Paul  Weyrich

When my father came from Germany as a 19-year old the very first thing he did was to enroll in a class taught at a local public school to learn English. My aunt told me that he became proficient in English in only six weeks. He wanted to be an American and to do so he had to learn the language. Of course, he retained his German heritage. However, assimilation was important to him, as it was to most immigrants.

For years America has drifted away from assimilation, which has become an unspeakable word among the cultural elite. Instead, we are told that we must recognize and celebrate the diversity of various groups without demanding any compromise from them. This has hurt immigrants more than anyone else because many have become isolated in cultural ghettos without a proper command of English, the American political and legal systems or American history and culture. That said, it also has fractured American society.

For the past several years pro-illegal immigration groups have rallied at the beginning of May to demand citizenship opportunities for the estimated twelve million illegal immigrants in the United States and an end to raids on and deportations of these immigrants. This year was no different. There were protests in California, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Illinois and other places. One slight change, however, was the attendance: this year the protests were markedly smaller than before. In 2006, the first these immigration rallies were held, the attendance was around one million people. This year crowds were down to between 300 and 500 per rally.

Many activists were quoted as saying that the drop in attendance was due to fear of government reprisal and deportation among the illegal immigrants themselves. This is highly implausible. Since 2006 the Federal Government has made little progress in enforcing our borders and deporting illegal immigrants.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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