I stumbled on this site today, which has some pretty interesting statistics regarding illegal immigration.
Here's an interesting fact from the article:
For those who argue that current immigration is nothing more than a continuation
of our traditional admission of immigrants, the following will set the record
straight. At no time in our history has there been an influx of illegal
immigration like the country is experiencing today. The estimated 850,000 new
illegal immigrant arrivals each year is about as large as the highest level of
legal immigrant admissions in our history before the current mass immigration
was unleashed by the 1965 Immigration Act, i.e., an average of 880,000
admissions per year from 1901-10. When illegal admissions are added to current
legal admissions, today's immigration level jumps to about 1,750,000 peryear.
At no point has there ever been such a massive influx of people into this country. We like to fool ourselves into thinking that letting people in who want to be here is the right thing to do, but lets think about this for a minute. First off, yes we are always going to dislike whoever comes in new to the country, whether they be black, brown, red, white, green it doesn't matter, it's something I like to call, the "new guy effect". People don't like the new guy, when introduced to a previously existing group. Have you even been in that situation? I think we all have. You join a group and the older members dislike you for no real reason except the fact that that you are new and can potentially change the dynamic of the group. Well that's what happening here.
But how do you get over that? How do you effectively win over all the other members of the group? You join in! You become part of the group by taking similar attitudes and traits that the group holds in over-all high esteem. Previous influxes of immigrants did the same thing. Sure it takes time to assimilate, I think we all can accept that, but they still did it. Mainly because it was necessary in order to thrive in this country. Immigrants of mexican and south american descent aren't doing this. They are maintaining much of their cultural past, which in all reality is fine, but they are not assimilating to the majority language or culture.
And this I think is what people really have the most issue with. It is very frustrating for American's who have lived here their entire lives to have to accommodate people that are here illegally, in this way. How many times have you been on the phone and heard, "Press one for english or two for spanish"? Heck, sometimes it will tell you to press one for spanish! For those that have been here all their lives that's kind of insulting. And its a little thing like that which can build anger over time. Frankly I couldn't care less how someone got here, just as long as I can communicate with them. I believe that if we merely made english the main language of the country, illegal immigration would be far less of an issue. Part of the reason people can come here so easily is because there are thousands of places they can go where they can get away with not knowing a lick of english. If we were to close off that avenue I think we would do two things. 1) We would effectively force those that have no desire to assimilate to either stay and learn the language and culture or leave. If they can't communicate with anyone they won't be able to find work or basically do anything. 2) We will essentially weed out the dumb ones. One of the things that has been such an asset to us is this country's ability to attract exceptional people. Take Einstein, he could have gone anywhere but he chose the US.
I think part of the reason people don't assimilate is because it is extremely difficult. Have you ever tried to learn a new language or culture? It's damn hard! You have to be fairly intelligent to do it. The funny thing is that if you wanted to come here legally you HAVE to know english and even know more about the history and culture of America more than some of the natural-born citizens. It's not even up for debate. So why would we accommodate those that are here illegally. It just doesn't make sense.
You can make the argument that people are racist but I think its fairly flawed. Sure there are people that will hate someone simply because they are mexican or south american but honestly I think that's in reality a pretty small number. I think a lot of the issue has to do with the difficulties that exist when people can't communicate with each other. If we could solve that issue I think we would lay the whole immigration debate to rest.
If you want to come here, fine. But then I should be able to assume that you want to be apart of this country, not force us to be apart of the culture that you just left because it wasn't working out for you.