Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The great unsaid in the whole immigration debate is that immigration, legal or illegal, is not the real issue.... it's the assimilation, or, to to put it more accurately, the lack thereof, of those coming into the United States that has so many people upset.

Anti-illegal immigration activists would have nowhere as much a problem with illegal immigration if those illegally immigrating were coming from English speaking countries and who wanted nothing more than to 'become American'. It's not the 'unsecured border' per se that is bothering anti-immigration types, it's that they believe the people crossing this border have no real interest in learning to speak English, have no interest in adopting American culture and are more likely to wave Mexican flags than American flags.

And it's not the amnesty per se that is bothering them, it is that the illegals receiving amnesty don't have to become 'American' in order to be able to stay in this country. There's no real obligation for illegals to start speaking English, no requirement that they teach their kids more about Davy Crockett than Simon Bolivar, no looking to see if they celebrate the Fourth of July as happily as they do Cinco de Mayo.

When pro-amnesty folks go on about how well earlier waves of immigration worked for America, they conveniently leave out the part how those earlier immigrants worked to blend into America, how they, for the most part, took American names, adopted American customs, how they didn't carry on about maintaining dual loyalties, didn't insist on bilingual education and so on.

And were things now as they were then, I don't think it would matter that there were 12 million illegals about to be legalized.... for it would be 12 million more Americans... and not 12 million more foreigners.

But that is going unsaid.