Migrants from Europe arriving at Ellis Island, New York, more than a century ago.
America is nothing if not a nation of immigrants. They are out lifeblood, our essential energy. We have a perfect right, nay an obligation to secure our border. However we have an equal and opposite obligation to keep our country open for needed immigrants, as does Canada; just as much as for our engineering enterprises and Silicon Valleys as for our agriculture and construction. Every new wave of immigrants has been initially reviled, then accepted, and then admired. Hereafter follows, for example, a fascinating list of some of the Jews (by birth to a Jewish mother*) who ended up in America, primarily as first or second generation immigrants. They were at first the "kikes", the great unwashed, whose immigration we limited at the time; then when refugee boats arrived from Nazi Germany, we banned them from our shores. Most were sent back to Germany to almost certain death. Yet is not America today enriched beyond compare by all our diverse immigrants?
Immigration is a burning quandary in today's politics. Any reasonable moderate would agree that securing borders and increasing legal immigration is advantageous to America. They would also agree that protecting jobs and providing an ethical resolution for long-term law-abiding tax-paying yet "illegal" immigrant families is long overdue. Yet extremism and political correctness ensures the left rails against secure borders while the right fights against integrating viable yet undocumented immigrant families. So nothing is done and all suffer who are connected with this insanity. Extremists call the shots while millions in and out of America are disenfranchised from the vast potential waiting for them - all to the detriment of our country.
Mexicans, Koreans and Indians all need a sensible American policy of immigration, not the irrational confusion we currently have. It should be based on our needs, on clear advantages for America, and not arbitrary family lineage, political circumstance or luck!
*Note: By Jewish law, all born to Jewish mothers are automatically considered of Jewish descent.
The following video was created by people who have a hate and distrust for those who are simply different. It "outs" unambiguously the endemic hate and prejudice, historic canards and caricatures, lies and half-truths, that was openly prevalent in the early 20th century and still persists today; prejudices that will likely increase if resolution and balance do not evolve in our fractured immigration policy. Continuing to do nothing is not going to help the problem disappear. So borders largely remain open; hardworking, honest, yet "illegal" immigrant families of 10 and 20 years remain excluded from viable options and eventual paths to citizenship; essential farmworkers, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, are largely excluded from successful emigration. I include these two absurd youtube videos below.
Leslie Sacks is an art dealer and gallerist in Los Angeles. Before that, he founded and operated Les Art International in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was active in opposing apartheid and in supporting the Johannesburg Jewish community.
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