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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 736239  
Subject: Re: The glories of immigration Date: 8/21/2000 11:09 AM
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Can't resist. One short opinion and out of this thread.

I believe immigration in general is a net benefit. Many of the issues that the anti-immigrant forces push, IMO, are NOT arguments against immigration per se but rather arguments against the way social programs are implemented.

We can get romantic and talk Ellis Island and "melting pot" and all that stuff all we want, but the truth is that the social and political aspects of immigration has changed since then. In (say) 1900, when an immigrant came here, they KNEW there was great opportunity here BUT that they would have to work their tail feathers off to achieve "The Dream." There was no unemployment insurance, no Social Security, no nothin' like that.

Many (probably most) immigrants to the U.S. are still like that today. However, there is also generous assistance available for people who have just arrived. I used to work with someone who was an immigrant in the 1980s. After just a couple of years, she worked to get her mother out here so her mother coule receive Social Security. No lie! You think there's no resentment there from people who have paid Social Security all their lives, being told that they may have to take lower benefits or pay higher taxes, for people who start taking out of the system without ever having put into it? THIS kind of thing, IMO, fuels anti-immigrant backlashes. Eliminate the ability to beat the system like this, and I think much of the backlash vanishes.

Also -- personally, I find the blanket accusations of racism toward people who seek to stem illegal immigration to be nearly as appalling as those who fight immigration for racist reasons.

Legal immigration, at least a certain amount of it without regard to country of origin, with no promises to immigrants other than the opportunity to make a better life for themselves if they are willing to make the sacrifices for it, has been and will continue to be a blessing for American society. Both those who would close the borders and those who would open them even while expanding the welfare state for them are making a mistake, IMO. The former is turning off a large part of the economic engine which has been humming for over 350 years. The latter will overburden the social safety nets we have in place and be a slap in the face to all those immigrants who understood and played by "the rules" -- and were the spark plugs in that economic engine.

We're all "mutts" here in the States. We're all descendants of immigrants in some sense. Even the indigenous people "immigrated" here from Asia thousands of years ago.

Soap box off.

#29
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