Mark Rants & Raves

Digressions into a variety of topics about the world.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Melting pot, no more?

I admit to mixed feelings about the "May Day" protests by and for illegal immigrants.

One the one hand, I know that if I went to Mexico or most other countries illegally and tried to protest that I wasn't being given citizenship, I would be thrown in jail (or worse).

On the other hand, I freely admit and enjoy the benefits of having laborers doing the low-wage jobs in the US. However, there is also some merit to the idea that these laborers depress wages and drive many American businesses out of business. Don't think so? Well, try to start a landscaping business and compete with a family from south of our border.

But given all the pros and cons, the thing that really worries me is that Hispanics seem less inclined to become part of our country. Previous immigrants wanted to learn English and become part of America. Now, you must have noticed that when you go to an ATM machine at your bank, you have to pick English or Spanish; when you make a call and get a voice-driven system, you have to "pick 1 to continue in English or dos por Espanol" (pardon my spelling - I don't know Spanish).

What's up with that?! If you think having multiple languages would be a good thing - add a little cultural understanding - ask one of your Canadian friends how that's working for them.

We have never had immigration, especially from one country, at this volume and speed. Another difference is that we used to foster college educated, professional immigrants. Now, the vast majority are uneducated. Add to this that children born in the US are automatically citizens and this opens the door to many relatives and we have a massive change in the culture, beliefs, and values of traditional America.

I am not an immigrant basher - we were all immigrants at one time. The difference today is that assimilation is not taking place at the necessary levels and that the volume of homogenous immigrants is too high. As a minimum, the following must be required:

  • Fluency in English
  • Knowledge of US history
  • Contribution to the country (i.e. not a criminal, hold a job, pay taxes, ...)

What we have today is not working. Lets fix it! Let your representatives know your position:

Contact Your Representative

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