Why We Love Immigrants (And You Should, Too!)

Everybody comes from somewhere.

The people who arrive first make the rules.

Immigrants who enter afterwards are subjected to restrictions and being deemed “illegal.”

  • In the 18th Century, Benjamin Franklin warned his fellow British colonists of the impending threat of the German immigrants to America.
  • Later in our history, we saw a time when another group of immigrants was rewarded for their hard work in the United States by the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act.
  • For many decades, Chinese immigrants were legally unable to become American residents.
  • Exactly 90 years ago, it was pointed out that a new policy affected Italian and Polish immigrants in a negative way.
  • Obviously – today –  we see a similar disparity of treatment of Hispanic and many other groups of immigrants.

 

Prejudice should not dictate policy.

The same pattern repeats itself in every generation.

 

Eleven million immigrants are not just going to leave. Eleven million immigrants make up a very small percentage of well over 310 million people living in the United States.

  1. Immigrants who wish to serve in our military.
  2. Immigrants who wish to work.
  3. Immigrants who wish to go to school.
  4. Immigrants who, if allowed to live lawfully in America, could help shrink the federal deficit by about $1 trillion over the next 20 years.
  5. Immigrants who are marrying Americans in record numbers.

 

A recent study found that:

  • A record 14.6% of all new marriages in America were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another.
  • This includes marriages between a Hispanic and non-Hispanic.
  • Cited in that study, 26% of Hispanics and 31% of Asians married someone whose race or ethnicity was different from their own.
  • More importantly, growth of intermarriages among newlyweds in the U.S. more than doubled between 1980 (6.7%) and 2008 (14.6%).

Immigrants are a necessary and vital part of America.

Yesterday, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on the Republican Party to become more inclusive towards immigrants, echoing her former boss, President George W. Bush, who was a huge proponent of immigration reform.

Indeed Ms. Rice stated: “”We cannot abandon them … We were once them.”

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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