Immigration

And that is why it is so sad, so disturbing and disheartening to witness our current administration and it’s inhumane, mean-spirited and hateful anti-immigration rhetoric and policies.

Our Democracy is under attack.

We have lived in America for forty years. Our children, our grandchildren are first and second generation Americans. And what was strange and uncomfortable for us, new immigrants, is now a norm. We see people from all over the world anywhere we go. At work, in the gym, in the store. Our kids have friends who’s parents came from India, China, Korea and many other countries. And this is America. And I like it this way. I love to go to different ethnic restaurants, food stores and learn about ethnic food. To me, to our family this is just great.

And that is why it is so sad, so disturbing and disheartening to witness our current administration and it’s inhumane, mean-spirited and hateful anti-immigration rhetoric and policies.

On south border
Families detained at the border.

It is damaging to our Democracy, American economy, American leadership in the world. Trump’s hateful words, short sited policies are poisoning our society, destabilizing American institutions and are tearing the country apart.

Immigration

Immigration, in my opinion, is the most troubling and the most important issue for our country. But especially crucial during the Trump administration. Starting with the undeniable fact that America is a country of immigrants. Here is a sample chart:

I will not go too deep into history because of constraints of time and space but below are a couple of US anti-immigration policies of the past. Here is a list of some people the US did not want in America:

Catholics

Chinese

Irish

Jews

Japanese

Now it is almost everybody except Europeans (maybe).

To be sure I am not advocating unrestricted entrance for everybody who is trying to come to America. We do need strong borders and customs. People need to be vetted in order to get permission.

Anti-immigration attitudes in America are as old as the country.

“By 1924, the United States had constructed a web of legislation that effectively barred any Asian immigration. It would stay in place until World War II, when the United States was shamed into dismantling the ban by its ally, China. Still, Trump and his advisers look to the time when the United States locked its doors to immigration as a golden era. No wonder his rhetoric sounds so familiar.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/10/31/trump-takes-us-back-to-the-darkest-days-of-american-xenophobia/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7b20ce34224a

The adverse effects of anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration.

World opinion about America as a “shining city on the hill”, a great friendly Democracy. It is changing. No more “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

Draconian anti -immigration policies destroying America from within. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric energized all sorts of hate groups. On the right and, as counter, on the left.

Extreme shortage of skilled labor.The skills gap is widening, unemployment in the U.S. is at its lowest rate since 2000, and nearly 60% of employers struggle to fill job vacancies within 12 weeks. But if you think it’s tough to find great talent now, new research from the Korn Ferry Institutesuggests that things are only going to get worse. https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2018/industries-biggest-talent-shortages-2030

Knowledge-intensive industries like financial services will be some of the hardest hit. These industries require a high volume of skilled workers—and as demand outpaces supply, competition for qualified candidates will soar. This is especially true in countries where unemployment is low, since employed workers have much less incentive to retrain, re-skill, or enter a new field.

Falling immigration causes companies to move abroad.Microsoft does not want to move jobs out of the United States but certain decisions out of Washington could potentially force its hands, the company’s President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, warned. From a report: The Trump Administration’s tough stance on immigration has attracted a lot of criticism from big technology firms, which rely heavily on skilled foreign workers from around the world. Smith previously spoke out against efforts to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — an Obama-era policy that provides legal protection for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Microsoft has advocated the protection of DACA and more broadly supported immigration as a way to make sure U.S. companies are hiring talented people. “We do worry about a couple of the very specific immigration questions that people appear to be debating in Washington,” Smith told CNBC’s Akiko Fujita in an interview on Wednesday. https://news.slashdot.org/story/18/07/12/1148231/microsoft-could-move-some-jobs-abroad-because-of-us-immigration-policies-top-exec-says

Competition for skilled employees will intensify. And the US was in a great position because people wanted to come here from all over the world to live and to work. And what do we do? The Trump administration is trying to discourage graduating students to remain here, and pushing away skilled people with it’s anti-immigration policies.

Because of concerns about high skilled people, some high tech companies are considering moving some of their operations abroad.

Farmers are suffering because of a shortage of farm workers.

A S maller number of low skilled workers come to the US creating labor shortages for farmers.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation projects $5 billion to $9 billion in annual produce-industry losses because of the labor shortages, which have become commonplace for farmers such as Torrey, who said there were 10 applicants for every job five years ago.” https://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/05/business/fewer-workers-cross-border-creating-us-farm-labor-shortage/

Foreign students . Since Trump became president foreign students are having difficulties staying and working in US due to more hurdles created by the Trump administration that is trying to encourage companies to hire Americans. The problem is that there is a severe shortage of qualified people to fill positions in knowledge-based sectors like finance, computer science, programming and engineering.

