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American Borders Forum


The American Borders Forum will be accepting new material submissions from July 4, 2011 to August 1, 2011 for our relaunch of the forum on August 3, 2011. All subjects welcome.


History Of The Immigration Debate - Are Latinos The New Irish?: Left of Center View

Is Lady Gaga the new Madonna? Is crack the new opium? Seems like we are always trying to compare apples with oranges to try and understand the evolution of the banana. Of course there are similarities; you look hard enough you can find them in any comparison Ė Rush Limbaugh and Jon Stewart both wear ties! Reality however seldom allows itself to be so neatly compartmentalized.

The immigration process involves many experiences that are uniform, that it to say that they will be the same regardless of the time and location of the process. Heck to be fair you can find similarities between the immigration experience and going away to college, or even summer camp. There is a common thread in the process of leaving the familiar to enter into the unknown and reside there. Granted college and summer camps arenít as drastic but there is still the process of discovery in living in a new situation.

Before any comparison is should be pointed out that unlike the Irish, the term Latinos covers a much group of people from a variety of different nations. The Irish who came to America between 1820 and 1880 shared a culture and a country. They were European, but they sure as heck werenít English.

The one constant in the immigration process appears to be the motivation for it Ė the chance at a better life. The potato famine in the 1840ís may have pushed more Irish to immigrate to the U.S. but it was really more of a factor in their decision to leave that it was in their choice of destination. The same holds true today, with all of the unrest occurring in South America with Cartels becoming more powerful than governments it makes sense that people would try to find more secure and safe places to raise their families.

It should also be mentioned that while there is certainly a popular perception of the current immigration issues being associated with Latinos, there are just one of many groups. India, the Philippines and China also have a steady flow of emigrates to the U.S. Contemporary immigrants predominately settle in large metropolitan areas and in just seven states: California, New York, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Illinois, and then often in culturally specific communities, just as the Irish did in the mid 1800ís, and the Chinese did when they came into the country around the same time due to the California Gold Rush. Like the Irish, many Chinese immigrants also suffered because of prejudiced laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and the popular sentiment that they were to blame for the lack of well-paying jobs available for non-Asians in the 1870ís and 80ís. Sound familiar.

Thanks for listening,

Bill

Berkeley Bill - California | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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History Of The Immigration Debate - Are Latinos The New Irish?: Right of Center View

Let me start by saying that some of my ancestors were Irish and it is well known in our family how they were treated when they came to America. It wasnít nice, it wasnít right but there was a big difference between the immigration issue back then and now. My ancestors came here legally. They came through Ellis Island and went through all of the indignities that came with that. After coming here legally, they worked long hours for many years and after generations of hard work and saving they managed to build something to leave behind for future generations to remember them by.

I donít think that anyone other than the pointy sheet and swastika wearing bunch lumps all Latinos into the same category and thinks the world would be better off without them. There are no signs hanging on stores saying ďNo Latinos Need ApplyĒ unlike the businesses in the time of my immigrant forefathers that made it clear that they didnít want Irish people working for them. Hell, we have laws now that make that kind of stuff illegal. There might well be some parallels but people today, even the marginalized, donít know how much worse it could be and once was in this country.

Are there bigots with a special dislike for Latinos out there? Absolutely. There is no question that there are people that look no deeper than the color of someoneís skin before they make a judgment about their personality. Those people are idiots and nothing they have to say is worth listening to. They should not be confused with the people who have legitimate concerns about illegal immigration. Intelligent people who have issues with illegal immigration donít care where the illegal immigrant is from. We just know they arenít here legally and therefore should not be here. Thatís not racism, thatís being a law abiding citizen.

At the end of the day it shouldnít be an issue where an illegal immigrant is from. That just muddies the issue. The issue is that they broke the law to come here. They may be perfectly nice people but they are here unlawfully and they should not be allowed to stay. That applies to illegal immigrants from England every bit as much as illegal immigrants from Central and South America. Nobody with half a brain is suggesting that Latinos are somehow less than any other people. To compare the current immigration debate to the treatment of the Irish in the nineteenth century is ludicrous. Yes there are people out there that say some hateful things about Latinos, weíve established that theyíre morons, but you will not see storefronts with signs telling Latinos not to enter or attempt to apply for work. Thankfully our nation is better than that now.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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