• A Mini-Lesson in US Immigration History

    June 11, 2019

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Other Ideas

    I am dying of stupidity reading progressive “takes” on immigration.

    Abolish ICE! Every country in the world that has the means to control its borders does so. The US is no different. Every country that can has rules about who it accepts and in what numbers. You, for example, cannot just pick up and move to Canada ’cause you wanna. The merit (points-based) systems progressive decry as fascism are used by “fascist” countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, across the EU, etc.
    But muh grandpa came to this country without on $1 in his pocket and no English and was welcomed!?!?!

    Our period of unfettered immigration into the US was brief, with any serious volume occurring from about 1870-1920 (Ellis Island opened in 1892, replacing the previous main processing facility in New York, Castle Clinton), and coincided with a huge demand for unskilled labor driven by industrialization, western expansion as we killed off the Native Americans and needed to fill their lands with farms, and the end of slavery coupled with efforts to not readily allow those freed slaves into the new economy. At the same time, horrible conditions in, serially, Ireland, eastern Europe, and Italy made waves of people available to immigrate into really horrid conditions waiting for them in the US.

    As for numbers, and the fear that the US is no longer “welcoming” immigrants, the numbers reveal the truth. The peak year for admission (adjusted for one-time special programs such as those in place post-Vietnam) of new immigrants was 1907, when approximately 1.3 million people entered the country legally. The number has hovered around a million a year for the past two decades. During the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s legal immigration was about half what it has been since. Illegal/undocumented immigration numbers have swelled dramatically since the 19th century as cheaper travel and rising prosperity across much of the world has made travel easier and more possible for many.

    We did not “welcome” your grandpa; we shunted him into slums and paid him as little as possible to work in dirty and dangerous jobs for us, all the while calling him kike, polack, greaseball, hynie, and the rest. No one cared about preserving immigrant culture; newcomers faced enormous pressure to abandon their native languages and learn English if they wanted better jobs. They could either isolate into ghettos or assimilate into the mainstream culture. The latter if they wanted to get ahead. Google how many Irish died digging the canals and building the levees around New Orleans. Read up on how immigrant children were worked in factories before you wail about “concentration camps” on the Mexican border that no longer feature sports programs.

    “Not who we are?” Bullshit, it is who we always have been.
    Those were unique historical circumstances and our (lack of) immigration laws in the period matched. The race-based restrictions which followed just happened to coincide with economic changes and eventually the Great Depression that required fewer unskilled workers. Racism played a part in deciding which immigrants to cut, but not in the decisions to cut immigration.

    In simple words: Most of what people believe about immigration is myth. Myth is a bad basis for policy. Immigration policy, like economic policy, defense policy, etc., is meant to help the nation. It is not a global charity (that’s refugee policy, a separate thing.) When immigration helped the nation, it was matched to our economic situation. The current immigration laws, which favor relatives of those already here regards of their skills and abilities, do not match America’s current economic need for highly skilled workers. We should adjust the laws to fit the current circumstances as we have done before.

    It is just too easy to forget history and apply 2019-think to what really happened. So please don’t.


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  • Recent Comments

    • J.L.Seagull said...


      ICE is not border enforcement though. That’s CBP. ICE didn’t exist until Bush created the asinine Department of Homeland Security, so abolishing it would be a return to the status quo.

      06/11/19 8:03 PM | Comment Link

    • J.L.Seagull said...


      For comparison, Japan, which has a strict immigration policy I’m more familiar with, treats all immigration cases through its Immigration Services Agency. It has no “Department of Homeland Security” and no Gestapo that runs around ignoring advice from local law enforcement, breaking into homes and separating families.

      06/11/19 8:32 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Prior to creation of the Dept of Homeland Security, the functions of ICE and CBP were still ongoing, divided among different agencies like the INS. “Abolish ICE” as a slogan is not about some status quo return of bureaucratic reorganiztion. Most using the cry to abolish ICE are calling for (more) open borders by reducing enforcement efforts.

      06/12/19 10:06 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      From a recent NYTimes articles it seems that an open door (barn door?) policy is clearly in effect with 90% of asylum seekers once admitted and awaiting approval do not appear at the required hearing. Is that possible or fake news?

      06/12/19 1:09 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      OK PVB, you’ve got me thinking of who the ideal immigrant seeking work or asylum might be. Right now I’m “blankin'” We need to get our present USA population down to 90 million and then we can start to figure out who could come aboard to our and their benefit.

      06/13/19 5:06 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      The Democratic plan to beat Trump? They’ll encourage tens of millions from all parts of the world to storm the US borders thus swamping the resources to stop them from entering the country. These immigrants will be given driver’s licenses, free health, car, life and fire insurance and be driven to the polls where they will have a special ballot waiting for them. At the poles they will be reminded that their status of permanent “guest” citizen with full driving and voting rights was made possible by Democrats not that ogre Trump who wanted them kept out and actually wanted to deport those already here who were undocumented. They are also entitled as guest citizens to answer the question of whether they are a citizen of the United States when someone knocks on the door of their sanctuary residence with: “I am now! thanks to the Democrats.”

      06/19/19 4:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Chuck Nasmith said...


      The Duopoly wants Trump or a Dem. for the 1% MIC. It is interesting that not to many concerned about the RQ4 deployed 5 days ago in secrecy. Demockracy. Keep on…. Nice deleted Nuke stuff. D & R’s pass Defence $. Pigs are gentle animals.

      06/20/19 9:19 PM | Comment Link

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