Immigration Then And Immigration Now [Op-Ed]

“America is not, nor has it ever been, the world’s full-service homeless shelter.” – Michelle Malkin

Image Credit: / Public Domain

By William Haupt III [Tennessee Watchdog Journalist, Columnist, Author, and Citizen Legislator via The Center Square] –

The Mayflower was an English ship that transported English families referred to as “Pilgrims” from England to the New World in 1620. After a punishing 10-week voyage at sea, the Mayflower and its 100 plus passengers and a crew of 30 reached the shores of the New World. When they dropped their anchor near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in November, this marked the beginning of America.

Before disembarking the Mayflower, the Pilgrims wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact, which was an agreement that established a rudimentary government. It set the standard for an organized colonial society. Each member would contribute to the safety and welfare of their new settlement.

Thus began the first era of immigration, lasting until the American Revolution in 1775. They were mostly British, German, and Dutch. They assimilated into their society. They learned English, built communities, worked arduously and contributed to the economic growth and prosperity of America.

The second period was during the early 1900s created by the Industrial Revolution. Factories and mills needed workers and immigrants came here to work. So many landed in America during this period that it is called the “Great Wave.” People from all over the world came to catch their dreams.

“If you have an opportunity in this life, you need to appreciate every moment of it.” – Kanye West

The economy of the Industrial Revolution was growing so rapidly it was labeled the “Gilded Age” and low-skilled workers were highly employable. New mechanical devices and the assembly line were introduced that did away with the need for workers with specialized industrial skill-sets.

The U.S. Industrial Commission stated: “Machinery has opened a place for unskilled immigrants. Industry benefits from cheap labor and they learn a skill.” Many moved into management and all assimilated into American society. They helped to retool the American economy and its industries.

The next wave of immigrants came after WWII. There were many displaced persons in Europe. In 1948, Congress passed a Displaced Persons Act. It entitled 200,000 people to enter the U.S. up to 50% of future quotas. This brought another wave of migrants to America’s shores. Many had skills, others were professionals such as doctors and nurses. All of them gave something to America.

In 1953, the Refugee Relief Act defined “refugees” as people fleeing communism, and “expellees” forced out of Eastern Europe. This allowed 190,000 refugees to enter the U.S. before it expired in 1956. Again, entrants brought trades and skills that benefited our society along with our economy.

“America was not built on fear. It was built on courage, work and determination.” – Harry S. Truman

In 1965, LBJ eliminated “origin quotas” with the Hart-Celler Act, which increased immigration from Central America and brought an influx of unskilled workers. In 1980, Congress passed the Refugee Act claiming the U.S. had a historic duty to allow all persons subject to persecution to seek asylum in America. This resulted in criminals, terrorists and freeloaders flocking to our southern borders.

Supporters of today’s mass immigration claim we should not be concerned, because it is no worse than past waves of mass migration. But times have changed greatly in the last 200 years. Immigration is much more out of sync with our country’s safety, security and needs than before.

Modern technology requires skilled workers. Census data in 2020 shows only 16% of immigrants admitted to the U.S. were skilled or professional workers. During the Great Wave of the Industrial Revolution, immigration was a fiscal and an economic gain since industry needed unskilled labor.

“I’ve found there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.” – Albert Camus

Since the 1900s, over 30 million unskilled legal immigrants and an estimated 20 million unskilled illegal aliens from Central America have been admitted to the U.S. under the 1980 Asylum Act.

While they pick fruit, clean homes, cut grass, and work at labor jobs, they also over-crowded our emergency rooms, schools, and most are on state and federal aid and live in section 8 housing.

Today, the southern border is flooded with migrants claiming they want asylum. But our asylum laws were not created for illegal migrants from 3rd world countries to come to America and exploit our generosity. They were passed to assist people who were in legitimate danger from rogue nations.

Border Patrol agents used to arrest and send back illegal migrants sneaking across the border that lied about their age. Now they have to let them in. Commissioner Troy Miller said they’ve been told that, “If we can’t disprove a migrant’s age claim, we have to let them stay even if they are lying.”

The caravans of people marching through Mexico are encouraged by the political left. They tell them to tell border agents they are the parents of these illegal children so they can be reunited with them. And once they become a “questionable family,” they are then transplanted to states around America.

The number claiming to be 17 year-olds who are actually adults have doubled since Joe Biden became president. Today, 78% of those in custody who are seeking asylum say they are under 18. Border Patrol Commissioner Troy Miller told Congress, “There is just no way that we can continue this.”

Now that Biden has ended Title 42 restrictions, all hell is breaking loose at the southern border and border states like Texas, and nobody can control it. Biden conceded the looming migrant surge is “chaotic.” He claims he has discussed this with the president of Mexico, who has promised to help get it under control. But who is fooling whom? He doesn’t want this chaos there anymore than we do.

“I thought this was the most humane thing to do since so many are seeking asylum.” – Joe Biden

Songwriter Bob Dylan wrote, “there is no fool like an old fool.” With an election coming up and poll numbers in the tank, Biden is taking the coward’s way out. He claims he wants an “orderly” transition but refuses to support the GOP bill HB 382 that would do exactly that. Biden is buying time walking the political tightrope to appease independents without losing the progressive vote.

We need immigration policies that bring people to our nation who will benefit America. Since the 1980s, there has been an influx of doctors, nurses and other professionals migrating to the U.S. from India. These immigrants have filled the medical void in America. America accepts more skilled professional immigrants from India than any other nation. We must finish building the wall to keep freeloaders out and bring more professionals in. We need immigrants who will give to America, not take from America.

“The Democratic Party has gone out of its way to develop programs to attract Latino votes, sanctuary cities etc. literally, at the expense of African Americans.” – Horace Cooper

About the Author: William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13. His work also appears in The Center SquareThe Western JournalNeighbor NewspapersKPXJ 21 (Shreveport, LA)Killeen Daily HeraldAberdeen American NewsInsideNovaKankakee Daily JournalMonterey County WeeklyOlean Times HeraldThe Greeneville Sun and more. Follow William on Twitter @iii_haupt.

One thought on “Immigration Then And Immigration Now [Op-Ed]

  • May 26, 2023 at 2:20 am

    It was a terrific column…. right up until you had the quote from Kanye West. That killed for me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *