last time the foreign-born percentage was that high was 100 years ago, when immigrants from Europe flooded into the cities of the East and Midwest. That era marked the rise of American industrialization as Henry Ford and those hard-working newcomers found ways to combine machines and factory labor to change the economy.

Today, however, some experts argue that we don't have jobs for unskilled immigrants as we had back then and that immigrants are imposing a burden on the economy.


The Indians shouldn't have tried to keep the WASPs out, the WASPs shouldn't have tried to keep the Germans out, the Germans shouldn't have tried to keep the Irish and Italians out, the Italians and Irish shouldn't have tried to keep the Jews out, the Jews shouldn't have tried to keep the Cubans out, the Cubans shouldn't have tried to keep the Vietnamese out, we should all keep the Mexicans out.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 3, 2005 8:17 AM
Comments

Time to proofread your comment. Now.

Posted by: Peter B at July 3, 2005 8:31 AM

Much, much better. :-)

Posted by: Peter B at July 3, 2005 9:01 AM

An Indian, if he valued his culture and wanted to maintain it, should have kept out the WASP. If he wanted Wal-Mart, Cars, Whiskey, Casinos, then he shouldn't have. Apparently you don't think such value judgements are appropriately left to individuals.

Posted by: h-man at July 3, 2005 9:57 AM

Of course not.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2005 10:01 AM

oj

All the groups you mention - except one - used Ellis Island, or another official POE.

Mexicans use a very long and very unofficial POE. That's America's complaint.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at July 3, 2005 10:35 AM

See, it's completely different this time.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 3, 2005 10:38 AM

The new waves of immigrants are coming to multi-cultural society, that has removed those strictures which might cause an appropriate blending of cultures. Hence anti-discrimation laws, affirmative action laws, and in the case of the following link, coming anti-vilification laws and anti-hate laws. It is becoming a case of the tail wagging the dog.

The link I refer to is an Australian radio show discussing a conviction of a "former" muslim for reading the Koran. Here is the link

BTW here are some Einsteinjokes Left click new window.

Posted by: h-man at July 3, 2005 11:00 AM

:( RIGHT CLICK...RIGHT CLICK

Posted by: h-man at July 3, 2005 11:02 AM

John:

So process them at Ellis Island. I imagine they'd prefer it.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2005 11:27 AM

h:

Yes, we've destroyed the culture, not they. The one they bring with them is preferable.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2005 11:28 AM

Not to mention that, multi-culti nonsense notwithstanding, the gains to assimilation (speaking the language, education, political participation) are now greater than ever. The schools are doing a terrible job of setting a curriculum that will help immigrants, but immigrant parents have always gotten their kids what they needed to succeed, and they come from cultures that don't expect government to serve them well.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 3, 2005 11:47 AM

An Indian, if he valued his culture and wanted to maintain it, should have kept out the WASP. If he wanted Wal-Mart, Cars, Whiskey, Casinos, then he shouldn't have. Apparently you don't think such value judgements are appropriately left to individuals.

I'm sure some of the individuals among the Indians were happy to adopt the White Man's ways. The problems that the Indians faced were:

a. They couldn't keep the white man out.
b. The culture that they wished to maintain put them at a competitive disadvantage to the white man.
c. The minute that Columbus landed, the Indian Way joined the long list of obsolete cultural paradigms. Modern multiculturalists believe that cultures can coexist in a non-competitive environment. This is the Epcot Center view of culture. Culture isn't just an artistic gloss on society, it is it's survival mechanism.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 3, 2005 11:58 AM

David is exactly right. There's no assimilation problem with the majority of Mexican immigrants.

Despite all the hand-wringing they're right on course to do what previous groups of immigrants did; make a good living, buy houses, get their kids educated, and have them succeed as Americans.

Yes, there are a few who want nothing more than to make a pile and go home to Mexico, but this is nothing new. Something like 25% of all European immigrants in the last great immigration wave went back home.

America isn't for everyone, just those who are willing to work hard and mostly assimilate.

