Immigration Newsletter

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Immigration History

Immigration_and_Nativism_091310.pdf

The above link is to a paper at the Immigration Policy Center, written by Peter Schrag. It is drawn from a larger book available at University of California Press as well as Amazon. --------->

It just goes to show that as a country - we have been having arguments about immigration practically since the founding of the Nation (if not before actually). The fears raised have always been remarkably the same - crime, disease, education, lack of English, protection of Native workers, etc...

We call ourselves a Nation of Immigrants (although you don't hear that as much these days). It doesn't seem like we have always lived up to our national aspirations on that front however. The same kind of dehumanizing and hateful rhetoric used against people today - has been used by Nativists throughout the country's history. If all the complaints about immigrants were true - we would have long ago been consumed by the invasion of "Papists hordes" from Ireland and Southern/Eastern Europe or by the "inferior" races of "the Orient" in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Of course those fears and prejudices were proven exaggerated and wrong then and they are wrong today. This country became the world power it is today largely because of our openness to immigration - despite the naysayers.

Fear, hate, and mistrust of "the other" and "the outsider" are all the rage today it seems...I hope some people will take the time to examine this book and others that can remind us that we have dealt with these fears before and overcome them to the benefit of all Americans.