Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Nation of Immigrants - Figure it Out

Over at the Washington Post, Farheed Zakaria, muses on how much America’s historical approach to immigration (legal and illegal) is one of the most positive factors in defining America’s values for the rest of the world.

Beyond the purely economic issue, however, there is the much deeper one that defines America -- to itself, to its immigrants and to the world. How do we want to treat those who are already in this country, working and living with us? How do we want to treat those who come in on visas or guest permits? These people must have some hope, some reasonable path to becoming Americans. Otherwise we are sending a signal that there are groups of people who are somehow unfit to be Americans, that these newcomers are not really welcome and that what we want are workers, not potential citizens. And we will end up with immigrants who have similarly cold feelings about America.

There are solutions that will reduce illegal immigration and which will still allow America to be America. Solutions that won’t require a 180-degree turn away from the values and vision that have made America a great nation and a good people.

Hat tip to the Washington Monthly.