Posted by: H. D. Miller at July 3, 2005 12:02 PM

I have 2 friends who are legal immigrants, both came here over 20 years ago.

And now I'm glad they don't have their citizenship, they'd vote for the failed socialistic policies they left.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 3, 2005 12:12 PM

There are definite advantages to having unskilled immigrants make a pile of money and then go back home.

We don't have to support them in their aged years, and we don't have to support their families' education and health care needs.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 3, 2005 12:28 PM

My take on immigration: Welcome to everyone and anyone who wants to become an American, who wants to work to make a better life for themselves and their families.

No welfare and no special privileges to ethnic enclaves governed by the laws of sharia or scientology or any other cult, just everyone equal under the laws of the U.S. of A. We speak English here. Either learn it, or make arrangements for a translator. Pls. no snide remarks about speaking other languages in private or merchants appealing to special ethnic groups. When I call the a public utility or a major bank or credit card company or a national retail outfit, I don't want to be told which button to press for English.

As for the borders, let's just keep the bad guys out and not criminalize those trying to get away from these same bad guys who are causing the grinding poverty and hopeless conditions in their native lands.

Posted by: erp at July 3, 2005 12:47 PM

erp,

The bad guys who are causing the poverty and hopelessness are IN the federal and local governments of Mexico.

As long as the US of A acts as the passive sponge that absorbs the good and the bad from the south, conditions won't improve. And our safety from terrorists will remain impaired.

I have a hunch that Dr. Rice at the State Department is telling the Mexican governments that they will clean up their act.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at July 3, 2005 1:02 PM

The fact that the Mexican government abjectly fails in its responsibilities to its citizenry is irrelevant.

Immigrant populations tend to be made up of ambitious people who want to improve their lives. The sticks-in-the-mud stay in Veracruz or or Agrigento or Lodz. The only big problem is the kind of absurd social programs we offer to some privileged classes of immigrants like affirmative action or bi-lingual education. Even the right of citizenship by birth, while problematic, is a net positive. The Latino immigrant, like the East Asian, West Indian, West African Christian and South Asian Hindu immigrant, wishes to integrate into American life just as much as our non-English speaking immigrant grandparents and ancestors did. And those who want to come here, work a few years and 'go home', as said earlier, make their contribution and aren't much of a problem in their later years.

I don't know about 'passive sponges' but I would agree that we need to be more pro-active in dealing with criminal immigrants, some combination of deportation and a computer chip or retinal scan might be in order.

Posted by: bart at July 3, 2005 2:04 PM

I know the government of Mexico other repressive societies are the bad guys and people are trying to get away from them. What I want is to keep the bad guys out of our country while encouraging and welcoming the good guys who are to quote Emma Lazarus, "yearning to breathe free."

Let's not fall into the trap of trying to make a rule to cover everything and everyone. We're all individualists and let's look at potential new Americans the same way. It breaks my heart to see grown men and women who want nothing more than to live and work in freedom being run down and shot by our border guards.

We have a very big country, to quote Oscar Hammerstein II lyrics for "Oklahoma," "with plenty of room and plenty of heart," and we have the best country ever because we got the best people from all over the world. We're on a roll, let's not stop now.

Posted by: erp at July 3, 2005 2:29 PM

BTW: Most of the illegal Hispanic immigrants coming in from Mexico are NOT Mexican. They are largely Guatemalens, Hondurans, etc. passing through Mexico. Perhaps a distinction without a difference for this discussion. Perhaps not.

Posted by: ghostcat at July 3, 2005 2:39 PM

I don't care where they came from only why they're coming here.

Posted by: erp at July 3, 2005 6:05 PM

To annoy Tom Tancredo & his posse.

Posted by: oj at July 3, 2005 6:45 PM

what deck of the Mayflower, were the Tancredos on ?

Posted by: cjm at July 3, 2005 8:15 PM

Just make the distinction between immigrants and reconquista fifth-columnists and be done with it.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 5, 2005 1:39 PM
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