I am an immigrant. So was our previous Governor. And our current President’s mother, and his wife. And about forty three million other proud Americans. Of those, perhaps ten or eleven million entered the country illegally, with no documents or false documents or real but temporary documents. Who are these people?
Naturally there are a small number of exceptions, but immigrants are overwhelmingly hard working and law abiding. In my lifetime I have met one who was anti-American. She disliked people of any kind. She moved out. Every other immigrant I have known, and they must be thousands, loves America. They came here by conscious choice, not by accident of birth, and they overcame obstacles of different kinds to get here. They are determined, capable, independent people.
Why do so many come here illegally? They have personal motives, to be sure, all different, but the dominant reason is that for most poor, less-educated people there is NO legal way to enter the country. There are ‘waiting lists’ that stretch over the best part of a lifetime. There are visas for the highly-skilled and highly-talented – think fashion models, nutritionists, physicians, Nobel prize winners and the like – and naturally there are loopholes for the very rich , and there is actually a lottery for a few very lucky winners. But for your average unskilled or semi-skilled worker there is zero legal way to enter.
These are the people we, as individuals and as a society, rely on. They harvest our crops, they staff our eating places, they look after our children, they wash our cars and clean up our messes. We need them. Yes, they compete for low-paid jobs, but at a disadvantage, and they also create more jobs because they are consumers too.
The scares and lies that are circulated on the internet and among needy politicians are false. The crime rate among first-generation immigrants is substantially lower than among native-born citizens; by between twenty and fifty percent depending on age group and category of crime. There is no tendency for them to be terrorists. Over the last 40 years, 3,024 people have been killed in the United States by foreign born terrorists. But 2,834 of these deaths were caused by foreign born people who came to the United States legally on tourist visas. That leaves 190 deaths in 40 years, less than five per year over the whole country, compared to forty thousand traffic deaths and forty thousand gun-related deaths every year for the population as a whole.
Terrorist deaths caused by people with Lawful Permanent Resident, Asylum, and Refugee visas totaled only 15 in the last forty years. In fact, you are nearly 300,000 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed in a terrorist act committed by a refugee. So ignore the hysterical fringe, and maybe think about the cost and inconvenience of Homeland Security’s monstrous and ineffective bureaucracy.
“Why are you scattering strips of silver paper?” “To keep the elephants away.” “But there are no elephants here.” “Yes, effective, isn’t it?”
If you’ve read this far you are a thinking person. Think before you join in the outcry, Perhaps you will even raise your own voice against the noisy mob. Check my facts, make up your own mind.
Also find these older posts…
A … Angst
B … Brag
C … Clowder
D … Down
E … Errors
F … Folly
G … Global
H … Huh?
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