The Only Thing We Ever Learn From History...

is that we learn nothing at all.

If you don't feel inclined to read the facts, scroll down to the botton and read the last sentence.
Or better still, here it is:

History is never kind to nativists.

July 11, 2010
Deflating the Myths About Immigration in the U.S.
WASHINGTON — In an America full of irresolution, one certainty: The immigration situation will be worse a year from now.

The politicians have no intention of addressing this issue in this election year; President Barack Obama’s recent call for action was about politics, not legislating; his Justice Department’s suit against Arizona’s anti-immigrant measure, however sound, ends any slim hope for bipartisan action. Most Republicans are pandering to an anti-immigrant base and opposing the president on virtually everything.

Two interesting new books, “A Country for All,” by Jorge Ramos, and “Brain Gain,” by Darrell West, chronicle what a debacle this situation is.

Mr. Ramos, the anchor of Univision Communications, the largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, conveys the rage many Hispanics feel over the debate and the portrayal of undocumented workers as “illegal aliens.”

“They accept working conditions that no legal citizen can imagine,” he writes. “They clean up after us in public bathrooms,” and “they are the nannies” nurturing future presidents and actors and athletes.

Mr. West, a former university professor now at the Brookings Institution in Washington, offers a scholarly critique and innovative suggestions for a new policy focused more on economic and employment considerations.

“Practically no one is happy with the administration of the country’s immigration laws,” he says. The current policy is a disaster. There are about 12 million undocumented workers in the United States, up 40 percent from 10 years ago and triple the number in 1990. The United States is deporting about 300,000 people a year; more than that enter illegally. The Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization based in Washington, estimates it would cost $300 billion to deport those who are in the United States illegally, not to mention the logistical and emotional agony.

It has gotten worse since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led officials to try to crack down. The number of visas for highly skilled workers is less than half what it was in 2001, and every year there are promising students from abroad admitted to U.S. universities who cannot come because of the bureaucratic hurdles. Those who do often are not allowed to stay after graduation.

The immigration debate has always been affected by economic insecurities and nativist fears; terrorist threats have been added, although none of the perpetrators of the 2001 attacks entered the country illegally. These threats are cited by proponents of the plan to build a fence along the 1,925-mile, or 3,080-kilometer, border with Mexico, a proposal that no one thinks will work.

“If you build a 12-foot fence,” Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico has said, “you’ll get a lot of 13-foot ladders.”

In the unlikely event it works, Mr. Ramos writes, “we would quickly enter the age of the Mexican balsero, or boat person.” The 12,383-mile U.S. coastline and 5,525-mile border with Canada dwarf the Mexican border. Any terrorist is certainly aware of the Canadian border and the coastline.

Another canard that Mr. Ramos and Mr. West expose is the immigrant crime scare. Illegal immigrants actually commit fewer crimes than U.S. citizens, as they often “make an effort to avoid any sort of legal situation,” says Mr. Ramos. “A sad consequence of this is that they will even let abuses or crime against them go unreported.”

The same misperception persists on the economic impact. Almost every reputable study — the National Science Foundation, the Rand Corporation, the Cato Institute and numerous academic efforts — suggest that immigrants contribute more to economic output and taxes than they cost in services.

Mr. West argues, however, that an effective immigration policy should focus more on economic impact. In the sweeping 1965 immigration law, which ended more than four decades of restrictive immigration policies, the centerpiece was family unification. That was good policy; it is well established that intact nuclear families do much better economically and socially than separated ones. This, Mr. West says, has been demonstrated for parents and children, not for aunts, uncles and cousins, many of whom have come to the United States under the umbrella of family unification.

Currently, about 64 percent of the roughly one million new, legal permanent residents each year come in under the family banner; about 15 percent come for economic reasons, ranging from high-tech skilled workers to seasonal farm workers, and most of the rest for political reasons.

The problem, Mr. West notes, is that this policy “slights competing priorities that are vital to the long-term future of the country.” Simply by limiting family-sponsored visas to nuclear family members, Mr. West believes that as many as 160,000 more engineers, scientists, mathematicians, computer specialists or farm workers could be given residence each year without disrupting any core family preferences. This economic priority is the centerpiece of immigration policy in countries like Canada.

