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America's Immigration Problem : What's Wrong and What Must be Done
American Thinker ^ | 02/19/2011 | Ron Lipsman

Posted on 02/19/2011 10:10:51 AM PST by SeekAndFind

My four grandparents immigrated to the United States from Poland at different times, but all approximately a century ago. They and most of their siblings -- a few stayed behind and were eventually consumed in the Holocaust -- were part of a massive 40-year wave of immigration from Eastern Europe to our shores. Over the past century, my immigrant ancestors spawned four generations of American Jews who now reside all over our great country.

By absolutely any measure, the immigration tale of my family is an American success story. My cousins and second cousins and their progeny are doctors, lawyers, businessmen, scientists, artists, educators, students, soldiers, athletes, journalists and IT specialists. (However, I have no knowledge of any politicians.) Of course, no family history is perfect -- there are a few miscreants and at least one jailbird. But there can be no doubt that the United States of America made an excellent investment when it opened its doors to my ancestors. The deal was outstanding for us as well -- after nearly two millennia of persecution and pain, these Jews found a land where they could be free, prosperous, worship without fear, and rise to any heights that their abilities afforded them.

I have friends and colleagues of Italian, Irish, Greek, and Chinese ancestry whose family history traces a similar trajectory. Aside from a tiny percentage of the population that is descendants of indigenous people, everyone else in America is an immigrant or the descendant of one. And yet the vast majority of us see ourselves as thoroughly American -- whether our ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, in steerage on a turn-of-the-century boat from a Baltic port, or via an unseaworthy vessel off the coast of Vietnam. How can that be?

The answer is simple. Unlike in France or Sweden or Cambodia, the citizens of our nation do not derive their national identity from a specific piece of land or a religion or an ethnic heritage, a race or even a language -- although it is possible to argue about the last one. To be an American is instead to subscribe to an idea, which comprises a philosophy of government, a means of organizing society and an economic system.

The United States of America did not come into existence slowly over eons through the gradual, natural congealing of a people via one or more of the above categories. It was created essentially ex nihilo at the end of the eighteenth century by means of two founding documents -- the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution -- as well as through the writings and speeches of the men, and their associates, who penned those documents.

To be an American is to accept, practice and promote the ideas in those documents. It is to acknowledge the uniqueness of this nation in world history as one in which: individual liberty is the highest ideal; those who govern do so only with the consent of the governed; and our rights to -- as Mr. Jefferson so eloquently put it -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are bestowed upon us by our Creator, not by any government. Those who come to our shores with these beliefs are welcome to join us in the magnificent journey upon which our Founders propelled us. It is our great fortune that most of those who have immigrated to this land came with those ideals or adopted them soon after their arrival.

That being said, our nation's formal immigration policies have varied over the last two centuries. Immediately after Independence, we were not particularly encouraging of immigration -- feeling as we did that most of the European population did not share our uniquely, freedom-worshipping ideals. But as the nineteenth century unfolded -- needing more people to conquer a vast continent and to participate in a great Industrial Revolution - we encouraged immigration more and more. Then, as those two great adventures came to a close in the early twentieth century, we returned to more restrictive policies. We threw open the gates again after WWII and they have remained open ever since.

Our specific immigration schemes have also varied. Which countries we favored; what criteria we sought (relatives, specific work skills, educational level, age) -- these too have not remained constant. Nevertheless, I don't think that any of those critically affected the end result. Most of the people arriving at our borders were "yearning to breathe free."

It would not be unreasonable to expect that a hundred years hence the descendants of today's immigrants will recite the same story as I did in the opening paragraph. And yet there is a great unease in the country about immigration today. Too much of it is illegal. But I suspect that that is not the main cause of the unease. It is because we fear that too many of today's immigrants do not share our ideals, as did our ancestor immigrants. We worry that too many new immigrants are not here because they believe in the principles of 1776 and 1787, but because they heard from a relative living here that there's some free booty lying around and they'd like to get some. Moreover, unlike in previous generations, we seem to be making no effort to inculcate the Founders' ideals into our new immigrants.

Indeed, the latter is the key point. It is not that the new immigrant is from Latin America or Asia or the Middle East instead of Europe; it is not that he speaks Spanish instead of German or French; it is not that his work ethic is weaker than those of previous immigrants -- it's not; and it is not that she is not steeped in American history -- my grandmothers couldn't distinguish John Adams from Samuel Adams. It is that we the people, or at least a sizeable segment of us, have lost faith in our own ideals. You cannot inculcate newcomers into your way of life if you no longer subscribe to its tenets. So we make no effort to ensure that new immigrants possess or are given the ideas that quickly grant them access to an American identity.

