Despite the fact that immigration is vitally important to our nation's future, it has become impossible to have an honest conversation about the issue. There's simply too much fear of falsely being called a racist or of offending some key political demographic for people to discuss the subject. That has to change and it starts right here.
The Melting Pot is Broken. Anybody who comes to the United States should adopt our culture, learn our language, and be loyal to our country. With past generations of immigrants, that happened. Even if the first generation had a little trouble learning the language or wasn’t very educated, we could be confident that the next generation would fully assimilate into our culture and move onwards and upwards. Unfortunately, because of multi-culturalism, identity politics, and the politics of victimhood, that's no longer happening the way it has in the past. As David Frum points out, it's a particular problem with Hispanic immigrants:
Many Americans carry in their minds a family memory of upward mobility, from great-grandpa stepping off the boat at Ellis Island to a present generation of professionals and technology workers. This story no longer holds true for the largest single U.S. immigrant group, Mexican-Americans. Stephen Trejo and Jeffrey Groger studied the intergenerational progress of Mexican-American immigrants in their scholarly work, "Falling Behind or Moving Up?"
They discovered that third-generation Mexican-Americans were no more likely to finish high school than second-generation Mexican-Americans. Fourth-generation Mexican-Americans did no better than third.
If these results continue to hold, the low skills of yesterday's illegal immigrant will negatively shape the U.S. work force into the 22nd century.
The failure to enforce the immigration laws in the 1990s and 2000s means that the U.S. today has more poorly skilled workers, more poverty and more workers without health insurance than it would have generated by itself.
Certainly this doesn't apply to all Hispanic immigrants to our country, but it does alert us to a very large problem that doesn't seem to be on track to working itself out. Unless we have the cultural confidence to address the fact that the biggest immigrant group to the United States is having problems assimilating, then this issue may be with us for generations to come.
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