The contribution that immigrants make to the United States’ economic success is an underreported story in a media that focuses too much on sensational, often misleading, pieces.

Four of the most recognizable high-tech companies in the United States — Google , Yahoo, Intel and EBay — were founded by immigrants. Citing Sergey Brin, a Russian immigrant who co-founded Google in 1998, Mr. West asks, “How would we feel if Google had been invented in Russia, which would then be the world leader in search engines?”

Despite such success stories, experts acknowledge that nothing is likely to change soon. There is no political will or consensus to deal with a pathway to citizenship for most of the undocumented immigrants now in the Unites States, and the problem will only get worse.

This is welcome news for the immigration bashers, who have well-known predecessors: 19th-century organizations like the Know-Nothing Party and the Supreme Order of Caucasians; the architects of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, or the 1921 measure setting immigration quotas by national origin; the employers who flaunted “Irish Need Not Apply” signs; those who interned Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor was attacked, or who used the 2001 attacks as a blanket excuse to assail immigrants.

There is one other certainty: History is never kind to nativists.

Bloomberg News
penguinswon penguinswon
5 Responses Jul 20, 2010

Why not take advantage of the luxury of being born in the US and having an education? That includes basic skills, like spelling. Oh and by the way, the average American is a Native who's been raped by men from other countries who took away her birthright. You're not a native American. You come from immigrants. Weather is about global warming. We can talk about that.Whether you like it or not. Let's limit bad usage of English to immigrants who don't know better. I'm a high skilled worker. I created 10 jobs for every job I was purported to have stolen. I know. I've done the research. You, on the other hand, probably rely on Fox for your research.

Firstly, even if there is any economic benefit to immigration, how does it translate to the average American. Bottom line is that it does not. The economy has grown since 1986, that is indisputable. Weather or not this is a consequence of immigrants is subject to debate. What is not debatable is is does not help the average American at all. Real wages have been declining since the seventies. There is less for every American,unless they are part of the elite. That means immigrants are simply taking jobs,I am not talking about agricultural worker, and keeping wages low. They stress our social fabric, stress the social safety net, and directly contribute to a degraded environment. In view of this restrict all immigration, send all illegals home!

Lets Learn From Reality:<br />
Most Mexican immigrants are failures in their home countries, because they are lazy and look for the easy way. Their homelands are filled with factory JOBS that had once been held by Americans on US soil. They enter the US illegally, because entering the US legally requires some effort and they want the easy way. They don't value education and, consequently, neither do their children. Which is why most don't even try to learn english. Language segregation occurs becasue we allow non-english language television Consequently, immoral illegal aliens look to crime instead of work that requires education and training. They’re looking for the easy way.<br />
<br />
Mexicans launder drug money in their numerous casinos, found in all major cities, ****-fights, bullfighting arenas and fairs. It's big business in Mexico.

The statement made that making illegal immigrants legal is false. Whether they are here legally or illegally, doesnt matter. The money goes to Mexico, not towards our economy. It puts a damper on our economy. In Los Angeles alone, for just the month of July of this year, welfare to illegal immigrants children went up $62 million dollars, and thats just LA

Illegal immigrants do not get welfare because they are illegal, they do not have papers to get any sort of financial help from the government

Oh i forgot, in case you haven't noticed, illegal immigrants are the only thing keeping this economy afloat because the cheap labor is 'saving' the government. Instead of the government having to pay for benefits or even minimum wage, immigrants get paid pennies to the dollar and they take it to survive and they do not receive financial help from the government because if they ask for financial help without papers, THEY GET DEPORTED!!! IDIOT. Why do you think the economy has stayed afloat for so long during the recession? Because all the people who have lost their jobs got replaced by illegal immigrants who will work for pennies to the dollar and in exchange, the government doesn't receive tax money but they also dont have to pay high wages that pay by the hour...Next time, research what you're talking about before you start exclaiming your biased opinions on a website for people who share ideas not prejudices.