Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Immigration Has Become A Political Problem

Immigration has become a hot button issue in the United States during the past twenty years. The left likes to claim that this is because the rest of us are racists. That is, of course, a self-serving lie. The reality is that immigration has become a problem because of the actions of the left.

Americans Do Love Immigrants
Before we talk about the problems caused by the left, let’s be clear: Americans love immigrants. This is reflected in our politics, in every poll I’ve ever seen, and in even in our culture. And the reasons for this are simple. America is a nation of immigrants and always has been. Many of us are immigrants, are married to immigrants, and have parents or grandparents who are immigrants.

Moreover, immigrants made this country everything it is today and continue to contribute to all facets of our country, our history and our culture. Study after study shows that immigrants work harder and are more patriotic than natives. They perform better economically, they are more entrepreneurial, and they vote in higher numbers. Said simply, they make the perfect Americans.
So What’s Gone Wrong?
There are three things that have gone wrong with immigration today, and the blame lies firmly at the doorstep of the left.

First, starting in the 1970s, the left decided to open the flood gates and dramatically increased the number of immigrants that would be let into the United States each year. Last year, this resulted in over one million legal immigrants being added to the United States.

Secondly, this was compounded by the economic collapse of Mexico, which began the flood of illegal aliens into the United States. This resulted in an additional 17 million immigrants over the past twenty years. Moreover, the left has fought hard to keep anyone from addressing this problem.

Together, between legal and illegal immigration, this means that we are taking in a city the size of Denver every year. That’s troubling, but that’s not even the real problem.

The real problem is that at the same time the left began letting so many people into the country, they began instituting policies with the express purpose of keeping immigrants from assimilating into American society.
Why Is This A Problem?
The reason immigration worked so well in the past was that each wave of immigrants worked to become part of the American fabric. They learned English, they sent their kids to school, and they struggled to achieve the American dream. But this is no longer true because the left has been busy putting policies in place that discourage assimilation.

The left has worked hard to destroy language as our common bond, requiring governments to deal with immigrants in their birth languages and demanding that the children of immigrants be taught “in their native language.” This denies these immigrants the most important tool they will need to fit in with the rest of us.

The left also struggles to wipe out our culture. We are told that we must scrub the foundations of our culture from our educational system to avoid offending immigrants. Thus, schools are dropping things like Western civilization, civics, English literature, and the philosophy that gave us the Enlightenment, capitalism, and ultimately the principles ensconced in our founding and our Constitution -- the glue that holds our society together. In their place, the leftist media, leftist politic establishment, and leftist education behemoth tell us that we should teach multiculturalism, that all values are inherently equal (except our own of course), and that we should look to become like the rest of the world. . . that would be the rest of the world where corruption is a daily fact of life and thuggish dictators compete, often times violently, to use the power of the state to crush their opponents and reward their friends.

And the predictable result of all of this is that vast numbers of immigrants are being dumped into ethnic ghettos, little colonies set up inside the United States, from which they will not escape. The left even glorifies this idea, saying we should stop talking about a melting pot and instead talk about an "American stew."
Why Has The Left Done This?
The left has done this for one reason: because their views are inconsistent with Western culture and, specifically, with the American mindset. Americans have seen the dangers of collectivism writ large in Europe during the 20th Century and they want no part of it. And even more fundamentally, what the left wants goes against the very foundations of American thinking, which hold that the rights of the individual are superior to the rights of the state. Said simply, the left cannot prevail in America because Americans don’t accept its principles.

But by encouraging massive amounts of immigration and discouraging assimilation, the left is hoping to bring enough non-Americans into America that America itself must change, and thereby abandon the culture that has excluded their statist dreams. Basically, they view unassimilated immigrants as a tool for remaking America into a land more favorable to leftist thought. And if you want proof, look not only at their words -- they will admit this quite openly -- but look also at everything they propose about immigration. Every one of their proposals has the obvious effect of separating immigrants into these enclaves and keeping them from becoming Americans.

Moreover, the left works hard to poison this debate. Try pointing out any of this and see how long it takes for some leftist to come along and call you a racist -- even though the right would make the same complaints if these were ethnic enclaves of Germans or Irish. Not only does this prevent the public from fighting back effectively, but it also provides exactly what the left needs to shape these enclaves. The left wants these enclaves to feel put upon, angry, isolated, and in need of protection. . . protection which only the state can offer. The last thing they want is for these people to escape into mainstream America and become Americans.

That’s why immigration has become such a political hot button and why people are so angry. Add in some of the practical problems that accompany waves of illegal immigration (disrespect for law, drug trafficking, exploitation of people, the murder of law enforcement personnel and ranchers, the abuse of public services, depression of wages, etc.) and you have a recipe for a very angry electorate. Further add in a government that lies openly about this issue, that attacks its own citizens for raising these concerns and that seems more concerned with the “rights” of lawbreakers and terrorists than of citizens and you have a disaster brewing.

So realize that this has nothing to do with race, it has to do with the conscious attempt by the left to use these people to change our culture. Realize also that this has little to do with the immigrants themselves. Americans would happily welcome all of these people if they assimilated. They just don’t want to be colonized.


Anonymous said...

saying we should stop talking about a melting pot and instead talk about an "American stew."

