Yesterday the President of the United States (an office held by Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Dwight Eisenhower among other highly esteemed men) allegedly demanded to know, “why he should accept immigrants from shithole countries.”
Put aside (for one second) POTUS’ openly articulated bigotry, and one should be able to identify a long held American conservative narrative regarding immigration — low skilled workers, who arrive through family connections from developing nations, provide little value to America.
This line of reasoning is misguided at best and misinformed at worst. For as long as immigrants have immigrated to American, they have contributed to improving the social cohesion in communities and the economic conditions of our nation. Simply put, immigrants migrating from shithole countries take shithole jobs and eventually improve shithole communities.
For starters, it’s not lost on most Americans that immigrants do the jobs natives won’t. Whether it’s culinary work, restaurant service gigs, agriculture labor, or even low skill office jobs immigrants, mostly low skilled and undocumented, make up the bulk of this work.
Why does this matter?
In his defense of the Commander in Chief, former Georgia representative Jack Kingston noted 60% of immigrants enter America as ‘low skilled’ . What was lost on the former Congressman was most of these fill jobs that are the lifeline of the American economy. Because the reality is when immigrants take up low skilled jobs they fill an important part of our consumer driven economy (roughly 70% of the US’ economy relies on individual expenditures on every day goods).
Additionally, it also behooves any immigration advocate (and any pro-facts individual) to debunk the myth that America’s lottery system, where family members of those in this country, is a financial drag. When it’s fact the reality is quite the opposite. When immigrants arrive in families, or close-knit groups, they are more likely to start not only a small business, but a successful small business that creates jobs for non-family members in their new community. Further, when immigrants migrate with their families their offspring are 45% more likely to succeed as well as create their own business in the future. Moreover, when immigrants arrive in groups they eventually produce productive economic clusters.
More importantly, the ability of immigrants to cluster has a positive communal stamp on America. If it weren’t for immigrant’s areas such as Folsom, California, El Palo, Texas, Deerborn, Michigan, and the Queens borough of America (too name a few) would be destitute fledgling regions of America on federal life support. Instead, these communities are flourishing communities filled with strong culture, a vibrant community, solid public services for the elderly, quality public schools, and are fairly safe. (El Paso, Texas the area with one of the largest immigrant communities has been categorized by many as one of the safest cities in America.)
One should never ever discount the blatant racism behind the alleged statements made yesterday. It is, however, prudent to understand the immigration reform thesis that POTUS 45 loyalists will spin when trying to defend these remarks. Because suggesting that idea that our current system fails to deliver economic contributors is an outrageous comment on its own accord.
America needs more immigrants from shithole countries was originally published in Honest Wednesdays on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.