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Letters of the Week: Nov 14 - Nov 18

Rating: 18 votes, 5.00 average.

Please email your letters to editor@ilw.com or post them directly as "Comment" below.

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Comments

  1. Joe Whalen's Avatar
    Please read some success stories from DOJ/CRT-OSC at:

    http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/htm/telephone_interventions/index.php
  2. Honza Prchal's Avatar
    After the defeat of two track bi-lingual education systems in California, I expected as much (namely that immigration to US culture proceeds faster than in our competitors in Europe and such and that the difference appears not to be shrinking) in our TV/Internet age, but we could still do better. Especially as assimilation in the United States is "credal" in a way it is not across the Atlantic or perhaps any other border, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/americanexceptionalism.htm. Perry's Texas has done an especially good job in this regard, and though his campaign seems to be going the way of the dodo, other presidential candidates and our incumbent could learn from him in this respect. Everyone else seems to only do enforcement, even if they occasionally talk immigration.
    I would love to see some research on the split, if any, between legal and illegal immigrants, though. I realize that such differences are difficult to measure given the naturally flighty nature of those who are out of status. Still, it'd be a nice comparator.
    Paradoxically, like violent crime and war, as failure to assimilate becomes rarer, so it becomes more newsworthy. I wonder if we could increase awareness of measures of assimilation somehow. I know there are several members who would post "immigrant of the week" items or lists of decorated combat veterans or war dead of foreign extraction. I haven't noticed those in some time.

    If this has been legal correspondence, please act accordingly. For example, if you've received this message in error, please delete the message immediately after letting me know.
    Honza Prchal, HENINGER GARRISON DAVIS, LLC www.hgdlawfirm.com 205.326.3336, ext. 108 Hprchal@hgdlawfirm.com

  3. June Hill's Avatar
    The immigrants that have come from Mexico have integrated successfully. They have bought houses, and cars, and are constantly purchasing for their families. The recession has sent some home, but not all have gone home. They are still here.

    Thank you
  4. Marge Lessard 's Avatar
    Your item regarding the Medal of Honor and the links to read about these courageous folks touched my heart.'
    Thank you,
  5. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Adding some of my own thoughts to Honza Prchal's comments about assimilation, I wonder if there have any studies on what the word "assimilation" actually means. What is the standard for telling if someone is assimilated, exactly? Who sets that standard? Who decides if someone else has met the standard?

    If someone has learned English, for example, does that mean that the person has assimilated? If so, how well does the person have to know English? Is basic communication skill enough? What degree of grammatical proficiency is required? Spelling?

    Must the person have a certain minimal knowledge of English literature? If so, is poetry required, or merely prose? How much Shakespeare is required? Does passing the citizenship exam mean that someone has automatically assimilated?

    Even if a person is proficient in English, is he or she assimilated if the person speaks another language at home? at work? Frequently? Rarely? 50 per cent of the time? Does the person still maintain ties with his or her country of origin? With a community of people from the same country in the US? What level of ties is permissible with the country of origin for someone who has been assimilated without losing that status?


    The best comment I can think of about assimilation is from the song in Leonard Bernstein's "Candide", which includes the famous line "I am easily assimilated". To anyone familiar with that musical, the irony is obvious.

    My Eastern European Jewish grandparents came to America in the late 19th century. As a third generation American, I still enjoy Jewish jokes. Occasionally I may use a Yiddish word or phrase picked up as a child, sometimes without being entirely sure what it means or if I am pronouncing it correctly.

    Does that mean that I am not so easily assimilated?

  6. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Correction: I meant to write: "I wonder if there have been any studies".
  7. Jim Roberts's Avatar
    Dear Editor,