The success of the progressive movement in America over the last century has eroded the people's belief in the fundamental principles that formerly defined our national identity. The government has grown beyond acceptable boundaries and no longer seeks the consent of the governed; individual liberty as our highest ideal has given way to the pursuit of an artificial equality; property is no longer sacrosanct; and our nation is no longer viewed by many of its citizens, especially the "elite," as unique. Those immigrating to a nation founded on ideas, which no longer believes in those ideas, are rightly confused and unassimilated. They serve only to hasten the nation's downfall. It is therefore not surprising that some blame the nation's ills on immigrants -- illegal or otherwise.

Immigrants once understood that they had embarked on a tough road, but that there was a pot of gold at the end -- if not for them, then for their children. Today's immigrants are taught to demand the gold immediately without earning it. But immigrants, illegal and legal, are not the main source of America's ills. Like most of our ailments, the immigration problem will be cured if we return the country to the principles upon which it was founded.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; buildthefence; deportthem; enforcement; illegals; immigration

1 posted on 02/19/2011 10:10:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

This one seems to have the right idea!

ALLEN WEST

http://www.allenwestforcongress.com/issues

Illegal Immigration:

The Constitution of the United States of America has these three mandates; ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and provide for the common defense. All three of these directives relate to the issue of illegal immigration, as illegal immigration adversely affects our economy, jobs, national security, crime levels, education, and healthcare. Illegal immigration also allows human traffickers, drug runners, and Islamic terrorists to exploiting our porous border.

Quite simply, federal laws already on the books aimed at stopping the flow of illegal immigration must be enforced. Furthermore, states must be given the resources necessary to confront the problem, which includes strengthening the border patrol. When dealing with illegal immigration, the answer is simple; enforce Constitutional mandates, and you will protect Floridians and the American people.


2 posted on 02/19/2011 10:14:36 AM PST by AuntB (Illegal immigration is simply more "share the wealth" socialism and a CRIME not a race!)
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To: AuntB
Created by our own mistaken idea of welfare without working. HUGE ERROR.
There is no goal for the recipient, no pride in accomplishment or independence ... just the opposite. Causing moral decay and decadence. nothing to do for many except sit on the couch all day watching TV.

Shame on us for enslaving them to a false idea. We have programs, but no necessity for them to participate and learn from them.

3 posted on 02/19/2011 10:44:32 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s not necessary to indulge in a lot of blah blah; just find the illegal immigrants, send them back where they came from, and be sure they don’t come back here.


4 posted on 02/19/2011 10:47:33 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: SeekAndFind

Bump, nicely written on spot on.


5 posted on 02/19/2011 10:48:33 AM PST by jpsb
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To: SeekAndFind
You cannot have open borders and welfare. The writer's people came over and had a very stark choice. Provide for yourself and family or die. It is amazing the work ethos of people who know there will be no handouts. It is also amazing how desirous people, who earn their living through honest work, are to keep the fruit of their labors.

Get rid of welfare or get rid of immigration.

6 posted on 02/19/2011 11:12:53 AM PST by FreedomNotSafety
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To: jpsb
This article is pure, empty BS that is long on emotion and short on facts.

The U.S. adds one international migrant (net) every 36 seconds. Immigrants account for one in 8 U.S. residents, the highest level in more than 80 years. In 1970 it was one in 21; in 1980 it was one in 16; and in 1990 it was one in 13. In a decade, it will be one in 7, the highest level in our history. And by 2050, one in 5 residents of the U.S. will be foreign-born.

Currently, 1.6 million legal and illegal immigrants settle in the country each year; 350,000 immigrants leave each year, resulting in net immigration of 1.25 million. Since 1970, the U.S. population has increased from 203 million to 310 million, i.e., over 100 million. In the next 40 years, the population will increase by 130 million. Three-quarters of the increase in our population since 1970 and the projected increase will be the result of immigration. The U.S., the world’s third most populous nation, has the highest annual rate of population growth of any developed country in the world, i.e., 0.977% (2010 estimate), principally due to immigration.

The latest data show 22.1 million immigrants holding jobs in the U.S. with an estimated 8 million being illegal aliens. By increasing the supply of labor between 1980 and 2000, immigration reduced the average annual earnings of native-born men by an estimated $1,700 or roughly 4 percent. Among natives without a high school education, who roughly correspond to the poorest tenth of the workforce, the estimated impact was even larger, reducing their wages by 7.4 percent. The reduction in earnings occurs regardless of whether the immigrants are legal or illegal, permanent or temporary. It is the presence of additional workers that reduces wages, not their legal status.

The Bureau of Labor statistics for January 2011 show a national unemployment rate of 9 percent, including 15.7 percent for blacks and 11.9 percent for Hispanics. 22 million Americans are seeking full-time employment. Despite the economic downturn, the U.S. continues to bring in 125,000 new, legal foreign workers a month. This includes new permanent residents (Green Cards) and long-term temporary visas and others who are authorized to take a job. This makes no sense.

