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July 19, 2007


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The title of your post says it all Debbie!


As a descendent of immigrants (my ancestors left Eastern Europe for America between 1900 and 1910), and as an immigrant myself (I live in Israel now), my feelings on this are very ambivalent.

If people in the world's hellholes have nowhere to turn, what kind of hope do they have for their lives? America, for all its faults, is still that shining lamp to millions world-wide...

But once there, they need to learn the language, learn the civil culture, learn the way society works (notice, I did not say 'assimilate;' just learn how to fit in), in order to live productively.

Part of the problem is America's welfare system, which gives third world immigrants a live so much better, so far in advance, of anything they have ever dreamed of before that they have no incentive to do better.

For all the obvious faults of them, the slums, tenements, and sweatshops of the East Coast cities in the early 20th Century did help motivate my ancestors to do better...

So maybe it's not quite that we need to rethink letting people in (although an argument can be made to rigorously quota muslim immigration, or immigration from any country whose policy is to destroy the US), but rather to rethink how immigrants are integrated into American life.

It's a sticky series of issues, that is for certain.


Immigrants must assimilate.

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