Smaller number of high skilled immigrants coming to US.

“Many talented foreign students come to the U.S. to study and hope to stay for work. But they are leaving the country in droves after earning their degrees, deploying their knowledge and skills outside of America. The U.S. immigration system does not retain this talent effectively, and recent decisions have made the system worse.” https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/408949-as-washington-ignores-high-skill-immigration-debate-us

“Following the Trump administration’s executive order last spring encouraging employers to “hire American,” the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has requested further information from a rising number of H-1B applicants, lengthening their time of uncertainty as they wait for word about whether they can stay and work in the U.S. This includes international students like Huang, the UVA grad hoping to start her new job. There is no data available to show if this is happening more frequently to international students than it was under the prior administration.” https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/07/10/599219792/u-s-degree-check-u-s-work-visa-still-a-challenge

So here is an interesting contradiction in current administration policies.

On the one hand it started a trade war with China trying to stop it from stealing intellectual property from the US.

On the other hand the Trump administration created hostile policies discouraging graduate students from staying and working here. So we are teaching the best and the brightest in American universities and than Trump kicks them out to go and work for our competitors like China.

Does it makes any sense?

I sincerely hope that this situation is a temporary setback, that our democracy is strong and resilient and will survive.

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Let’s be strong my friends.

This World Is Ours

The world is disintegrating around me.
Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.
And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.
And it shows, my friends can see it in me.
Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.
Eventually is not good enough.

I am going about daily business as if nothing changed, nothing is wrong.

But I feel uneasy.

The storm is coming and I feel empty and heavy at the same time.

The uncertainty, it creeps in my heart.

This anticipation, expectation of something,

Something awful.

Maybe it is just paranoia?

The world is disintegrating around me.

Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.

And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.

And it shows, my friends can see it in me.

Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.

Eventually is not good enough.

I think many now can feel this dark primal fear around.

Fear is the companion of hate.

Ignorance feeds fear and fear breeds hate.

Only we humans are capable of hate, blood thirsty hate toward our fellow humans.

Continue reading “This World Is Ours”

What makes us strong

I could see white, Asian, black, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, immigrants or children of immigrants from all over the world representing the United States of America

Inclusion
The microcosm of the World

I was watching the Olympic Games, following the American Team.

I think I understand why this team is the strongest, most successful team in the world. http://sports.yahoo.com/photos/olympics-olympians-of-mixed-heritage-slideshow/kyla-ross-photo-1344627096.html

DIVERSITY.

I could see white, Asian, black, Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, immigrants or children of immigrants from all over the world representing the United States of America

DIVERSITY made our country exceptional.

Not the Ku-Klux Klan, not the white supremacists, not hateful groups of any kinds.

America is exceptional despite all of these.

Beauty in diversity.
Strength and beauty in diversity.

America is exceptional because it is a microcosm of the world.

America is exceptional because it welcomes the best and the brightest, regardless of religion or skin color.

America is exceptional because people from all over the world come here to fulfill their dreams, and America welcomes them.

People do not come to America for guns and violence.

Immigrants come here for a free and peaceful life, they come here to live in a democracy.  They come to America to build lives for themselves and their children.

And I was watching these children, the Olympians, the pride and the future of this country.

They will build this country.  They will make sure that this society is free.

Guns did not build our freedom, hatred did not create our country, fear did not create our Constitution, money did not buy equal rights for all.

divided we fall
United we stand

We, the People, built and support this country, we the 99%.

Scientists and engineers, dreamers and artists, builders and teachers, all of us together.

Throughout the history of mankind there has always been a struggle between us and those who want to divide us for their benefit–divide and conquer.

But sooner or later, they fail.

Fanatics of all kinds.

And forces of greed and bigotry.

Humanity will survive the next crisis. And those whose only motivation is money and power.

They will fail–like those before them.

No matter what crisis awaits us, humanity will prevail.

What makes us human will prevail.

Humanity, the Olympians, will go on.

Warning: Don’t do unto me!

Thus, I was amazed to see a huge, crudely spray-painted message scrawled across the station entrance stating. “If you support immigration don’t be sorry when in the future you child will be a minority in America.”

A few weeks ago I biked past Evanston’s Central Street Metra Station. The Metra, Chicagoland’s suburban transit line, carries suburbanites to and from downtown Chicago.  In addition to serving more remote locations, it is considerably more plush and costly than the El.  Central Street Station is located in the northern section of Evanston, home of Northwestern University, and a city priding itself on its tolerance and diversity.