    Your Nov. 14th Comment topic on assimilation study results in the article by the Wall Street Journal has to be taken in the context that the WSJ is a business newspaper who has a vested interest in the view that the herds of migrants are making "consistent progress toward social

    and economic integration". This is subterfuge! It does not say they have been assimilated, only that "are more assimilated than their brethren in other countries" The R. Algase letter makes the correct point that it also depends on the definition, but then rambles on in typical lawyerly fashion, never reaching a conclusion. Certainly assimilation is more than merely buying "houses, and cars, and are constantly purchasing for
    their families" stated by June Hill. When a concept is subjective or
    lacks clearly defined parameters, the phrase: "But I know it when I see it" comes to mind as was famously used by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964). Most objective evidence shows that assimilation of migrants is a lengthy process, even generational, that can only be successfully achieved with limited numbers of entrants. One

    of the most scholarly articles on this topic is: "Multiculturalism, Immigration, and Aztlan" by Marie Chang http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc1003/article_416.shtml
    The same message in a more humerous format is seen at:
    "I'm Just Looking For a Better Life" by H. Millard
    http://www.newnation.org/Millard/Millard-just-looking.html Other
    serious references are:
    "Can Diversity Destroy Us?" by Pat Buchanan
    http://buchanan.org/blog/pjb-can-diversity-destroy-us-892 (and) "US
    Immigration, Multiculturalism" by Alan Caruba http://www.proconservative.net/PCVol13Is043CarubaMulticulturalSuicide.shtml
    In the larger context that it should be viewed, multiculturalism beyond limited numbers is destructive to a society, nation and culture and is a

    primary strategy, policy and weapon used by those who wish to dilute,
    diminish and destroy Traditional America. See: "Cultural Marxism"

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/02/cultural_marxism.html

  8. Roger Clegg's Avatar
    To the editors:

    Here's my top-ten list of what we should expect from those who want to become Americans (and those who are already Americans, for that matter). The list was first published in a National Review Online column a decade ago [link: http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/comment091200d.shtml ], and it is fleshed out in Congressional testimony [link: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/May2007/Clegg070523.pdf ]:

    1. Don't disparage anyone else's race or ethnicity.
    2. Respect women.
    3. Learn to speak English.
    4. Be polite.
    5. Don't break the law.
    6. Don't have children out of wedlock.
    7. Don't demand anything because of your race or ethnicity.
    8. Don't view working and studying hard as "acting white."
    9. Don't hold historical grudges.
    10. Be proud of being an American.
  9. Richard Y's Avatar
    Re : Mr. Robert's and Mr. Clegg's letters

    Conservatives, Tea partiers and restrictionists here love to talk about the "danger" of "multiculturalism" that will erode the White Anglo Saxon European Americans' culture, language and identity. With all due respect and straight talk, the WASP language and culture exist in the New Worlds because of the past illegal and immoral invasion and colonialism and the natives of these lands are still being owed a huge apology and compensation for their lost of culture, identity, language, heritage and off course their lands. And as usual, I don't think those who rant on immigrants here will ever issue any apology for all the crimes against humanity done by their illegal immigrant ancestors in the past to the native people and I condemn this blatant hypocrisy. It's the nature of all human beings to be inherently selfish and self serving, have no shame on doing the same atrocities they have done to others while dare to judge others who do less offenses. None have the rights to restrict other human rights and freedom of movement to be able to have a better life and opportunities not those whose ancestors have done in the past for the same. I will say again shame on them for doing so.

    Mr. Clegg wrote about all the virtues of being a real "American" with several points but again with all due respect and straight talk and no political correctness, the entire world will point back at our American lack of culture, courtesy and respect toward others. We have the one of the highest divorce rate and unwed couples with outside wedlock children.
    Our public transit system is filthy with trash, rarely we see younger passengers giving up their seats to the elderly, disabled and pregnant persons. Our kids are lack of discipline and hard work ethics and worse they are brainwashed by nativists aka restrictionists to be injected by the entitlements and take it for granted mentality by demanding that they must have good jobs with good pay just because they're born as Americans and holding US citizenship ! Restrictionists are harmful for younger generation Americans to learn and earn their success and living by merits and working harder that others not by whining and demanding their politicians to be their nannies by implementing trade wars and protectionist isolationist foreign policies. It's a sad reality but true. Many immigrants have strong family values and respect toward others compared to Americans. They work hard for their families, they take care their families. And yet some people dare to impose their holier than thou "family and religious" values on others that they don't do and be the good examples themselves. The hypocrisy is mind boggling. Our customer service especially in our airlines are at the bottom of the world. No US airlines rated 5 stars in customer service and it's a shame.

