Tuesday, April 04, 2006

No Pre-fab Americans?

Some truth about the nature of the experience of immigration from Arlen Specter:
His father fled anti-Semitism in Russia and arrived in this country when he was 18. After the war, he settled in the Midwest, where he sold cantaloupes from the back of a car and ran a scrap yard.

Mr. Specter said his parents' struggles and successes had profoundly influenced his thinking in shepherding immigration legislation through the Judiciary Committee.

"You talk about America being a nation of immigrants," he said, "well, my two best friends were immigrants, my mother and my father. I saw how they struggled. They struggled with the language. They struggled with anti-Semitism. They struggled to make a living. It was tough. You knew you were different.

"So I have a lot of simpatico for the individuals who are immigrants. I have even more of an understanding of what immigrants have done for the country."
Integration is, and always has been, a process. The immigrant will not fit in upon arrival. Indeed, the differences between the immigrant and born Americans do not disappear, but thin out -- only if both are willing to encounter the other.

[ETA] If immigrants made America, than immigrants (illegals) are remaking New Orleans again.
New Orleans was unprepared for the large numbers of Latinos moving in. Few New Orleans residents speak Spanish. Money-wiring businesses are scarce.
The Latin character of the city may be changing from French to Latin American, but New Orleans and the entire Louisiana Territory was briefly part of Spain in the late 18th century.

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