Thanks for the article. However, I always thought the opposite of the melting pot idea was the "salad bowl" (or "tossed salad") idea: different elements grouped together but still separated.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I've always heard them talk about "stew" because of the chunks. But in either event, the point of the analogy is the same -- nobody mixes, they just stay as separate pieces in the bowl.

patti said...

immigrants are some of my favorite people. they have an appreciation for so much of what those of us born here take for granted. and you are so right on the money here. it has NOTHING to do with race. well, unless you are on the left.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I agree. I've met so many immigrants and they always impress me -- from the guy fresh of the boat from Jamaica who intalled my cable and told me about his plan to own his own business, to my dry cleaner, to some of the attorneys I've met. Every one of them appreciated this country so much more than the people who grew up here.

It just really bothers me that the left is playing this game with immigration. Ug.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: Excellent summary of the whole problem. Even the great Francophile Thomas Jefferson fretted about 1,000,000 Frenchmen suddenly showing up uninvited and unannounced on America's shores.

A common language is essential. In the past, native tongues were fully tolerated, but English was the sole common language that tied everyone together. Babe Ruth spoke fluent German, and yet was quintessentially American, speaking only English in public. Can you imagine Ruth demanding that his ballot be printed in German?

The "racist" label really annoys me both in its dishonesty and its inaccuracy. With six of my eight grandkids of mixed German/Irish/Hispanic blood, my family is a picture of that melting-pot the left wants to ignore or destroy. And since when are Hispanics a "race" anyway? Unless they're talking about the foot race of illegals across our southern borders, there's no "race" involved here at all.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I was thinking about Jefferson when I wrote this. Immigration has always been a touchy subject because of its potential to change our country. So far, we've always managed to use it to change for the better. Indeed, Americans are extremely good at taking the best that immigrants have to offer and adding that to our own culture.

It's only recently that a conscious effort has begun with the intent of keeping these people separate in the hopes of creating a class of people without American values who are dependent on the government. This needs to be stopped.

And to tar people as anti-immigrant just because they oppose the left's disastrous and rotten plan is the highest form of asininity I can think of.

clew said...

Excellent article!

My boss came to America from Italy some 50 years ago. He worked hard, learned English, became a citizen through proper channels, and is a great and successful businessman and patriot today. I don't know anyone on the right who is against this type of immigrant.

The most powerful and effective tools of the left are fear and bullying. It's disgusting.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Clew! I know a lot of immigrants who just impress the heck out of me. It makes me very happy to have these people in our country. And, like you, I don't know anyone on the right who doesn't like these types of immigrants. The problems all arise when you see the left pushing people not to assimilate.

And I agree about the left. It truly disgusts me that they would use these people as pawns for their political purposes. I see that far too often on the left.

StanH said...

The Balkanization of America is as dangerous as it is stupid. Too use immigration as a tool of divide and conquer is truly un-American, and the left is the ultimate culprit. As a Conservative I couldn’t give a damn what your race is, your country of origin, as long as you follow the rules. If you break in line then demand some imaginary rights, that do not exist! Good read Andrew!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Stan. I agree with you, Balkanization can only lead to disaster. And the fact that they would do this for political gain should really send warning signs up all over the place to people.

Jocelyn said...

Andrew, thank you for the article. I know of people who immigrated here from China and Vietnam and I always ask if they would like to go back. But they don't even want to go back to visit. They are proud to call themselves Americans now. It's so sad that the left has treated immigration that it does.

Thanks for the good read.

AndrewPrice said...

Jocelyn, You're welcome. I think it's important to point these things out because we need to refute the left's garbage about this being a race issue -- it's not about race at all. And it's important to point out that we do easily distinguish between immigrants and immigration policy.

StanH said...

Rush said something profound today to paraphrase, “Democrats love diversity, as long as you agree with them.” The democrats have known for some time that the numbers just don’t work, and to reach utopia they must change the dynamic, mass immigration, it’s dangerous and needs to be called what it is, an invasion. Santa Anna would be jealous!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, That's very true about Democrats and diversity. They love all cultures and all people who shares their own views and despise all others as fascist, capitalist, right wingers.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew (Commentarian code for investigator, pontificator, agitator) - just got a chance to read this. One of the best things about your posts is that, to varying degrees, they do not simply provide examples. Rather, if your point causes a reader to think about a subject in a different way, instead of merely listing examples, you challenge the reader to look for their own. Whether you do so purposely or are sometimes rushed to get a post completed is irrelevent. The end result is, in my view, a better way enjoining people to think for themselves.

We are all immigrants, of course, unless we are direct descendants of native Americans, so how could we not like them. Still, the point that got me thinking is "why do leftists so hate western culture and the American mindset?" One would think the whole notion of American Independence would be right up their alley? Horatio Algar stories abounding, no royalty, one man one vote, etc.

I think it comes down to the basic economic tenants of capitalism. Left unattended, the capitalist system enevitably concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer people, a fact they find intolerable, particularly since the system is inevitably "gamed" to continue the power of those who have it.

The point I believe that is missed is that normally, capitalism creates such enormous wealth that it raises the absolute level of the playing field. The liberal "victim" would rather have less as long as nobody has more than he does. Oversimplified?? Of course. A constant supply of victims, though, is a key ingredient to maintaining political power of the left.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I'm glad I made you think! That is our goal. When we started this site, we decided that we didn't want to just repeat what everyone else was saying, we wanted to point out what we saw -- good or bad -- and hopefully get people talking and thinking.

I think you really put your finger on it when you said: "a constant supply of victims" is the key to liberal policy. I think that's absolutely right and I think that's why they've done what they've done with immigration -- they want to create a massive "victim class" that will be receptive to government control.

That's what I think makes this issue so troublesome.

MegaTroll said...

Good points. I know so many great immigrants and I hate it when people try to claim that we're somehow anti-immigrant. Nothing is further from the truth. We're anti-law breakers.

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