Donald Trump’s inflammable rhetoric has made any intelligent and rational discussion on immigration almost impossible. This is unfortunate. Immigration is an important issue Americans really do need to contend with, but with a sober mindset.
Unfortunately who gets to come to the United States, and who stays, has been based more on politics, class, money, and race.
Here are 10 dirty little secrets about immigration that both sides of the issue would prefer to ignore:
1. Every nation has the right to control its own border and determine who gets in. Just as an individual can decide who can come into his/or her home or apartment, a nation can determine who can come into the nation.
2. No citizen of another country has “standing” or a legal right to demand citizenship in another country irrespective of that person’s reasons for wanting to immigrate.
3. A sizable number of African Americans support the right of Hispanic “illegal” immigrants to enter the United States. Compassion for others is a beautiful thing. But where was the African American compassion when fellow Blacks from Haiti tried to immigrate to the United States several years ago? Sympathy and empathy for others has been an historical issue with Blacks all over the world while sympathy and empathy for other Blacks has been lacking.
4. Haitians, like Cubans, tried to immigrate into the United States via boats. The U.S. government, however, turned back the Haitians; but the Cubans were allowed to immigrate. The government claimed the Haitians, unlike the Cubans were not fleeing political persecution, rather they were coming here mainly for to better themselves economically. Was the disparate treatment the Haitians received related to to the fact they didn’t have the same political clout that the Cubans had? Yes, and more.
5. Fast forward. Now that Mexicans have begun to get some political “juice,” suddenly the United States’ rules on immigration has changed as well. Mexicans were upfront when they said they’re coming here purely for economic reasons just like the Haitians had claimed years before. But until recently, the government didn’t immediately turn them back because they were not fleeing political persecution. Politicians were thinking about the Hispanic voting power.
6. Central American immigrants have been coming into the United States too. They say they’re fleeing violent gangs. Once here, they have received schooling, government relocation help and other government assistance. However, a Chicago mom, who is an American citizen, and who is living in a gang-infected area, can’t move away from the gangs in her city nor can she receive the same assistance a person from Central America is likely to receive.
7. Most terrorist acts in this country were committed by people who came here on legal Visas. Once here, they overstayed their time limits and disappeared until they committed terrorist acts. The Visa program needs as much attention as the border issues, but most of the chatter you hear is about the border. Shouldn’t both issues be addressed?
8. Immigration has been used to keep America whiter going back to slavery. The need for slaves was so great, it led to a huge slave population in this country. That population multipled. To offset the growth of its large slave population, America rolled out the red carpet for European immigrants. In response, Booker T. Washington delivered his famous Atlanta Compromise speech in 1895. In that speech, he tried to reassure America that ex-slaves were no threat and there was no need to bring in immigrants from Europe. Up until recently, America had a quota on immigrants from Africa and other black nations.
9. Malcolm X: “The first English word many immigrants learn after they get off the boat was “N*****.”’
10. The United States, indeed, is a country of immigrants, but most of those immigrants came through the front door. Though many of those immigrants came to this country to “flee their chains,” African Americans, who were not immigrants, came to the United States “in their chains.”
If immigration is to work, a more orderly process is needed, where prospective immigrants would come through the front door the way early immigrants did.
With early American immigrants, the nation knew who was coming in. Immigrants were screened for medical issues, mental defects and there was a money exchange where they could exchange their valuables for dollars.
The United States also knew if prospective immigrants were criminals, if they had desirable skills, etc. Today’s immigration is a chaotic mess due in large part to political correctness.