I have heard conservative radio talk-show callers express indignation at immigrants who don’t “become American citizens,” as if it showed ill-will on the part of the immigrants, or lack of love for America.
These calls demonstrate a basic lack of understanding of our immigration laws. First, you have to become a legal immigrant (get the famous “green card”). Most foreigners cannot qualify for this in any way. The doors to this country are not wide open. (See below.) For those who are allowed to apply, it takes time and patience, unusually so, because the Immigration and Naturalization Service is one of the worst, least responsive of Federal bureaucracies. Then, once you are legal, you have to wait four to seven years to apply for citizenship. This arduous process leaves little room for ill-will. It’s exhausting and discouraging.
I have also heard many indignant liberals (liberals are almost constantly indignant or “appalled”) make statements implying that American immigration laws discriminate on the basis of race. They do, but not the way liberals think. In fact, it’s extraordinarily difficult for a European (most European are “white” in American classification) to emigrate to this country. There are reasons I don’t want to go into here though I will on demand. The numbers show unambiguously that people from Latin America or Asia are admitted legally in several times the numbers of Europeans. Of course, federal legislation considers almost all Latin Americans and all Asians in this country as “protected minorities.” This means that they deserve special treatment because they were historically oppressed by reason of their race.
Don’t blame me or conservatives in general for the stupidity of the relevant federal laws. They are entirely the handiwork of liberal opinion. Be it as it may, here is the summary: If you are “brown” or “yellow” your chances of coming here legally are slim. If you are “white,” your chances are practically nil.
If you find all this had to believe, please take a little trip to the Statistical Abstract of the United States. It’s readily available on-line and easy to read.
Much of our political debate in this country is wasted because people are ill-informed of the issues about which they feel strongly. There is no excuse for this situation. Obtaining info used to be arduous; it used to require specialized skills. Not anymore.
[Editor's note: this essay first appeared on Dr. Delacroix's blog, Facts Matter, on April 29th 2010]