It’s time for conservatives of all stripes to reverse course on the question of immigration.
Not for political reasons.
We already know the left’s strategy. Give away candy, and you’ll get votes in return.
Why don’t we apply a right wing strategy?
How about “This is America; and if you want to be an American, this is how we do it.”?
The United States is an assimilation machine. If we can assimilate waves of Italians, Irish, Eastern European Jews, Russians, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians, the folks to the south shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Unless, we take the bait from the left and forget that, for the most part, our ancestors got here roughly the same way they are getting here.
The truth is that this is an enormous country. We have riches we have not yet begun to explore. We grow our own food and have plenty left over. We think it’s a problem when the poor don’t have smartphones and computers. We spend our time and energy fighting over the size of government because we don’t spend our time and energy killing each other over religious disputes like they do in the Middle East.
In short, for every one thing we do wrong, we do 15 things right.
Sharing that and recruiting new blood is uniquely American.
It also makes long term economic sense.
If you want to stop the erosion of our cities, you need new people who are happy to be there. If you want to stop the erosion of the Social Security trust fund, you need new employees to pay into it. Same for Medicare. If you want to restore the middle class, you need new generations of entrepreneurs.
Those are, for the most part, the people who cross our borders.
If we weren’t so concerned about influx as a whole, we would concentrate on weeding out and sending back the criminals and welcome the rest with open arms.
And with classrooms.
This is America, and this is how you become an American.
You learn English because it’s worth $500,000 to you over your lifetime in this country. You send your kids to school, and they learn why you wanted to leave your native country and become an American. You get a job or start a business and support your family.
(And, by the way, you don’t really have to work too hard to teach that because my personal experience is that those immigrants come here with that uppermost on their minds.)
You don’t have to leave your native language and traditions behind, but you’ll find there is no sin in developing new interests as well.
When I hear that “America does not have the capacity to be inundated” from somebody, I have to wonder if that person has seen as much of this country as I have.
Our priorities may be a little out of whack; and we may have racked up a little too much debt because we, quite simply, let government get too big.
But we can easily handle 40,000,000 new taxpayers.
Think of it as an investment.
These folks won’t be a long-term net drain on the economy.
They’ll be an asset. Just like our grandparents were.
We only have to help them learn how.
If we take that position, 20 years from now, we’ll be wondering what the fuss was all about and be laughing at how dinosaurs named Reid and Obama tried to turn those taxpayers into a wedge issue they could exploit against us.
Photo credit: Mike Schinkel (Flickr)