In his last speech as president Ronald Reagan sent a “lover letter to immigrants.” He said, “You can live in France, but you cannot become a Frenchman. You can live in Germany or Turkey or Japan, but you cannot become a German, Turk, or Japanese. But anyone from any corner of the Earth can come to live in America and become an American.” Here is a link to the entire speech.
For many months I have been fulminating about the incompetence of our leaders regarding immigration. I queried, how could so many people be allowed to enter the US without authorization? It’s a travesty that over 15 million were not processed the way my grandparents were at the turn of the Century over 100 years ago.
My rhetoric concerning immigration is not a condemnation of immigrants or what they have done to make my country the greatest in world. I am not a xenophobe, a racist or intolerant. I believe immigrants bring with them fresh perspectives that are beneficial to our culture and our daily lives. They bring a sense of hope for us that sometimes wanes when times get tough. They appreciate our democracy and the freedoms that Americans sometimes take for granted. They remind us that the US is the best place in the world to work, raise a family and enjoy an American dream.
Nevertheless the US has standards and protocols that must be adhered to. By doing so we can protect our country from the small number of those that want to export hate and violence. And immigrants must be prepared to assimilate and be part of our society. We should not accept those who want to establish ghettos consisting of their own kind, who are unwilling to adopt our language or who are not prepared to obey our laws. Vetting of immigrants insures that most immigrants will, in fact, contribute to our way of life.
Allowing so many illegals to enter our country over the past 20 years was a serious mistake. Porous borders are not good for America. Now 15+ million illegals are in our country and we have no alternatives. We must integrate them to avoid chaos, but we should do so in an orderly fashion that ensures our way of life. There must be conditions to citizenship.
New illegal immigration must not be allowed. Leaders of today should not permit interlopers who flaunt our laws to gain entry. We must vet, and we must be strong as we accept new applications for immigration, asylum or for any other kind of issue.
The people who have entered the country are using resources that should be directed towards American citizens in need. This diversion is an outrage. The people who legally live and work in America should not become more destitute because others are breaking the law. Nor should our leaders turn the other way and allow this travesty to continue. Whether you want to recognize it or not, most illegals take more than they contribute. In fact this disparity has been estimated at over $100 billion each year.
The solution to the current immigration problem is not really that complicated. We must resign ourselves to the fact that the group already in the country should be given a path to citizenship that includes a vow to comply with our laws prospectively and to assimilate into our society. It would be inhumane to round up millions and ship them out of the country. The only quid pro quo is that new illegal immigration end immediately. If the wall expedites this objective I’m in favor of it.
Let me repeat myself. I am totally supportive of immigration into the US just as Ronald Reagan was. It must be legal and orderly. I am not in favor of porous borders that result in immigration that taxes every level of our government. The US cannot be the repository of all individuals throughout the world who seek a new place to live.