McCain Versus Obama on Immigration: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot?

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

This topic can “border” on insanity. It appears that most of the positions we have heard regarding immigration, at least here in the US, are protectionist. This is in direct contrast to the apparent push for “free trade” we covered in our last article.

If you have read our prior articles, you know we love clichés. It is not because we love using them in our writing, but to exemplify that what we are writing about is a well-known topic, something frequently discussed and something likely a key issue.

The United States is referred to as the “melting pot” since the early 1900s. And it is part of what makes us great as a nation, our diversity. There probably isn’t a culture in the entire world that does not have family in the United States.

We realize there are racists and we are probably as guilty as the next guy. Racism plays a huge role in our resistance as a nation to immigration, but is it a practical fear?

“Irish need not apply.” What does that mean? In the 1800s and early 1900s, Irish Immigrants came to the US and were victims of discrimination. Many companies posted the signs, “Help Wanted, Irish Need Not Apply”. No one now would feel that an Irishman did not fit right into the American culture, but one of our Irish grandfathers actually had to change his name to get a job that paid him $10 a month in 1910. He raised a family of 6 that all went on to either become professionals or have children that did, and all of which contribute strongly to our economy.

After all this unfounded prejudice against the Irish, many of us now celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, end up in an Irish Pub and wear green to honor the Irish? Our point? Substitute any prejudice you have for the word “Irish”. If you thought being racist against the Irish was stupid, it will seem just as stupid being racist against those entering our society now.

Fact is, racist or no, legal immigrants, and in some cases, illegal immigrants, in our country, have vastly helped the US.

There are a number of reasons:

1. New immigrants typically do jobs that we would not do or could not afford to do. We interviewed one immigrant couple that has been here several years and the husband worked three jobs for the entire time. One was a security job where he could catch a few Zs. The wife worked as well while raising four children. Now, they have a nice house, the children have done well in school, and they are all headed for college.

2. Immigration brings in people with desire. These people come here to make a better life for themselves and are willing to work hard for it. That desire makes us competitive as a nation. It does not diminish it.

3. Immigrants pay fees to immigrate to the United States and contribute strongly to our tax base. That helps keep US Taxes lower.

4. Immigrants contribute to Social Security. Our population is not growing all that much organically. We are having fewer children. The immigrants don’t become welfare participants when they enter the US, they are typically aggressive workers that pay taxes and contribute to Social Security. The Baby Boom is over folks, if each family has less and less children, can our descendants be expected to pay for a pyramid scheme like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? The entire system depends on new participants, and if our own population does not supply those participants, where will the taxes come from if we do not immigrate?

5. Some economies have become dependent on “illegal immigrants” so much they are redefining the term. California is so dependent that they actually offer illegals medical benefits and a chance to get a license to drive instead of deporting them. Their economy depends on workers willing to pick fruit, clean bathrooms, do basic construction work to support their families. Why do the immigrants do it? Because it is vastly better than from whence they came, and they can send money to help support their families.

6. Immigration helps other nations. Why should we care? Well, we talk about the benefit of free trade helping both sides, right? Immigration assists those economies not as well off as our own. The people that come here to work and better themselves send money to their families and children at home, and that helps advance and support that economy. Allowing immigration helps eliminate poverty and hunger in the world while it also benefits US!!!

7. The concept of the melting pot makes us less hated throughout the world. The melting pot concept means that we have Muslims in our nation, as well as Asians, Europeans, Mexicans, Portuguese, etc. That helps us be loved at least a bit by those that want a chance to come here and by the families abroad that benefit from at least part of their families being able to come to the US. Then the only ones that hate us are those jealous of our success. OK, there are plenty of those.

What are the implied negatives of immigration?

1. We are importing a bunch of poor that will go on welfare.
2. They are stealing our jobs. We need to provide jobs to Americans not immigrants.
3. Immigration allows terrorists to enter our country.
4. We are racist, and we don’t want those Mexicans, Asians, Africans, South Americans in our neighborhoods. (Substitute Irish to see how stupid this sounds). Think about the huge population of Mexican, Asian, African, and South American citizens that have been here a generation or two and now contribute significantly to our nation as tax paying and voting members of our society.

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