“We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to American, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” George Will said on Fox News Sunday regarding the influx of illegal immigrant children to our border.
I tend to agree.
“We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county,” he said of the estimated 57,000 illegals cross the border. “The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”
Will goes on to point out that America has absorbed far more immigrants from troubled nations in years gone by. I’m a descendent of some of those immigrants who came to America in the 19th century during the Norwegian diaspora. I have a hard time denying to a new generation the opportunity to thrive in America that my ancestors were afforded.
Which isn’t to say that those concerned about border security are all wrong. The federal government leaving a vacuum in immigration enforcement is problematic from the standpoint of the rule of law. Also, modern America has an expansive entitlement state which simply didn’t exist during previous waves of immigration. We run the real risk of overloading our social programs to the point where our economy is bogged down to the detriment of all.
But by and large I think those issues can be fixed not by locking down our borders but by shrinking entitlements, and encouraging more legal immigration.
I worry that the harsh stance conservatives are taking on illegal immigration are going to have them sharing a chapter in history with the Know Nothings.