    It's time for all of us, to get out of our bubble of ignorance, to see the world around us in much better perspective instead of hiding in endless bigotry and dreaming in pot smoking Lala land.
  10. Tim's Avatar
    Hello -- very quick point here -- this is true of the U.S., but the U.S. is not unique. The UK and perhaps the Netherlands would also qualify, and without question so does Canada (which has a higher percentage of foreign born residents than the U.S.) and Australia. There are likely others including some of the South American countries like Argentina and Chile. I don't dispute the basic point at all about assimilating immigrants, but careful about claims of U.S. uniqueness.
    Regardless, keep up the good work,
  11. Jim Roberts's Avatar
    Note:

    In order to avoid any confusion between the two immigration laws of 1965

    and 1986, the previous Letter sent a few hours previous to this should
    Not Be Run, but this Revised letter should run in it's place. Thank
    You!



    Dear Editor:

    If the "Ability to assimilate immigrants is a massive competitive advantage
    that America possesses over rest of the economies of the world" (Nov. 16th
    ID), why is it that we are having our fannies handed to us in world trade?
    Not only is your presumption of assimilation suspect as per previous post,
    it is a difficult, long process that comes

    at a cost in relation to efficiency, a burden that China and some other
    nations do not have to bear. To the degree that assimilation of entrants

    does take place and immigrants benefit US, it would differ little if we were
    on a limited, selective, inspected basis with fully secured and enforced
    borders and interior policies which we should be. We have had nothing but
    immigration chaos and high entry numbers since the 1965 and
    1986 immigration laws about which Ted "I'll Cross That Bridge When I Come To
    It" Kennedy lied to US about the 1965 law that the existing makeup of
    America would not be changed. See: "The 1965 Immigration Act Legacy"
    http://www.cis.org/articles/1995/back395.html
    We were lied to about the 1986 law that the borders would be secured and

    employers sanctioned for illegal hirings in exchange for a limited
    amnesty. See: "The Legacy of the IRCA Amnesty"
    http://www.examiner.com/immigration-in-san-francisco/the-legacy-of-the-irca-
    amnesty-part-3
    (and) "Why Did the Illegal Alien Run the Border?"
    http://www.caps-blog.org/articles/2011/11/09/why-did-the-illegal-alien-run-t
    he-border/
    As Pat Buchanan points out in the following article, attempting to build a
    nation consisting of differing cultures has never worked well over the long
    haul. See: "It Can't Happen Here"
    http://buchanan.org/blog/it-cant-happen-here-4942
  12. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Roger Clegg'a comment is a laundry list of more than 150 years of crude prejudices against immigrants, especially those who are not white. I hope he meant it as a joke. If so, it is not a very funny one.
  13. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Sorry, I meant "Roger Clegg's".
  14. richard y's Avatar
    I just want to say Amen to Mr. Algase comment on Mr. Clegg's letter. His 10 points are indeed a joke because under no circumstances we can be the perfect examples on virtues and morality. On work ethics, we must learn from the Japanese and South Koreans. On educations, our kids must learn from students in India, China and South Korea, our kids have become spoiled take things for granted little brats when they grow up they will be spoiled xenophobic adults who always think that getting a job is some kind of "entitlement" just because they are holding US citizenship.
  15. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Roger Clegg's second item in his laundry list of anti-immigrant hate is "Respect women." The implication is that immigrants do not. It is true that women's rights are a world wide issue, including one that affects many countries which provide immigrants for the US. If America had real respect for women from some of these countries, more of them would be granted political asylum.

    But how much respect for women is there among the right wing fanatics who want to criminalize abortion once again in America? The recently defeated "personhood" proposal in Mississippi reflected the same spirit of hate toward women that the anti-immigrant law in Alabama, another former stronghold of slavery and segregation, does toward Latino immigrants.

    Roger Clegg's letter epitomizes the arrogance and claims of racial superiority that are at the heard of the white supremacist movement. The fact that this way of thinking influences so much of our immigration policy is a great American tragedy - and not only for millions of deported immigrants and their broken families.

