Follow the Rules, Like Immigrants Used To

Nativists and xenophobes appalled by the “open border” policy that has allowed millions of asylum seekers to enter the United States often harken to a nonexistent history when immigrants followed the rules and waited to be invited before entering the U.S. However, Ellis Island was exactly like Eagle Pass, Texas today; German, Irish, Italian and other immigrants were allowed in en masse, without visas, and became the great-grandparents of the vast majority of citizens today.

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  • Not only that, but, unlike the refugees attempting to enter the country now, US policies didn’t create the situations from which our ancestors were fleeing. “You break it, you buy it” should apply here, though probably the best way to “buy it” would be to restore the integrity and livability of the countries they are having to leave.

  • I am told that Irish, Italians, and Jews were not considered white/WASP and there were many who did (try to) treat them as badly as today’s wannabe immigrants are treated.

    I think it dates back that far or further that some people who are already here benefit from the growth in the economy that immigrants represent and some people lose their jobs or good wages because of immigrants. It seems like astute government policy could get us both the positive growth and compensation for those who are adversely affected. If only our government actually worked.

  • alex_the_tired
    March 13, 2024 6:46 PM

    As always, a deluded rich person drives the narrative. Emma Lazarus’ fantasy about “the teeming masses yearning to breath free” was quickly co-opted by the non-deluded rich people and imprinted on the Statue of Liberty. Hint: Anytime Those in Power put something in big letters, there’s a hidden meaning (e.g., Arbeit Macht Frei).

    The issue has never, ever been about illegal immigration. It has always been about wealth extraction from exploitable labor. Whether it’s a branded slave auctioned in Virginia, a migrant burning in a factory fire in the Garment District, or some very clever person from India here on a guest visa, the owner class has gotten very skilled at shifting from ironmongery to paperwork to bind the worker tighter and tighter.

  • “Well said! Well said! Thus it is, exactly as you have said it!”

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