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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Gold medal Think-off winner.

Here is the argument that he won with:

Immigration Threatens the United States by Craig R. Allen

Throughout the years, immigrants like Albert Einstein, Bob Hope, and Joseph Pulitzer have made tremendous contributions to the culture and vitality of the United States, and millions of others have labored anonymously to build and defend this nation. Today, however, the United States is threatened by continued immigration.

A century ago, Teddy Roosevelt framed his thoughts on immigration with these words. We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...

This is, of course, pure Roosevelt: blunt, to the point, and devoid of any attempt at political correctness. Nevertheless, it reflects the very core of this discussion. Driven largely by immigration past and present, society in the United States has adopted the habit of assigning ethnic labels to nearly everyone. We speak of "African Americans" or "Hispanic Americans." During the primaries, we have heard continual evaluation based upon how a candidate fared with specific voters, dividing us into ethnic groups apparently pitted against each other. We hear it suggested that "Latino voters" will decide the outcome, so apparently other votes don't count.

Before 1914, during the great period of European immigration, there were few in the Americas who could claim ownership of the country. In fact, the only legitimate claim belonged to Native Americans, and given history, I suspect they found immigration quite threatening, as they were continually assaulted and forced to relocate to make room for the new-comers. In the process, they lost much of their culture and nearly all of their land.

With the slowing of European immigration caused by two world wars, our society became more stable. Partly because of the unifying effect of those wars, existing Americans began to develop a true sense of self. During World War II, immigrants of German descent were, for the most part, accepted, while unfortunately, those of Japanese ancestry were not. The nature of the Pearl Harbor attack, coupled with obvious racial differences, undoubtedly fueled this discrimination. Although it is certainly true that some Japanese Americans served the country with distinction during those troubled times, many others were simply never given the opportunity.

So, what has changed? How do those changes threaten this country?

Today, much of society equates immigration with those who are here illegally. They believe that undocumented immigrants receive undeserved welfare, food stamps, free medical services, and burden the school systems. We hear that "these people" breed crime and steal jobs from "real Americans." Although many of these myths are undocumented urban fiction, there is just enough truth in them that they remain a common perception; one that serves to divide and polarize American society. We are forced to confront people openly breaking our laws.

More recently, some fear that every person of Middle Eastern descent is probably a terrorist. The events of September 11th, coupled with other attacks and the ongoing war, have generated a xenophobic mistrust that pervades our national psyche. We are weakened when we blindly fear people based solely upon national origin, and allow them into the country yet refuse them integration with our society.

Lastly, there is a feeling that recent immigrants wish to enjoy the benefits of living here, but have no desire to become Americans. Many Americans view requirements for bi-lingual education, court-appointed translators, and ballots printed in multiple languages as signs that the current crop of new-comers prefer that American society change to meet their needs, rather than adapt themselves to their new country. Watching a parade carrying Mexican flags makes you wonder why Americans are celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Every society is weakened when it becomes fragmented, and immigration today threatens our society through the myths that foster fragmentation. Roosevelt sought immigration with assimilation. Today we cannot reach the more modest goal of allowing integration. The "huddled masses, yearning to be free" are not truly welcome, and E Pluribus Unum – From Many, One – has become a distant memory, not an attainable reality.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 09:54 PM
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Fucking genius, I tell ya...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 01:43 AM
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 02:24 AM
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I can agree with that logic.

Originally Posted by Jester
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