Open, unrestricted immigration (with appropriate medical and criminal screenings as done on Ellis Island in the late 19th Century) poses no threat to the U.S. Rather, open immigration is the means for renewing the American sense of life and injecting “new blood” into the nation. People who come here, come here for the freedom; thus, they usually wind up being more patriotic and harder working than many of those who were born here.

An example and an inspiration for all Americans.

For those fearing immigrants come here for the welfare loot, please consider the following:

LPRs [Legal Permanent Residents] entering after Aug. 22, 1996 are not eligible for food stamps or SSI [Social Security]. However, they can apply for Medicaid and TANF [Temporary Aid to Needy Families] benefits five years after entering the country legally … [emphasis added] (Sources: Richardson and Wassem 2002, National Conference of State Legislators).

Those entering the country illegally, of course, have not even that recourse. Consider, too, how few immigrants actually wind up pursuing the welfare loot:

In 1994, 7.1 percent of households headed by a foreign-born person received AFDC cash assistance (later incorporated into TANF) and 12.6 percent received food stamps; in 1999, 3.2 percent received TANF cash assistance and 6.7 percent received food stamps. [emphasis added] (Fix and Passel 2002; Fremstad 2002).

Far less than the national average among Americans born here.

For those who fear that a spike in the population would crowd the nation, please consider the following figures and facts:

REGION LAND AREA
(in sq. km)
POPULATION DENSITY
(pop per sq. km)
US 9,161,923 295,734,134 32
France 545,630 60,656,178 111
Connecticut 12,549 3,593,604 286
1/2 world’s pop in US 9,161,923 3,300,000,000 360
England 130,346 50,093,800 384
Netherlands 41,526 16,407,491 395
New Jersey 19,215 8,698,879 453
World’s pop in US 9,161,923 6,600,000,000 655
Staten Island 167 457,383 2,739
1/2 world’s pop in CA 403,970 3,300,000,000 7,426
Queens, NY 293 2,220,000 7,577
World’s pop in TX 678,357 6,600,000,000 8,845
Hong Kong Island 77 1,407,600 18,280

18a. America-Open Up That Golden Gate Aside from the numbers cited above, conservative intellectual, Thomas Sowell, in his scholarly and well researched book, Ethnic America: A History, deals in detail about the historical facts of immigrant acculturation, the summation of which is that, no matter the nationality or ethnic group, by the second generation the children of immigrants have completely acculturated themselves to American society.  That is the legacy—and the reality—of the American melting pot.

With regard to “national security” and loyalty to the United States, Americans should recall that many Mexicans who fought along side the “Texicans” to free themselves from the despotic, Santa Anna led Mexican government later, as new American immigrants, fought for the United States in the Mexican War. As did immigrants from Latin America & the Caribbean who fought for America in the Spanish-American War and later, as American citizens, fought in WWII (recall the 65th Infantry—the Borinqueneers (below)—for example?).

Borinqueneers

Then there were the German and Japanese immigrants who defended America during WWI and II (recall the Fighting 442nd (below), for example? The most decorated American combat unit everachieving that distinction while their wives, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, sweethearts and friends languished in FDR’s prison camps.)

442nd

Russians, Koreans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Cubans, Africans, Indians—the list goes on—who, having immigrated to the States, risked their lives for America during the Cold War; Chinese immigrants who today help protect America from the threat posed by Red China; and, finally, Arabs who now work in the Pentagon and in the intelligence services to defend the nation against the threat of attacks from Mideast nations and their terrorist proxy.

The plain truth is that immigrants, seeking freedom from their own country by coming to ours, have never supported the “annexing” of parts of America to the nation from which they just fled. Indeed, as history reveals, time and time again, America’s immigrants have fiercely fought for this land of their new found freedom.

Immigrants are and have always been the engine of renewal for America—the first, in many, many cases, to enrich her by creating new wealth; the first to happily bless her for the freedom they found here; the first to stand up in the classroom and on the battlefield to defend her; and, except in rare cases, the last to blaspheme or betray her.

Efforts by the descendents of immigrants—both Democrat & Republican—to make “illegals” out of those who, seeking freedom, come here to live and to work is reprehensible, xenophobic and just plain stupid. Our leaders and most Americans should be reminded from time-to-time that we are not only a nation of immigrants, but also a nation that has historically had open immigration (up until the first third of the 20th Century) and that has benefited more than any other nation in history from that open immigration policy, as our prosperity demonstrates and as the following (very short) list of American immigrants proves:

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Alexander Graham Bell
  3. Alex Trebek
  4. Andrew Carnegie
  5. Andre Previn
  6. Andy Garcia
  7. Angela Lansbury
  8. Anheuser Busch
  9. Ann Margaret
  10. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  11. Arthur Rubinstein
  12. Ayn Rand
  13. Bela Karolyi
  14. Bob Hope
  15. Billy Wilder
  16. Carlos Santana
  17. Claudette Colbert
  18. Edward G. Robinson
  19. Elizabeth Taylor
  20. Frank Capra
  21. Elia Kazan
  22. Gloria Estefan
  23. Hakeem Olajuwon
  24. Hyman G. Rickover
  25. I.M. Pei
  26. Irving Berlin
  27. Isaac Stern
  28. John Jacob Astor
  29. John Secada
  30. Knute Rockne
  31. Liz Claiborne
  32. Mario Andretti
  33. Martina Navratilova
  34. Mikhail Baryshnikov
  35. Michael J. Fox
  36. Oscar de la Renta
  37. Placido Domingo
  38. Patrick Ewing
  39. Ricardo Montalban
  40. Sidney Poitier
  41. Sammy Sosa
  42. The Von Trapp Family
  43. Wayne Gretzky
  44. Wayne Wang
  45. William Shatner
  46. Xavier Cugat
  47. Yo-Yo Ma
  48. Zubin Mehta

None of this touches upon the most important fact of all: Immigrants possess the same inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as do all Americans, including those Americans who offer them jobs.  America is not a club, with the State its spokesman.  America is the land of individualism, liberty and of property rights—not some Marxist collective of communal  lands overseen by a socialist, public tyranny that is driven by NIMBY arrogance and lynch mob paranoia.

Open immigration will do America a great deal of good. Becoming xenophobic, though, will not, either economically or in terms of security. Indeed, if history is any guide, it will do a whole lot of harm.

My thanks to Dr. Harry Binswanger, Ph.D. for providing me the data sources on his HBL. However, Dr. Binswanger has not read and is not responsible for the contents of this article.