Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
While I have rather strong views on illegal immigration, that is not the OP's question.
From what I can remember of history, immigrants from familiar countries - England & Germany - were always welcomed. There was a lot of open space to fill in. Immigrants from unfamiliar countries, or whose lack of skills meant they weren't very useful to society - the Irish, or Chinese - were hated. "No Irish Need Apply" signs were common, and the Chinese were barred from citizenship for many years.
Most countries have strictly controlled immigration and access to citizenship to A) improve their society's set of skills and B) keep their society fairly homogeneous. Mexico, for example, doesn't allow unlimited immigration across its southern border. Switzerland has strict laws governing citizenship. Japan despises outsiders. It has a very homogeneous population and it wants to keep it that way. And that isn't all bad. Commit a crime in Japan, and your neighbor will probably turn you in.
Contrary to public service announcements, those goals are not evil. Most countries have a population with shared values. If you allow unlimited immigration from other cultures, you lose that cultural unity. London is increasingly shaped by sharia law, not English common law. I think that is a big minus for England.
In the 60s, America made the decision - or the government did without consulting the populace - that immigration should focus on allowing the poor and unskilled to enter. We also turned a blind eye to uncontrolled immigration from Mexico. And there has been almost no focus on assimilation - allowing time for the newcomers to become a part of AMERICAN culture. My sister worked in Tucson trying to help Somali immigrants learn, for example, that a man doesn't have the right to beat up a woman who questions him.
I think that is a serious mistake, but no one in government cares. We've turned into a tribal form of government, with tribes that consist of artificial groups manipulating government for goodies or power. Instead of a melting pot, we've become a tray with separate spots for each type of food. That has destroyed the idea of a common American culture and American values, and thus America has become something I find hard to recognize. Political life in America is starting to resemble Afghanistan more than historic America. Political discussion has largely ceased being about IDEAS and become discussions of white men vs black women, or hispanics vs blacks vs asians vs whites vs whoever. We tend to mock Afghanistan for having warring tribes, but we seem to be following their example.
"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."