Well the issue of immigration is debated all around the US every day and is always among the Top 10 issues in Congress and a headline issue of every day. While it certainly not as emotional an issue as the abortion and Roe v Wade debate in the US it is not that far behind.
Well Immigration essentially comes down to the core issue of race and thus how many people of other races and nationalities does the US want to allow into its current racial mix at any point in time. Thus when looked at from that perspective it is easy to see how it used a tool of propaganda on all sides to further an agenda they may have. For as we all well know Race according to many was (and to some today still is) the major devicive issue in the US in its history
With each new racial group that came to the US there was negative feeling towards them by the local populations at time. Whether it be the Chinese who came to California during the Gold Rush, the Russians and Eastern Europeans that came following the Soviet Revolution, the Italians and Jews who came late in the 19th and early in the 20th century or the Irish a few generations before that following famine back home, no group has been immune from being ostracized by the mainstream at the time.
So this issue goes well beyond the Africans who came to these shores as slaves, the Latinos from the South who are viewed as lowering the standard of living and wages by many locals or the Indians who are supposedly taking all the jobs from hard working Americans today.
In each generation, politicians and community leaders have sort to exploit the newest groups at the time who have yet to form into powerful enough numbers to have a strong voice to stand up to the majority groups. They are the easy target to blame for a bad economy, lack of jobs, crime and anything else that may stick if voiced often enough
What Is The Reality?
I have spent a lot of words in a lot of posts writing about the successes of the Immigrant worker both now and in the past and how the US is what it is today because of a robust and open Immigration policy coupled with personal freedoms that most nations only dream of.
However history has taught us that once a group or a nation becomes satisfied, closed off and ceases to be dynamic it no longer grows and is eventually surpassed by other societies where this is happening. From Egypt to Greece to Rome to the Mongols to the more recent colonial empires headed by the Great British Empire have all fallen victim to this curse.
In the end most of the Empires history will record that their primary source of decline from being the pre-eminent nation of their time was due to mostly problems from within. So while wars later in their history like the World Wars of the 20th century for the British or the attacks from the Barbarians and others to the Romans help precipitate their fall, it was only possible because of the sense of self indulgence, selfishness and infighting within and thus no forward thinking.
So while the US today seems to publicly view Arab terrorists as the greatest threats to its security and 2 emerging powers from Asia in China and India as its greatest threats to economic superiority, the real threat is within.
When Teddy Roosevelt declared many parts of the US like Yellowstone as National Parks, when Carnegie helped build the US rail system, a humble mayor from NY decided on a street grid for Manhattan with a Central Park in the middle and men like Ford, Bell and Edison created things and ideas that would last long after they were gone, investment in future was paramount.
Today it is just ensuring quarterly earnings are met for companies or that mid term elections are won every 2 years with short term promises. The truth is that if General Electric the company Edison founded was assessing his trying over a 100 times and years to eventually invent the light bulb today, it might scrap the project much earlier as too risky to meet a quarterly earnings number.
So next time you hear a conversation or a news bulletin about Immigration reform, it is not just whether Illegal Immigrants have a path to citizenship or how many Indians make up the H1B visa numbers, it is really a discussion about the future of the entire United States and its place in the world.
As is enscribed on the Statue of Liberty and the fact that over 100 million US citizens (one third) are descendants of Ellis Island, a more open and understanding policy towards Immigration will ultimately pay dividends for all of the US.