Quite frankly, the national discourse about immigration in this country is nationalistic and selfish, and it needs to change. The conversation, since the bush administration, has been about whether or not we are able, as a nation, to take in thousands of people each year. Now, the conversation is about what types of people we are willing to take in. President Trump has set limits on legal immigration and has created a humanitarian crisis on the Southern border to prevent “illegal” immigration. Still, as Trump said himself, we have no problem taking in immigrants from Norway.
This hints at what the conversation has really been about for decades. Americans are not willing to provide support for struggling people, we want people who will instantly enrich us. So, we, as Americans, get paranoid about immigrants bringing crime and taking our jobs.
Irish and Italian immigrants in the early 1900s got the same reaction. They were accused of bringing crime and taking jobs. In some instances, this was true. But we have seen over the past century how Irish and Italian immigrants have enhanced out country. We wouldn’t even be able to buy a slice a pizza if it wasn’t for their dedication. So, immigrants, regardless of where they come from, regardless of their economic status, do enrich us by enriching our culture. The sooner that we, as Americans, realize that, the sooner we can create a more humane immigration system.