I clarified my strongest political conviction on the topic of immigration reform after the recent statistic in this week’s news that 1 in every 7 people here in this country today was born elsewhere. This is reported to be the highest ratio since the early 1920s. The majority of us are living here in the U.S. today because our ancestors were immigrants who did not have pre-approval from the United States government to enter this country.
I refuse to accept the premise that any human being is entitled to a lesser portion of the world’s resources, wealth, jobs and opportunities that I enjoy based solely on the fact that they suffered the misfortune of being born on the other side of a man-made line that we call a border. This is not to say that illegal immigration is excusable, but rather the bigoted attitudes that persist in some Americans is fundamentally wrong and unacceptable.
Acceptance of my belief comes with the understanding that it will lead to a lower level of affluence for myself and my fellow citizens than the United States might have enjoyed otherwise. Yet I believe that the eventual dispersion of natural resources will happen in time as a function of economic law regardless of my (our) beliefs. Our only choice is whether we take the humane approach or the economic self-interest approach to eventually achieve the same end result. Either route, I’m afraid, will be chaotic and confrontational.
I recall the former Secretary of Agriculture in Maryland saying “If it were up to me, I’d open the border and close down the Mason-Dixon line”. Clearly he was right in that the range of differences among United Stated citizens, including our political beliefs about immigration, are greater than the differences between us and the citizens of other countries.
Some of this ties into my professional work for immigrants as detailed at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141122150650-46136946-fact-check-on-immigrant-health-insurance.