I come from a family of immigrants. My great-great-grandfather immigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1909 on the Carpathia (the same ship that would later rescue Titanic survivors). While my last name is Italian, I also have random quantities of Swedish, Irish, French, and Scottish blood. I am who I am because of immigration. America is the country she is because of immigration.
Immigration offers the best from every culture
We live in an age of multiculturalism. It is the doctrine preached from universities and dictated by lawmakers. Multiculturalism says that every culture is equal. It claims that no culture is in any way ‘better’ than another culture. This thinking says that you cannot criticize another culture. You also cannot learn anything better from another culture.
Part of America’s success is her original rejection of multiculturalism. Sometimes we might have been a little too proud of our culture, but we certainly didn’t view all cultures as equal. Because we realized that different cultures have different strengths, we were proud about our strengths. We also realized that other cultures can teach us. We were open to being taught. Immigration helped to bring different strengths to our shores. From pizza, to log cabins, to common law, immigration has provided America with good things from many different cultures.
Immigration offers the best to immigrants
When one of my great-grandfathers moved from Italy to Chicago, it may not seem like he made a positive move. Chicago, then and now, had some negative connotations, at least for new immigrants. Yet whatever temporary setbacks he experienced, my great-grandfather had left Italy behind. My family had a new start. We finally had the opportunity to advance based on hard work. We aren’t limited by class systems or caste. Immigration did not ‘give’ us anything, but it did ‘offer’ us opportunity.
Immigration offers the best for America
You cannot have a strong economy without an expanding population. America’s capitalist system has brilliantly outperformed any other economic system that the world has ever seen – even when it reveals some rather painful flaws. Much of that performance only happened because immigration provided the ‘fuel’ for the system.
Immigration brings talent to our country, allowing the best and the brightest an opportunity to advance. The class system is all about keeping people in their place. America has a different ideal. We want to give everyone an opportunity, and those who work hardest will advance. Many of America’s hardest workers – and most brilliant minds – were immigrants. They offered, and we accepted, their best.