Who makes 'the best' Americans?
Written by Vin Suprynowicz
Thursday, 01 February 2001
Who makes 'the best' Americans?
America's foreign-born population swelled to more than 28.3 million
last year -- up 43 percent since 1990 -- with the majority now arriving
from Latin America and Asia, the Census Bureau estimates.
The percentage of residents in fast-growing Nevada who were born in
foreign countries (now 15.2 percent) trails only the major "gateway" states
of Hawaii, Florida, New York, and California ... with the Golden State now
claiming a stout 25.9 percent foreign-born.
A parallel report by the Center for Immigration Studies this week warns:
"Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public
school enrollment over the last two decades."
One-third of recent immigrants lack a high school diploma -- more than
three times the rate for natives, the CIS reports. More than half of
post-1970 immigrants and their young children live in or near poverty,
compared to 28 percent of natives and their young children. And one-third
of immigrants do not have health insurance -- two-and-a-half times the rate
"Because current policy allows in so many people who lack a formal
education, immigration has resulted in an enormous growth in the poor and
uninsured populations. ... We need to ask whether we want to grow our
population this way," Steven Camarota, the center's director of research,
warned The Associated Press Tuesday. "I think we don't, so I think we need
to do a whole lot more to control illegal immigration. We need to have a
policy that selects immigrants on skills and ability to compete rather than
a policy that puts all or most of its emphasis on family relationships."
Indeed, immigration can pose risks, particularly if efforts are not made
to allow and encourage new arrivals to quickly integrate -- few would want
to see America as segmented between rival ethnic or linguistic factions as
Quebec or Rwanda. That's why even Hispanic immigrants soundly reject
"bilingual education" in the public schools, whenever and wherever that
turns out to mean cocooning immigrant children in long-term linguistic
And immigrants who promptly go on the government dole are of course
exasperating (the obvious and correct solution being to promptly eliminate
the government dole in all its forms.)
But why on earth should we believe a central government that's handed
away billions to Russian kleptocrats and squandered fortunes on the
flightless X33 "space plane" and especially on Space Porky, The Doomed
International Space Station, will suddenly smarten up when it comes time to
guesstimate which immigrant skills or traits will prove most valuable a
generation from now?
The grandparents of most of today's Americans lived "in or near poverty"
by the standards of their day ... and certainly by today's. Few arrived
here with advanced educations (though in fact, 11 percent of today's
immigrants bring along a graduate or professional degree, compared to only
9 percent of natives.)
Mr. Camarota's proposal that some committee of bureaucrats be allowed to
"cherry-pick" which applicants would make "the best Americans" bears a
slight burden of hubris. The main requirements to become a "good American"
have always been the willingness to work hard, raise law-abiding children
determined to make their own way in the world, and embrace the ideals of a
republic which guarantees the rights of liberty and property to all men and
women against the whim of any "democratic" majority, no matter how noisy.
America's ethnic diversity has served her well, and the grandchildren of
those poor, uneducated immigrants of a century ago are now among our most
Yes, the nation has a right to control its borders, and it's a shame to
see law-abiding would-be immigrants waiting patiently for years on other
continents, while scofflaws take their place.
But, that said, the process for "selecting" our legal immigrants should
have much less to do with their skin color or accent, and much more to do
with determining whether they can show they really understand and want to
embrace our republic, along with the Declaration, the Constitution, and the
Bill of Rights that gave her birth.
If only a fair number of the native born could be obliged to pass a
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal, and editor of Financial Privacy Report (952-895-8757.) His
book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement,
1993-1998," is available by dialing 1-800-244-2224; or via web site www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html.
by Vin Suprynowicz
The Multiracial Activist - Who makes 'the best' Americans?
The Multiracial Activist - The hypocrisy of the morally anointed
Copyright © 2001 Vin Suprynowicz. All rights reserved.