Reading through the statements from various politicians and activist groups on immigration, you’d think that this was the first time this country had ever faced such a “crisis.” Really?
There’s a group of immigrants who work at low-paid, manual labor. They often sneak into the country to work at various menial jobs. Some businesses use them because they’re cheaper than American labor, and they don’t complain about their “rights.” There’s a backlash, of course. They don’t look like us. They have their own culture. They don’t even want to speak the same language, and they don’t worship the same way we do. Even worse, they form criminal gangs, and they’re responsible for a lot of crime! They are .. not us! They don’t belong here!
Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like what people are saying about the Mexican immigrants who are here legally or illegally, Middle-Easterners, or those from elsewhere. But I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the Irish. The Chinese. The Italians. The Portuguese, Spanish, Greeks, Serbs, Bosnians, Indians, Poles, Russians, Jews, and Japanese. For the most part, if you name an ethnic group, the odds are that back in the “good old days” there were people arguing against their letting them into the country, saying pretty much the same things they’re saying now, and in fact writing immigration laws that were specifically designed to keep them out.
Of course, today, most of those immigrants’ descendants have forgotten that part of their history. After all, they’re Real AmericansTM! Their forefathers and and mothers came to this country legally and were welcome! Yeah, right! The odds are that more than a few of their ancestors (and mine) didn’t exactly follow all the procedures, and I guarantee you that a few of them weren’t particularly welcome in this country when they got here. But, their descendants did assimilate an American tradition – now they hate the immigrants just as much as their ancestors were hated.