7 posted on 02/19/2011 11:16:09 AM PST by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind
"Immigrants once understood that they had embarked on a tough road, but that there was a pot of gold at the end -- if not for them, then for their children. Today's immigrants are taught to demand the gold immediately without earning it. But immigrants, illegal and legal, are not the main source of America's ills. Like most of our ailments, the immigration problem will be cured if we return the country to the principles upon which it was founded."

8 posted on 02/19/2011 11:22:20 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: kabar

I think you should reread the article. Personally I think it is time for a timeout on immigration. But I do agreed with just about everything the author says.


9 posted on 02/19/2011 11:27:27 AM PST by jpsb
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To: jpsb
I read the article a number of times. It is just empty, meaningless rhetoric and platitudes without any substance. Here is what we need to do about immigration, legal and illegal, in this nation:

We need a pro-immigrant, low immigration policy with the following elements:

 A merit based immigration system that brings in the skills and talents to keep us competitive in the global economy;

 Reduced immigration levels based on need and more closely approximating 300,000 immigrants a year vice the current 1.2 million annually;

 Elimination of extended chain migration, i.e., family reunification, limiting it to the nuclear family;

 Enforcement of existing immigration laws to reduce the current illegal alien population and limit future illegal immigration, i.e., attrition thru enforcement. Enforcement would include: (1) ending the job magnet; (2) increasing coordination at the federal level by eliminating barriers to information sharing among agencies; (3) leveraging state and local enforcement resources; (4) fully implementing the US-VISIT Program to track and deport visa overstays; and (5) secure the border and make mandatory such programs as E-Verify and 287 [g] authority to assist employers and law enforcement in identifying illegal aliens;

 Elimination of birthright citizenship;

 Ensure that anyone who enters this nation illegally is not rewarded by being permitted to stay and work here; i.e., no amnesty;

 Streamline the processing and adjudication of immigration cases; and

 Promote pro-immigrant measures that help newcomers assimilate and embrace the values and principles of our Founders and the Constitution.

10 posted on 02/19/2011 11:42:12 AM PST by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind

Why did they pass all the laws in 1986 to assure all the problems would never be a great as they are now. How many decades have we heard working on securing the border.


11 posted on 02/19/2011 11:48:23 AM PST by moonshinner_09
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To: SeekAndFind; jpsb
Then, as those two great adventures came to a close in the early twentieth century, we returned to more restrictive policies. We threw open the gates again after WWII and they have remained open ever since.

Our specific immigration schemes have also varied. Which countries we favored; what criteria we sought (relatives, specific work skills, educational level, age) -- these too have not remained constant. Nevertheless, I don't think that any of those critically affected the end result. Most of the people arriving at our borders were "yearning to breathe free."

The author doesn't have a clue. The 1965 Immigration Act: Anatomy of a Disaster changed the demographics of this country forever. Pushed by Teddy Kennedy and the Dems as a way to make America look more like the world rather than a European dominated culture and ethnicity, the act has helped sow the seeds of multiculturalism and diversity as our national ethos. We have lost our sense of national identity as a result and Balkanized this country along ethnic, racial, and linguistic lines.

By 2023 half of the children 18 and under will be minorities as defined by the USG and by 2042 half of the country will be minorities. Does any sane person believe that this will be beneficial to the future of this nation?

Bureau of the Census: An Older and More Diverse Nation by Midcentury

12 posted on 02/19/2011 12:13:05 PM PST by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind
The answer is simple. Unlike in France or Sweden or Cambodia, the citizens of our nation do not derive their national identity from a specific piece of land or a religion or an ethnic heritage, a race or even a language -- although it is possible to argue about the last one. To be an American is instead to subscribe to an idea, which comprises a philosophy of government, a means of organizing society and an economic system.

This article was pure joy to read, inspiring and moving as well.

Here's an interesting piece that reaches the same conclusion -- i.e., the power of the American idea and the ruin that will surely come from abandoning it -- but from the vantage of a person who is not an American, but a German economist:

Obama's Misguided Approach: American Has Become Too European

13 posted on 02/19/2011 1:06:30 PM PST by fightinJAG (Please stop posting comments in the title box of threads. Thank you.)
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To: fightinJAG
The Hispanic Challenge By Samuel P. Huntington
14 posted on 02/19/2011 1:10:46 PM PST by kabar
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

Ping!


15 posted on 02/19/2011 1:24:16 PM PST by HiJinx (What new decade?)
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To: FreedomNotSafety

“Get rid of welfare or get rid of immigration.”

Eliminate both!


