December 26, 2008
Give us your pedigreed few...
Posted by: Chris
In response to my post about the arrogant and counterproductive attitude taken by the Bush administration toward immigration, one reader suggested we replace current policy that prioritizes uniting families with one that admits based on wealth and intellect. In reply, tongue planted firmly in cheek, I wrote:
Ahh, don't ya just love liberal elitism? I can just see the new Statue of Liberty: "Give me your well-rested and well-fed, Your pedigreed intellectuals yearning for an even higher salary and a better 401(k)..."
That, in turn, set another reader off:
Umm, Chris... Austrailia and Canada, among several other countries, are doing exactly that. They are welcoming and encouraging the best minds that this country has to offer, to come to their shores and offering them incentives to do so. The film industry, is but one example among many.
I just don't follow your logic at times, Chris. In one breath, you make the comment "So porous borders result in 11 million illegal immigrants" and in the next breath, you defend them with your above quoted comment. You appear, more often than not, to be purpose-driven to keep everyone on this blog partitioned and disunited. …
Taking in all of the "poor, huddled masses" in exchange for all the intelligent, best educated, best minds and productive people, is nothing more than a "brain drain" to the U.S. as a Canadian newspaper article called it. … We call it "social welfare" to make is sound PC, but it is really nothing more a deadly disease that is tearing the fabric of our society apart, destroying the middle class and dividing us into a nation of haves and have-nots.
When there is no middle-class left to pay taxes, who will be paying for the social welfare programs that this country is rife with? … Depression, hell. We are plummeting into a Third-World status with the speed of a lead balloon. At the rate things are going in this country, we can stick our heads up our asses and kiss it goodbye.
Note the overwrought, panicked rhetoric used here, as if our very way of life is threatened if we don't further restrict our borders. It calls to mind "the sky will fall" arguments we regularly hear in opposition to marriage equality, as if human society faces extinction if gay couples can marry. Consider this ditty last week from the pope:
“The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less," Pope Benedict told scores of prelates. "What’s needed is something like a ‘human ecology,’ understood in the right sense. It’s not simply an outdated metaphysics if the Church speaks of the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected.”
There has always been a certain segment of society that wishes to limit freedom or exclude others for fear our "way of life" is threatened. They are pretty much always on the wrong side of the argument, not to mention the wrong side of history, and they show remarkably little confidence that their vaunted "way of life" has enough merit in and of itself to adapt, survive and thrive.
More to the point, my commenter missed the point of that post, which was not to bemoan "porous American borders" but to point out that U.S. immigration policy makes sneaking across a much more effective means of entry than following the rules.
I can only shake my head at the cold-hearted sorts who believe the immigration policy of the United States of America, the strongest nation in history and one built almost entirely by immigrants, should be retooled as some sort of corporate recruitment policy. Unless we further tarnish her image with arrogant and restrictive policies, America will always attract those yearning for freedom and opportunity, at all economic levels.
The rolls of "social welfare" programs have declined over the years, not increased, and those low-income, (even illegal) immigrants work harder than most Americans and at jobs we don't want. If you want the sky to fall, try actually making all 11 million of them leave! Not to mention that the same immigration policy they advocate now would almost certainly have excluded their own ancestors.
The U.S. will always attract more than our share of "the best and the brightest" so long as we remain an open, inviting society. We don't need to follow the Aussies, hardly xenophobic-free themselves, who after all are trying to entice folks to move to the opposite side of the planet, or Canadians, trying to overcome a beastly cold climate.
All in all, it's terribly sad and disappointing to me to see gay folk turn up their noses at others whose lives have been made more difficult by cultural bigotry. Having lived as outcasts, we ought to show more compassion for others on the ouside.
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