"Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Noble sentiments. Not a word in there about "Send me those with a $500,000
downpayment to buy a Dunkin Donuts".
Somewhere, we have lost sight of the original message.
The flip side of that argument (and with some reasonable points) is that if,
there were no restrictions on entry to the U.S., a billion people would come ashore. Literally.
The founding fathers could not imagine a world where the population will soon reach eleven billion.
Nor could they imagine a surplus of people would literally kill the planet.
How to balance our humanitarian instincts with the concept of nineteen college students cramming into a Volkswagen?
Fun for a moment, but no way to drive to California. Or to have a country (ask Bangladesh).
Let's be clear. We are all immigrants. Even Native Americans (perhaps they
should have revisited their immigration policies).
Immigration has formed a crucible that has yielded the most valuable amalgamation of talents in the history of mankind.
And the results have been incredible. We stand on the threshold of curing disease, of outer space, of creating devices that can do anything.
There is another argument made.
People who remember the "good old days" still want "Beer Barrel Polka" played at the Fireman's Picnic.
They want Cajun Music at the State Fair.
They want that Polish delicatessen down on the corner to be there when they need kilbassa.
Times change. Neigborhoods change.
But there is a very real concern about loss of earlier cultures (Native American, duh)
and the swamping of them by wholesale immigration of new cultures.
This has always been a concern. English were concerned about Germans in the 1700's..
The influx of Eastern Europeans at the turn of the previous century and so on.
Many times the fear has been overblown.
Nonetheless, it is a concern and has a right to be addressed.
We are the guardians and inheritors of the flame of the Enlightenment.
We must insure cultures entering America can keep their menus, but must leave behind prejudices about women, religion, race, etc.
We should purge those errors from our old European values as well.
In the meantime, how to recconcile the faction that wants some semblance of continuity
and the other faction that addresses humanitarian concerns?
Remember, right or wrong, both vote and get heard.
This author has a suggestion that addresses humanitarian needs and fills them
and does it via a framework that addresses the origins and roots of out nation.
Effectively killing two birds with one stone without offending anyone. Impossible?
Below is a table of the national groupings of America compiled 2010-2014 from
U.S. Census figures.
It is not perfect but for purposes of illustration, you get the picture.
It shows national or regional origins (and rank), numbers, percentage (approximate).
This is rough but illustrative- bear with me.
|3.||African-American & African||24,903,412||7.55%|
|5.||American (Heinz 57 Mongrel?)||22,365,250||6.78%|
|14.||Scotch-Irish (Northern Ireland)||4,319,232||1.31%|
|21.||Hispanic (non-Mexican or PR)||2,451,109||0.74%|
Suppose for a model of immigration policy and law, an attempt was made to address
the concerns about the unmitigated hordes of
unwashed masses who eat funny food swamping the "Americanness" of our country.
Follow this idea, because it's not as xenophobic as it sounds.
There are approximately 1,000,000 legal immigrants to America each year.
Assume for the argument the number remains static.
Of this number, last year 7901 were German.
They make up 14.2% of the population, but received less than 1% of the immigration slots.
What if based upon the cross-section of the American ethnic make-up, that same percentage of slots were offered to each group?
That would mean 142,000 slots would be offered to Germans.
But guess what? Germans like their home and generally aren't refused visas. So maybe 134,000 would go unused.
Put them in a common pool for humanitarian visas.
Same with England, Sweden, Norway, etc.
The pool for humanitarian visas would swell.
There might be European exceptions. Maybe countries struggling like Poland would see their numbers increase.
There were approximately 4690 Polish immigrants in 2006 and that number has stayed stable.
Suppose that number doubled under the above proposal to 9000 per year?
That's still less than the 27,000 they would be "entitled" by the above proposal. More excess plops into the humanitarian pool.
So what's the point of this exercise?
An attempt to bridge the partisan rancor about "differentness",
by first offering entry to those of the same ethnic percentages as already exist here.
When that doesn't materialize, the unused balance goes to humanitarian visas and other needy ethnicities.
Maybe both sides might be happy.
It is said a good deal is one in which both sides go away equally dissatisfied.
Plus it's simple.
It addresses the ethnic make-up concerns of those who bother themselves with such details and it fulfills the humanitarian objectives .
Not perfect, but better than what's out there.
By the way, to defuse critics from either side, half of Arabs in America are Arab-Christian.
Also, African-American and Africans are the the third largest group above and would get an opporunity at a like-sized proportion.
Let's do it.
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