After listening to the debate on Capitol Hill this year over the immigration issue, the following quote seems to sum up general feelings among the Republican leadership:
Few of their children in the country use English; they import many books from Mexico... The signs on our streets have inscriptions in both languages, and in some places only Spanish. They begin of late to make all their bonds and other legal writings in their own language, which (though, I think it not ought to be) are allowed good in our courts, where the Latino business so increases that there is constant need of interpreters; and I suppose in a few years they will also be necessary in the Legislature, to tell one half of our legislators what the other half say....Unless this stream of immigration is turned...they will so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.Okay, now that you've read the quote, I have something to admit. I lied a little. The original quote has the words "German", Germany" and "Germans" instead of "Spanish", "Mexico" and "Latinos"; and the quote is from 1751, by an up-and-coming Philadelphia civic leader, one Benjamin Franklin, who was concerned about the influx of German immigrants in the City of Brotherly Love.
My point, of course, is that the anti-immigrant arguments we have been hearing recently have been around for over 250 years. Guess what? The dire predictions of the annihilation of American culture from immigration have never come true.
Isn't it time we put these tired arguments behind us?