Jun 12, 2006


I don't know about you, but I go back and forth in my thinking about illegal immigrants, mostly Mexicans. I live very near the US-Mexico border so I've seen Mexicans working in my state most of my life. My instinct is to allow those who can find jobs to come in, but I also respect the law. It seems to me that the only difference between the immigration wave now and those of the late 19th and early 20th century is official government sanction. In earlier cases the government opened the borders now they don't, at least not officially. Do we get substantially different folks toady than generations ago? Less hard-working, less ambitious? I don't think so. I expect the Eastern Europeans faced the same suspicions when they came in waves to America, that the Mexicans do today. The folklore told today would have us believe that earlier immigrants got off the boats and streamed to English immersion classes. Not true. English comes to first generation immigrants over time and some never learned English well at all. Second generation Americans are fluent English speakers. Accusations have always been made that immigrants took away jobs, lowered wages and sucked up human services. Always. In my fair city, about half of the construction workers are here illegally from Mexico. Does that mean if we deported them all those jobs would be taken up by American workers? Not a chance. Are human services overburden, Yep, but that is part of a larger problem we face. I think America is about the dream of living free and charting one's own course. In a few generations many Americans have forgotten that individual freedom from government and government by the people are not the norm in the history of mankind. America is an idea that must be carried forward by those willing to carry it, regardless of national origin pr immigration status. Mature democracies either allow and intergrate immigrant populations or they are killed by an aging population. See Euprope today for an example of this. I guess I come down on the side of immigrants willing to carry on. I wish we had a better system to allow it, though. Tag:

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