I believe we need more – not less – immigrants in the United States. And I’m about as conservative as they come. No, those two statements aren’t contradictory, but they’re a consistent philosophy that has been the cornerstone for the United States for more than 200 years.
Honestly – when we adopted them from China, I was wondering what would be different. I mean they’re from cities deep inside homogeneous China. Would they act different. Would their bodies be different?
But other than some cosmetic differences, my young boys act exactly the same as any four-year-old from the U.S. They laugh at Elmo. Sings silly songs. They giggle when people fall down . And they won’t eat broccoli. The lesson here is human beings are the same, no matter where they’re from in the world.
These boys are going to grow up and be as true blooded American as anyone here. So what’s the deal with immigrants?
The word “immigration” can drive varying reactions. I heard someone say, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” Then again there’s also the line the hit musical , Hamilton, where Hamilton and Lafayette give each other a high five and say, “Immigrants – we get the job done.”
Which view is right? First, let’s assume both sides love America want what’s best for the country, but disagree on the approach.
What makes America great is not everyone being the same. Many would say our greatest city in the country is New York, which is perhaps the most international city in the world. China Town. Little Italy. Spanish Harlem. The world’s richest and poorest people on one small island. For crying out loud the United Nations are in New York.
Here’s the thing: what makes America great isn’t the people at all. It’s a system of laws that promotes innovation. That rewards diligence. It’s a cliche but it’s true. It’s liberty.
What I believe makes America great is we’ve been siphoning off the world’s most brilliant, ambitious people from every country and now they’re teaching in our colleges, engineering our buildings. experimenting in our labs.
What makes American great is we’ve been attracting the world’s best athletes to compete here for our entertainment. Basketball’s Yao Ming from China. Hockey’s Wayne Gretsky from Canada. Soccer’s David Beckham from Britain. Boxing’s Manny Pacquiao. Tennis’ Roger Federer.
What makes America great is the entrepreneurs we’ve attracted to start businesses here. Like Google’s Sergey Brin of Russia. Kohl’s Maxwell Kohl of Sweden. Yahoo’s Jerry Yang of Taiwan. Procter & Gamble’s William Procter and James Gamble from England.
What makes America great is the countless store owners and laborers, who pay taxes, stay out of trouble, and propel our economy forward.
Honesty, the other 195 countries of the world would be completely justified in building a wall just outside our borders to stop their best, most talented people from emigrating here.
Somehow, some mistakenly believe the conservative view is to keep others out. But that right there would ironically lead to the weakening of our economy and standing worldwide. Rather, in pure self-interest, we should be welcoming dreamers to come here. A big flashing neon sign facing outward towards the world saying , “Welcome to all hard working people. If you want your best chance at a better life, America is where you want to be.”
Immigration isn’t out threat but there is a definite threat in this discussion. Our threat is changing our way of life. It’s barbed wire on our borders. It’s hiring hundreds of thousands of police to watch our every move. It’s asking a larger more invasive government looking to erode our freedoms. It’s an ever-growing set of laws to designed specifically to keep us in check.
No, it’s not that we should plug our noses and tolerate immigrants. We quite literally need immigrants to grow our economy.
But ironically, our demise might simply be our efforts to keep immigrants out.
I love America. And I’m about as conservative as they come. And I’m quite certain that our brightest days as a country include more immigrants coming here.