Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Immigration Chat

Earlier today I had a conversation with someone near and dear to me about immigration. Our dialogue began and ended at about where'd you expect, but with a little sprinkling of history thrown in.

My wife works at an airport, she been telling me about the plane loads of immigrants coming in and wondering just how in the heck all these folks are making their way here in America. You know, those basic needs questions. Where are they working, how are they feeding their family, where are they staying? Are they speaking our language?

Apparently I wasn't as worked up as I should of been, cause I had to explain myself. I began that all waves of immigration to this country have been met with various blends of disdain, prejudice, confrontation, and pessimism about what this will do to our culture.

As time has gone by the Irish, Italians, Polish, Russian, German, et. al. have all assimilated rather well by the third or fourth generation. I said that sure, the parents and kids coming over may not speak our language, but by the time the grand kids are running around English is primary and likely spoken better than the natives.

Today, assimilation in our culture is complete for many waves of immigration, and those fears and concerns of our grand and great grand parents never materialized.

The Irish Catholics, the Italian Catholics, the Polish Catholic all built churches a hundred years ago and spoke only the mother tongue, much to the chagrin of the protestants already here.

Now only the Baptist and Mormons have problems with the Catholics, and that isn't going away, but is relegated to Sunday afternoon, or if one knocks on your door for polite conversation.

I suspect it will be the same for the Muslim and African refugees arriving now.

So I slowed her down. She is a fourth generation Italian, so it wasn't hard to see my point.

But, and its a big but, all those waves of immigration in the past I spoke of did so squarely of their own accord or with the help of their communities.

They were not getting government hand outs, or preferential treatments. Perks that we both agreed are not now affordable, nor desirable in this time of high unemployment and large deficits.

Do we really want people coming over here whom we have to support with welfare?

Not that all immigrants get welfare, but many do, and I don't agree with it.

I practice an enlightened self interest in terms of my politics, If I'm not benefiting by a government action, or if I'm harmed by government action, I'm not for it. Frankly, I'm not looking to benefit from government, thus I'm typically not for more government.

I fail to see what benefit it is of mine to take in the world's poor when all they endeavor to do is get here and become the U.S. poor.

I'm not alone, I stand with my wife.

Many Americans do to, and this is certainly one of those subjects that I think needs debated openly and honestly amongst us voters. Government needs to shrink, that has been my slogan for years, here is a prime example of where we can cut back. If they can get here and support themselves like my forefathers did, then fine.

If they aspire to nothing more than getting here and living off our generosity, then we have to adjust that attitude, eliminate the appeal of the U.S. somewhat so that unambitious folk don't want to come here.

Unfortunately, neither party has been successful in demonstrating to me that this influx will come to an end anytime soon.

Yet another reason why any pressure on the two party establishment to reform is good pressure, whether from the left or the right.

1 comment:

  1. I believe much of the problem is the way we have moved from the melting pot to the salad bowl. Assimilation is discouraged and the celebration of multiculturalism is what is politically correct.

    Also, I believe there is a fundamental difference between European Christians who happen to be Catholic and people of Middle Eastern descent who are Muslim. All over Europe, Canada and yes, the good ol' US of A Muslims immigrate but do not wish to assimilate.

    See London, Toronto and Detroit.