I argued last year on my shared blog that selling the right to immigrate would be the best approach to legal immigration. Among other benefits, the revenue from immigrants' payments could reduce taxes. Paying for the right to immigrate would also negate the argument that immigrants get a free ride when they gain health care and other benefits. Moreover, making immigrants pay would attract the type of immigrants who came much earlier in American history: young men and women who are reasonably skilled and want to make a long-term commitment to the United States.
After all, we are all immigrants to the future; none of us is a native in that land. Margaret Mead famously wrote about the profound changes wrought by the Second World War, 'All of us who grew up before the war are immigrants in time, immigrants from an earlier world, living in an age essentially different from anything we knew before.' Today we are again in the early stages of defining a new age. The very underpinnings of our society and institutions-from how we work to how we create value, govern, trade, learn, and innovate-are being profoundly reshaped by amplified individuals. We are indeed all migrating to a new land and should be looking at the new landscape emerging before us like immigrants: ready to learn a new language, a new way of doing things, anticipating new beginnings with a sense of excitement, if also with a bit of understandable trepidation.
I believe it is essential to have English as the official language of our National Government, for the English language is the tie that binds the millions of immigrants who come to America from divergent backgrounds. We should, and do, encourage immigrants to maintain and share their traditions, customs and religions, but the use of English is essential for immigrants and their children to participate fully in American society and achieve the American dream.
A range of studies shows there is no evidence immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans. In fact, first generation immigrants are predisposed to lower crime rates than native-born Americans. The two cities in this country most impacted by undocumented immigrants, you would think of the New York City with over 500,000 and Los Angeles, with a similar amount. Both those cities are among the safest in the free world.
In 2009, I edited, under the aegis of the Library of America, an anthology called 'Becoming Americans: Immigrants Tell Their Stories from Jamestown to Today.' It featured immigrants from different backgrounds, from black slaves like Phillis Wheatley to Yiddish-language speakers like Henry Roth.
Countries around the world have their own immigration laws and methods of dealing with a recurring theme: desperate people searching for peace from volatile parts of the world. And nations everywhere thrive and prosper from the contributions of immigrants and the children of immigrants - including right here in the U.S.
Legal immigrants play by the rules and come in under the law. They work, raise their families, pay taxes, and serve in the Armed Forces. ... Legal immigrants do not seek to cross the border, or overstay their visas. They come here the right way. ... And, by and large, they are here as the result of reunifying families...
For most of the world, there's no greater symbol of America than the Statue of Liberty. It has been an inspiration to generations of immigrants. One of these immigrants was a poet-writer named Ameen Rihani. Gazing at her lamp held high, he wondered whether her sister might be erected in the lands of his Arab forefathers. Here is how he put it: "When will you turn your face toward the East, oh Liberty?"
George W. Bush
In my view, immigrants today aren't any different from immigrants who have come to America throughout our nation's history. They bring new ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit and close family ties. They place a high value on education. And they are eager to achieve the American Dream. ... It's to our benefit to keep our doors open, and to keep enriching our economy and culture. I'd like to see America continue to do so.
Sixty percent of our immigrants are admitted merely because they have relatives here. Many of these people are not immediate relative, but are part of extended families. The nepotistic U.S. policy lets in relatives then lets in the relatives' relatives, and so on, creating an endless and ever growing chain of new immigrants.
Our new immigrants must be part of our one America. After all, they're revitalizing our cities, they're energizing our culture, they're building up our economy. We have a responsibility to make them welcome here, and they have a responsibility to enter the mainstream of American life. That means learning English and learning about our democratic system of government. There are now long waiting lines of immigrants that are trying to do just that. Therefore, our budget significantly expands our efforts to help them meet their responsibility. I hope you will support it.
William J. Clinton
In 1992, the federal Government actually issued more work authorizations to immigrants and temporary foreign workers than the net number of new jobs created by our economy. Something is fundamentally wrong when we have millions of American citizens and legal residents begging for jobs, and yet we are admitting thousands and thousands of immigrants a year with virtually no consideration to our employment needs or their employment skills.
We have to deal with reality. The reality is, we have a number a very high number of illegal immigrants in this country. They're meeting an important economic need. And we are a nation of laws, and we're a nation of immigrants. And if we're going to address the real threats, then we need to have a temporary worker program to allow our Border Patrol agents to focus on the criminals and the thugs and the terrorists and the traffickers and smugglers that are trying to come into this country illegally.
it was Greenspan who through some excessive deregulation prepared the monetary ground for the rise of the subprime mortgage companies: a lending market that specialises in high-risk mortgages and loans. 'Innovation', said Greenspan in April 2005, 'has brought about a multitude of new products, such as subprime loans and niche credit programs for immigrants'. It is almost touching to find out that Greenspan cares so much about immigrants.
In the budget I will present to you, we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former congresswoman Barbara Jordan. We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.
William J. Clinton
The story of undocumented immigrants in this country is not just about undocumented immigrants. It's about the country as a whole, and it's about us being able to tell the truth about where we are with this issue because we haven't been telling the truth about where we are with this issue.
Jose Antonio Vargas
Unfortunately, the greater consciousness among Whites about Black equality has not carried over to the new victims of racism - Muslims and Immigrants. There is no racial enlightenment for these groups, which are huge. Millions of Muslims and an equal number of immigrants, who whether legal or illegal, face discrimination both legally from the government and extra-legally from White Americans - and sometimes Black and Hispanic Americans. The Democratic Presidential candidates are avoiding these issues in order to cultivate support among White Americans.