  16. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I have to apologize for another typo. I meant: "at the heart of the white supremacist movement".
  17. Donald M. Miller's Avatar
    I cannot understand why the general opposition to immigration and immigrants in the US surprises and horrifies so many contributors to this site. There is no people or country of which I am aware, that welcomes hordes of immigrants from vastly different cultures.
    There seems to be a scale of acceptance based on the similarity of the immigrant to the native population and the numbers of those immigrants. It would appear, for example, that most Americans would not be at all upset if a typical Australian family moved in next door but would probably be very disturbed if a typical, say, Somali or Pakistani family were to do the same. The level of acceptance would also be affected by the numbers of immigrants involved; one Somali family in a town of 50,000 would probably be un-noticed whereas 300 such families would most likely be highly resented. It must be remembered that despite thirty years of PC brainwashing, most (white) Americans still regard themselves as Americans and are not ashamed of their country's history or its present, although they may wish that things could be better. How is this any different from the national feelings in any other country?
    It is most normal and understandable for the people of one country (not only America by any means) to place their own people above all others and to resent a mass "invasion", military or civilian, of their country by totally different alien groups. Mexicans and Central Americans are no more "Americans" than are Moroccans and Central Africans French or are Pakistanis, British or Turks, Germans. Indeed, our southern neighbors clearly distinguish between themselves and Guatemalans, for example, and do not in any way welcome Guatemalan immigrants seeking to "improve their lives".
    But to the contributors to this site, all that is just fine: only the US is to be condemned for something that is completely natural and, indeed, universal.
  18. Richard Y's Avatar
    Re : Mr. Miller's letter ID 11/18/2011

    Whites should belong to the white's neighborhood according to Mr. Miller's letter, so why Europeans went to the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand then in the past and settled there, committed genocide on their natives, altering their cultures, languages and customs. American Indians could have said please "pale face" people, go back to your homeland!, we don't welcome and like you here!, we can't be good neighbors!". It's the hypocrisy and double standard that I always question on restrictionists here.

    Why there are no outrage and condemnation on these facts from restrictionists here ? If Pakistanis and Somalis can't find peace, security and opportunities at their homelands they should have right to survive in other places, it's the one of the fundamental human rights. Why Europeans could and can do this in the past, now and future to settle where ever they want, but that opportunity should be limited to Haitians, Africans, Chinese etc. just because Europeans don't like the new comers and neighbors compete with them?

    All humanity must share the common purpose to build a better world, to eradicate hate, poverty and wars, to fight inequality and injustice to foster and bless them.

    Yes, we have immigrants that still believe in mixing between state and religion, that women are less equal than men, their own sect believers are superior than the "infidels", for these folks we should never allow them to immigrate to any neighborhoods until they embrace enlightenment and joining the civilized humanity.

    We have no rights whatsoever to restrict other human being for their rights to survive and find better life and opportunities especially when we look at our own mirrors and pointing at our own ancestors' struggles for survival themselves.

    It's hypocritical to deny others to enjoy the freedom of movement on this planet just because we don't want them to compete in anything but we expect others to accept and help us when we're in their "shoes".

    Mr. Robert's wrote about we must 100% secure our border and I will say it's mission impossible !. No countries on Earth can truly secure the border 100%. It's up to each country to decide whether non violence and productive foreigners can freely access their labor markets or make it a crime to work without prior approval and authorities should go after the employers who exploit foreign workers not busy punishing and harassing foreigners. None deserve jail time or worse inhumane punishment while the crime is simply working in other countries without permits from their respective governments, the only thing that should happen is heavy fines for employers for breaking the laws and let the foreigners walk free on the land until they decide to self repatriate themselves because nobody is going to hire them illegally without any further expenses to tax payers.
    Only sick restrictionists with weird fetish problem can even think about jailing undocumented immigrants in the "tents city" in the middle of hot Arizona desert with pink uniform. It's horrendous. And how can we call ourselves as Americans and be proud of this ridiculous atrocity ?

    But we have to realize that protectionist policies won't work well in the 21st. century where jobs can be outsourced when importation of foreign workers is severely restricted. There's no guarantee for natives for not to compete with foreign workers overseas unless every country want to engage in endless tit for tat trade wars.

    And as usual my letters will fall on deaf ears because they live inside the bubble of ignorant.


  19. Shoshin's Avatar
    Richard Y,
    Your opinion and comments are not falling on deaf ears, some people including myself have voiced the same opinion for many years. We as Americans espouse freedom and human rights, but only when it involves third world countries. We as a people need to look in the mirror.
  20. Rhea Couvillier's Avatar
    Hi man! I quite agree with your thoughts. Thank you for having written this.
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