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Reeder: Immigrants are what makes America great

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Immigration-nologo-2

By Scott Reeder - 

SPRINGFIELD – For some politicians, immigrants seem to be the new scapegoats for America’s woes.

When I hear Donald Trump talk about building a fence along the Mexican border or speak of mass deportations of illegal immigrants, I just cringe.

After all, this isn’t ancient China or Cold War East Germany. We don’t build walls along our borders.

And deportation is just a nice word for “ethnic cleansing.”

Twenty years ago, I was a reporter tromping around the still fresh battlefields of the Balkans and saw the terrible toll ethnic cleansing took in that region.

Catholics were uprooted and sent to Croatia. Muslims were shoved into Bosnia and Eastern Orthodox Christians remained rooted in Serbia.

And many died during that war, targets merely because of who their parents or grandparents were.

We live in a nation that is better than that.

At least I’ve always thought we were.

Trump’s plans would uproot 11 million people, shatter families and destroy neighborhoods based solely on where some people happened to be born.

We need to create a path to citizenship for those who are already here and have a more open immigration policy for those yearning to come here.

For those who believe I have been overcome by sentimentality, I haven’t.

Immigration makes for a stronger United States.

It’s a matter of demographics. Like most Western societies, the native-born U.S. population is aging. Folks are retiring from the workforce and no longer contributing to our nation’s economic vitality.

Look no further than Japan or France to see how aging societies become declining ones.

But the United States isn’t in decline.

Immigrants are keeping us great. Not only do they add to the U.S. population when they come here but they are more likely to have children.

A recent article in The Atlantic noted that white American women have on average 1.8 children while Mexican-American women have 2.5.

Immigrants are also slightly more likely to become entrepreneurs than native–born people.

So they enter this nation not just as future employees but as future employers.

Those who “want to make America great again” need to keep this in mind.

I believe in American exceptionalism.

But this nation isn’t made exceptional by the accident of our place of birth. It is exceptional because of the democratic values we hold dear and our willingness to absorb the ideas and people of many different cultures.

Our first national motto after all was E pluribus unum – out of many one.

That is what has made us great and will keep us great.  

Scott Reeder is a veteran statehouse journalist, who has covered government for almost 30 years. He works as a freelance reporter in the Springfield area. He can be reached at [email protected].

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Ah, that liberal logic… i.e. that flying leap from “illegal immigrants” to “immigrants” to “ethnic cleansing.” Let’s take giant step back and focus on the word “illegal.” An illegal, or his/her parents, bypassed the legal prescription to enter our country, collectively burdened our educational and social support system, reintroduced diseases heretofore eradicated, and somehow ended up in my living room (rewarding yourselves with $14K of my stuff) and now I should be grateful?

  2. I somewhat agree except
    If somebody entered illegally, I say never a citizen. They might stay here in a visa but NOT given citizenship. I oppose amnesty and open borders which is what you seem to advocate.
    Illegal is illegal!

  3. This is nice and compassionate, but what about the rule of law? My immigrant grandparents obeyed the law and came through Ellis Island legally. It’s ridiculous to encourage lawbreakers to come in – we’re asking for trouble.
    And what about all the people that do try to obey the law. Are they fools?

  4. What an ill-informed article based on mythology and severely lacking in fact.
    When I hear Donald Trump talk about building a fence along the Mexican border or speak of mass deportations of illegal immigrants, I just cringe.
    After all, this isn’t ancient China or Cold War East Germany. We don’t build walls along our borders.

    Pay no attention to the fact that the walls of the former are meant to keep people in while our walls are meant to protect Americans from illegals invading our borders.
    Trump’s plans would uproot 11 million people, shatter families and destroy neighborhoods based solely on where some people happened to be born.
    Well, maybe they should have thought of that before coming here illegally. That is, frankly, not our problem.
    Let their governments take care of them. We have lots of poor people being neglected and losing services in large part due to being crowded out by the immigrants on welfare in this country.
    “destroy neighborhoods”? Most neighborhoods the illegals have infested have been destroyed. This would be a step in the right direction for these neighborhoods.
    We need to create a path to citizenship for those who are already here and have a more open immigration policy for those yearning to come here.

    Immigrants are keeping us great.

