Assimilate or leave

Victor Davis Hanson has a must-read piece on our immigration quandary up at NRO. Reading it got my Irish up, if you’ll excuse the term. But the Irish are a near-perfect example of how massive (for the time) immigration of poor, unskilled people from a foreign culture could come here to America and…wait for it… assimilate.

What’s true for the Irish is just as true for two other “foreign” groups now considered to be as American as apple pie: the Jews, and the Italians. The point is that all three of these groups came to America as foreigners, many not speaking English (many Irish also could not speak English, speaking only Gaelic; something that is often overlooked). Their children and now grandchildren are among the most successful Americans.

As for those who now flood our shores, mostly crossing illegally from Mexico, they, too, are foreign. The crucial difference between today’s Hispanic invaders and the immigrants from the past 150 years? The Irish, Jews, and Italians cut the ties that bound them to the old country: they came to stay. They may have settled in ethnic ghettos, but dispersed, voluntarily, within a generation or two.

Today’s Hispanics send much of their money back, and live and work in cultural and linguistic ghettos. Our politically correct governments don’t help, requiring virtually all official signs and documents to be in English and Spanish. As an aside, here’s something that’s always puzzled me: if one must be a citizen to vote in an American election, and if one must, in theory at least, be fluent in English to become a citizen, why must ballots and voting instructions be in Spanish? Makes zero sense.

What to do? Start with enforcement of our laws. As a son of immigrants, I feel a bit churlish when I say: control our borders. Fast and hard. Just a bit churlish, not enough that I wouldn’t send all illegals back in a heartbeat.

Now, I’m hardly a nativist. Pat Buchanan and his bunch of paleoconservatives are not my cup of tea. I’m very much in favor of legal immigration, but in limited numbers, and restricted to those who can pay their own way or who have particular skills that are needed, with exceptions always made for true victims of oppression.

For me it is a simple matter of preserving our nation as it was intended: a voluntary association of free men and women who know and respect our traditions of liberty and responsibility. My message is simple to all who would come to America: obey our laws, and if you can come legally to stay, assimilate. Or leave.

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One thought on “Assimilate or leave

  1. Pingback: Assimilation « Dr Ko Ko Gyi’s Blog

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