New vision for immigration

Today there are more displaced people in the world than there have ever been at any time in history. According to the United Nations, 67 million people are desperately seeking refuge somewhere. This vast displacement of people has caused a major crisis, and a growing crisis, to every nation in the developed world. 

Huge numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers are being forced to live under unacceptable conditions while they desperately try to gain legal admission to any country that will accept them. The current systems are not solving the problem of massive immigration. It is incumbent upon the governments of all nations, the United Nations, the European community, and even the World Economic Forum to redefine immigration programs. It is also imperative that all of us, worldwide, find ways to aid refugees facing extraordinary challenges.

There is a sense of destabilization that occurs when a large population of different races, religions, and customs overwhelm an existing culture. As The United States does not have any viable immigration plan, these fears have empowered this administration and its tyrannical zero immigration policy. This policy has lead to cruel and inhumane treatment of desperate people.

The present anti-immigration policies of The United States, such as the deportation of people who have lived here for many years and the separation of children from their parents at the border, is absolutely not acceptable. It is not in any way a plan or solution to the massive refugee problem, nor is it a solution to immigration. It is tyrannical, unacceptable and totally short-sided for The United States.

America should welcome immigrants. We have almost full employment and we are an aging population with an historically low birth-rate. This confluence of circumstances can bring development and growth to a halt in The United States. Immigration is an important way of reversing the tide. In order to grow the economy we will need skilled workers to fill future jobs in farming, building infrastructure, and other trades.

It is often costly and usually takes an inordinately long time for people to apply and gain legal entry into The United States. There should be more entry ports and consulates so that this process could be shortened, and so that asylum-seekers could be dealt with more quickly and humanely.

Legal entry into The United States should have certain requirements. Obviously no criminal record, but also English should be required. Instead of having internment camps at the border, there should be English language schools. 

No one should be allowed a green-card until they have a working knowledge of English. After all, English is the language of the country and it is what binds Americans together along with the social contract, the laws of the land, and the culture. English must be the primary language. Without it we lose the ability to take on jobs, assimilate, or feel a sense of patriotic love of country. 

We as a nation have lost our moral compass. We must re-establish our own social and moral values in order to be able to impart them with impunity to the new arrivals. This should be done even as they are learning to speak English. 

Another problem facing host countries receiving an overwhelmingly large number of refugees is that these people tend to seek their own kind. In turn they set up their own enclaves within the existing communities. Unless immigrants have families to go to, it would make sense to spread them out and direct them to areas of the country where they are needed and would be welcomed. For a period of years, their choice of settlement should be restricted. This would prevent them from forming separate communities.

Most communities have activities for all age-groups in which everybody can participate regardless of race, creed, or religion. It is simply easier and less threatening for communities to accept newcomers if they arrive as individuals.

It is abundantly clear that The United States nor other nations of the world can any longer run immigration systems with antiquated methodologies and concepts. This seems to be a time when America has to redefine itself just as we did at the time of the American Revolution and again during the Civil War. 

White supremacists and religious fanatics cannot be allowed to shape the world in their own image. We, as Americans, must not allow it. These extremists are only a small part of our country. Our values are not, and should not, be so narrowly defined as they would have them be. People are and continue to be on the move. The genie is out of the box.

One reply on “New vision for immigration”

  1. Thanks, Rita, for some wonderfully compassionate suggestions. The government could incentivize households or communities to “adopt” an immigrant family and help them resettle. Maybe people on both sides would learn to not fear others so much.

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