“Truth be told” (the credo of this author) North Evanston is not very diverse; the riders boarding the trains at this stop are pretty much lily-white.  However,  Evanston overall has significant African-American and Latino populations.  Though most of the city’s wards tend to be identifiable by skin color, the city’s schools are thoroughly integrated, and the city and much of its citizenry work to break down racial and cultural barriers. It is my belief that the vast majority of Evanstonians would self-identify themselves as progressive and liberal.  I, who lived and raised my kids a few blocks from that station, do.

Thus, I was amazed to see a huge, crudely spray-painted message scrawled across the station entrance stating. “If you support immigration don’t be sorry when in the future your child will be a minority in America.” The writer was not warning of increased social costs, lowering wages, unfair competition.  He (I will prejudicially assume the author was a male) was frantically warning the riders using this station that they could soon be a minority. That alone is terrifying and something to be feared.

Obviously, the scripter was pretty angry, and was familiar with his intended audience.  They were White, and they likely supported liberal immigration policies. They needed some educatin’.

Hide the Kiddies

 

This wasn’t just your typical racist writing hateful slogans on the back of stop signs or on bathroom walls.  No, this guy was performing a public service; this person was a Paul Revere, warning of dire consequences if we allowed more Latinos to live and work in the US.  I say Latinos, because I assume he was not warning of a great influx of Swedes or Canadians crossing our borders.

 I would really like to meet this guy.  I imagine that we might not get along too well, and our world views would be quite different, but I really would like to understand his fear.  I would love to have the opportunity to ask him the following questions:  (Note: my guesses  as to how he might answer are in parentheses.)

Are you afraid that the total number of European-Americans would be less than the combined population of all the people of color? (I think so)

Would it be okay if your group was  the largest minority in a country made up of minorities? (I think not)

Just curious, would you include Native-Americans as immigrants? (Maybe)

Do you think minorities get special treatment; you know stuff like affirmative action, free health care, welfare, food stamps? (Absolutely)

When minorities get special treatment, is that a burden on the majority; you know, us white people? (You betcha)

If minorities get good stuff, why would you not want your kid to be a minority? (Uh, could you repeat the question?)

People like our spray-painter tend to be anonymous; so, I probably won’t ever meet Paul Revere.  Regrettably, I shall remain uncertain as to his motivations. But if I were to guess, my graffiti friend, believes that his group, people descended from immigrants of different countries and cultures across Europe, are, by dint of chance, a majority in this country.  As a member of this majority, he and those of his group now maintain a superior position in our society.   That superior position insures his group makes the rules.  He implies being a minority is something to fear, so it follows that any rules made by him and people who think like him will be unfair to the minority. My conclusion : Paul just does not want what it is done to others to be done to him.

Mr. Revere, I read your warning, I thank you,  not for warning me of people taking risks and undergoing hardship to be my fellow citizens, but instead,  for warning me of people like you.

Addendum:  I was just informed by a friend and reader that our Paul Revere was nabbed by the Evanston Police Dept…. you might find it interesting tto read his explanation for his actions… my conclusion: bigots often don’t even know they are bigots..

http://triblocal.com/evanston/2011/11/07/evanston-man-charged-in-anti-immigration-graffiti-case-says-u-s-policy-spurred-tagging/

They are Taking our Jobs

In my opinion the most effective way to teach an idiot is to shove their head in their own crap.
Guess what – Americans are not standing in line to take jobs that Mexicans used to do. So, farmers are loosing crops.
In some states up to 40% of crops may be lost and the damage estimated in hundreds of millions of dollars. Not even counting higher produce prices,

Anti-immigrant sentiment in this country is at an all time high.

  • Illegals take our jobs!
  • They use our tax money.
  • Tough anti-immigrant laws are already adopted in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and are pending in several other states.

But (and I love this) there is a saying:  “Be careful what you wish for”.

In my opinion the most effective way to teach an idiot is to shove their head in their own crap.

Guess what – Americans are not standing in line to take jobs that Mexicans used to do.  So farmers are losing crops.  In some states up to 40% of crops may be lost and the damage is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars – not even counting higher produce prices.

Damn Mexicans!  Even after they left, they manage to harm us.  I think we should get those Mexicans and put them in jail for anti-American activities (sorry, unactivities) destroying our crops.  That would show them what we Americans are capable of!

I spoke to some business owners and all of them tell me the same story – they are having a hard time finding qualified people for their businesses.  By qualified they do not mean skills.  Owners are looking for workers willing to learn and to work hard.

Times are changing, my fellow, Exceptional Americans.  You either get skills and get a job and work hard or you go to the fields and pick crops.  But if you do not want to bend your back 12 hours a day and want cheap produce, you should shut up and let Mexicans do the job.