There has been much made of the remarks concerning immigrants which were made by presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Bombastic though they were, they were not necessarily void of some truths.
In our last article, we wrote of how previous immigrants came in search of the American dream and how they assimilated into our culture; learning the language, working hard, getting educated, and being part of the "greatest generation" that fought and won the Second World War. But times have changed, not only in this country, but in much of the western world.
There is an outstanding YouTube video that illustrates the demographics of world poverty, and how the problems need to be addressed if they are to be solved: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=LPjzfGChGlE&feature=player_embedded (Please take a few minutes and view the video. If you don't have the Internet, please copy the underlined information and provide it to the librarian who may be able to help you access it using the library's computers.) Essentially, the video shows that in order to effectively address the enormous poverty problems around the world, the knowledge and physical resources to overcome poverty must be brought to the poverty stricken areas. The sheer numbers of those in poverty are so large, that the wealthier countries simply cannot physically absorb the needy . . . the help must be brought to them.
Our most pressing issue in this country is assimilation. Or, more accurately, the lack of assimilation. Think about this . . . people leave their native countries seeking the American dream. They arrive on our shores and then choose to live in an enclave, not assimilating into the American culture, but expecting the American culture to be modified so as to mimic the culture from which they migrated. One glaring example can be found in Dearborn, Michigan, home of the Ford Motor Company. In a relatively short time, the Muslim community has grown to become 46 percent of that city's population and, in a 5-4 decision by the Dearborn City Council, it was decided to officially implement all aspects of Sharia law. Obviously, they are not seeking the "American dream" but are wishing to replace it with their former culture.
In California, the Census Bureau has reported that as of a year ago, Hispanics became the dominant population in that state with 14.99 million residents as compared to 14.92 million Whites, 5.3 million Asians, and 2.22 million Blacks. Nationally, the Hispanic population reached a high of 55.4 million people, or 17.4 percent of our total population.
The immigrant populations of the past learned the language and became educated. Pew Research has shown that in the 2000 Census, of those residents who were over the age of twenty five, 85.5 percent of whites had achieved at least a high school diploma, as compared to 52.4 percent of Hispanics. This presents a couple of significant problems. The first is that communities with high immigrant populations, not just Hispanics but Muslims and other minorities, must pay for and accommodate additional staff to teach English, and to have translators in various municipal offices and departments, and the judiciary, to accommodate the immigrant's inability to speak or understand English. Instead of placing the burden to assimilate on the immigrant, we often place the burden on our government to "accommodate".
Another issue is that, according to Pew Research, last year more than $120 billion was sent by workers to their families in their native countries. Of that amount, over $23 billion was sent to Mexico, and China-India-Philippines all received over $10 billion. Obviously, a country such as Mexico, is happy to have their unskilled citizens come to this country and earn money to send back to their families, as that relieves them of having to provide for those of their own population who are needy.
This problem, assimilation or the lack thereof, is not limited to this country, but is a significant issue in much of the western world. Because of declining birth rates, many countries in Europe needed to import workers from other countries; mainly the Middle-East. However, in many cases, they too have the problem of immigrants not assimilating but living in enclaves, bringing their native country's cultures with them. France has had many issues as there are enclaves within that country where police and fire departments simply can't enter. As we've seen in a number of European countries, the immigrant populations strongly resist assimilating but nevertheless demand the benefits available to those living in socialist countries. As a side but important issue, the immigrant populations are significantly out-birthing the native population of each host country. It has been predicted that much of Europe's native populations will , within a generation or two, be the minority populations in their own country.
Without assimilation, and without continued pursuit of the American dream, what will America look like in a generation or two?
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
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