    What a ridiculous statement. There is absolutely no data backing this. In fact, the data shows the exact opposite. You must be a Clintonite.
    Liberal Political scientist Robert Putnam concludes, after 30,000 interviews, that ethnic and racial diversity can be devastating to communities and destructive of community values.
    The greater the diversity the greater the distrust, says Putnam. In racially and ethnically mixed communities, not only do people not trust strangers, they do not even trust their own kind. They withdraw into themselves, they support community activity less, they vote less.
    But the United States isn’t in decline.
    Based on every conceivable measure except the one in your head that is a false statement.
    A recent article in The Atlantic noted that white American women have on average 1.8 children while Mexican-American women have 2.5.
    The children of immigrants are more likely to go on welfare and use up resources in our hospitals and schools. This in turn drives up the cost of living and when the cost of living goes up the birth rate goes down. Whites are being sold out by the likes of the multi-cults you worship.
    50+ percent of all Latino babies born in the U.S. are born out of wedlock. Why would we want to import more of this when we’ve seen what happens to other communities when the illegitimacy rate skyrockets like this?
    In 2008, 52.6% of Hispanic birth mothers were not married.
    Between 2000 and 2008 births to teens declined by 37,180 annually. But births to Hispanic teens increased by 14,644 annually.
    So much for Hispanic family values.
    (Source: CDC National Vital Statistics System)
    Immigrants are also slightly more likely to become entrepreneurs than native–born people.
    Citation needed.
    The 1995 findings of Harvard economist George Borjas [George Borjas, “The Economic Benefits from Immigration,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, Spring 1995 – ] were confirmed by the National Research Council’s 1997 report The New Americans: essentially all the increase in Gross Domestic product [GDP] brought about by immigration is captured by the immigrants themselves, in the form of wages. Virtually no benefit accrues to native-born Americans.
    Borjas estimates that each 10% increase in immigrant workers reduces native wages by about 3.5%. About 14% of employed workers in 2002 were immigrants. So the reduction in native wages attributable to immigrants that year was approximately 4.9% (35% of 14%).
    Edwin S. Rubinstein estimates that the cost of affirmative action, of which Hispanics are the biggest winner, is 8% of GDP or $1.1 trillion in 2007.
    http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute.org/pdf/costofdiversity.pdf
    Nearly one-quarter (24.5%) of California’s current $38 billion state budget deficit stems directly from immigration. One quarter!!! They are a drain, not an advantage, on our economy.
    But this nation isn’t made exceptional by the accident of our place of birth.
    It actually is exceptional by the accident of our place of birth and the places of birth of the people who founded this country. The people coming here today come from places that do not share our values, our heroes, our traditions. As the
    It is exceptional because of the democratic values we hold dear
    We are hardly the only country to ever have one-man one-vote. Other countries have much more vibrant democracy than we do, so clearly this is a false statement.
    and our willingness to absorb the ideas and people of many different cultures.
    So multi-cultists are what makes America great.
    The Clinton camp welcomes you into the tent.
    We are a real nation, not an idea, with real people with a shared history and culture and values. We are not the shopping mall of the world. We are not all about making a buck.

  5. Rampant Ellis Island nostalgia.
    Some immigrants, at some times, have been good for America. No question about that. One may even expand that to “most immigrants, most of the time”.
    That does not prove that all immigrants at all times will be good for America.
    Nor that America should automatically consent to the immigration of every person who wants to come to the U.S.
    Certainly it does not prove that the American must surrender their authority to control the borders of our country.
    Which granting amnesty and citizenship to illegal aliens would do.

  6. Moron Reeder stated “And deportation is just a nice word for “ethnic cleansing.”
    Just what ethnicity is illegal alien??
    Only a tyrant would try to trivialize rule of law. There is no right to be an illegal alien. There are U.S. immigration laws that allow for a lawful entry into the country and will put them on a path to citizenship

  7. This headline is not politically correct.
    This is more correct:
    Physically AND mentally screened, selected, tested and accepted white people with enough means or work-ability to pay for transatlantic water passage are what made America great, minus the 33% who went home because it didn’t work out here and no one catered or pandered to them or their “citizen-children” with welfare, food stamps, healthcare, daycare, you name it.*
    *Chinese immigration was specifically halted by the U.S. Congress and Presidents, notably strict adherents of the Constitution, when the Statue of Liberty was being manufactured because of assimilation and cultural issues.
    “But Trump’s un-American!!”