That this country is an amalgamation of immigrants is our greatest strength. This point is so important I want to repeat it for emphasis and clarity: Immigrants are what makes this country great.
Why, you may ask, is this so?
At the risk of stating the obvious, let’s start here: We are all immigrants. The only people on the north American continent who aren’t are the indigenous native American Indians. Everyone else came here from somewhere else, ergo they are immigrants. Unless you are First Nations, that means YOU. But the act of immigration isn’t the point here, what’s important is why they came.
People risk their lives and endure great hardship to come to America and make a better life for themselves and their families. They are, by definition, the most motivated and hardest working people from their countries – and they often choose give up everything, including their language, to come here. Part of the traditional American dream was this idea of a meritocracy, that the harder you worked and the more you contributed, the greater the rewards. These are the people that make things happen. They don’t come here to break the law – drawing negative attention to themselves is the last thing they want, because it means deportation and the end of everything they have worked for.
This all seems so obvious. Don’t we want the hardest working, smartest people to come here? Of course, there will always be a small percentage of criminals and religious extremists with intent to harm. But these people exist everywhere – you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
How about this: Try judging each person as an individual based on what they can do and who they are – not what color they are or where they came from.
They are us.