16 posted on 02/19/2011 1:35:02 PM PST by dalereed
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To: kabar
I like your immigration platform, Kabar.

Tell me, how did you arrive at 300,000 legals per year as an ideal intake?

Also, does that figure include all people brought in, or just heads of household?

17 posted on 02/19/2011 3:50:54 PM PST by mcosta79 (Legal mass immigration is unnecessary and anachronistic. Illegal immigration is invasion.)
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To: dalereed

I have no problem with anyone who wishes to come and work for a living and abide by our laws.


18 posted on 02/19/2011 4:13:30 PM PST by FreedomNotSafety
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To: mcosta79
The Jordan commission in the 1990s recommended around 500,000. Based on my knowledge of the issue as a grassroots activist who lobbies on the Hill and in Richmond, the number of 300,000 seems about right demographically and for assimilation purposes. The number includes everyone, not just heads of household.

Under our current immigration policies of admitting 1.2 million legal immigrants a year--a number that will increase to 1.5 million for various reasons--we will add 130 million people to our population over the next 40 years. 75% will be the result of our current immigration numbers.

19 posted on 02/19/2011 5:35:15 PM PST by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind
Liberalism during the entire 20th century has incrementally helped to destroy the country.

Each and every generation gets a little more used to ignoring social mores, laws, the constitution than the last. The result is the obama generation where the "dear leader" brainwashed all. Those who don't obey are accused of being racists, murderers or worse yet Capitalists.

We are witnessing the destruction of a once great society. Question is can it be saved?

20 posted on 02/19/2011 6:36:06 PM PST by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin 2012)
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To: kabar

It makes lots of sense if your goal is to destroy the country. What other goal could the regime have?


21 posted on 02/19/2011 6:40:26 PM PST by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin 2012)
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To: kabar

Briliant ideas as usual. I would reduce the yearly tally to 150K and only take the best and the brightest from the world for a while.


22 posted on 02/19/2011 6:43:00 PM PST by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin 2012)
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To: rodguy911

Thanks Rod. Agree that less is more if we go to a merit based immigration system that brings in the best and the brightest to enable us to compete in the global economy. We don’t need to import poverty and high school drop outs.


23 posted on 02/19/2011 8:49:32 PM PST by kabar
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To: SeekAndFind
The answer is simple. Unlike in France or Sweden or Cambodia, the citizens of our nation do not derive their national identity from a specific piece of land or a religion or an ethnic heritage, a race or even a language -- although it is possible to argue about the last one. To be an American is instead to subscribe to an idea, which comprises a philosophy of government, a means of organizing society and an economic system.

The United States of America did not come into existence slowly over eons through the gradual, natural congealing of a people via one or more of the above categories. It was created essentially ex nihilo at the end of the eighteenth century by means of two founding documents -- the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution -- as well as through the writings and speeches of the men, and their associates, who penned those documents.


The author knows nothing of our history. The ideas were not universal. Our polity came from our culture and history. Ideas do not form ex nihilo, they are born of traditions and culture. Other countries copied large section of the Constitution and failed.
24 posted on 02/19/2011 11:36:23 PM PST by rmlew (You want change? Vote for the most conservative electable in your state or district.)
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To: kabar
We don't need to import poverty and high school dropouts

Exactly, and that should not be rocket science for the politicos.

To keep open borders at the expense of destroying the country or at the very least changing its essence forever is idiocy.

25 posted on 02/20/2011 4:54:12 AM PST by rodguy911 (FreeRepublic:Land of the Free because of the Brave--Sarah Palin 2012)
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To: SeekAndFind

His ancestors were immigrants. Mine were settlers and colonists. There is a BIG difference.


26 posted on 02/20/2011 12:54:55 PM PST by chesley (Eat what you want, and die like a man.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Indeed, the latter is the key point. It is not that the new immigrant is from Latin America or Asia or the Middle East instead of Europe; it is not that he speaks Spanish instead of German or French; it is not that his work ethic is weaker than those of previous immigrants -- it's not; and it is not that she is not steeped in American history -- my grandmothers couldn't distinguish John Adams from Samuel Adams. It is that we the people, or at least a sizeable segment of us, have lost faith in our own ideals. You cannot inculcate newcomers into your way of life if you no longer subscribe to its tenets. So we make no effort to ensure that new immigrants possess or are given the ideas that quickly grant them access to an American identity.

I read a history book from the 1930's that said after we kicked Mexican butt all the way to Mexico City, some wanted to keep all that land as well. It was decided that we could not fold that many Spanish speaking people into our English speaking country.

I was told that the reason we have a public school system was to get everyone on the same page. To get all the immigrants speaking English and understand our history.

27 posted on 02/21/2011 8:12:54 PM PST by Razz Barry (Round'em up, send'em home.)
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