Letter: Immigration takes on new meaning today

Published 9:00 pm Sunday, November 12, 2017

Immigration — the word conjured up sentimental images of bundled up newcomers, arriving on our shores with little more than the clothes on their backs — poor in possessions, but rich in hope. These early immigrants were eager to work hard and tirelessly, ready to throw off the old country and embrace the freedom and independence of the American dream. They were our great-great-grandparents — the colonizers, founders, builders and entrepreneurs that braved the unknown to help build the greatest country in the history of the world. They were the personification of the American dream.

It is a heartwarming picture, but the reality of modern immigration policy presents a much starker vision and a bleak reality.

Today, the word immigration takes on an entirely different meaning and requires a very different response. Because of the massive immigration policy changes over 30 years ago, the face of immigration has changed. Instead of hardworking craftsmen eager to assimilate, immigrants are most often unskilled and uneducated, overwhelming our already burdened public health and education services. Instead of economic contributors, they are frequently financial drains. Instead of social contributors, they are often cultural isolationists. Instead of political assets, they are habitually political pawns. Instead of defenders of our country, they can be threats to our national security. It is the looting of the American dream.

Email newsletter signup

“A nation without borders is not a nation.” — Ronald Reagan

We must protect our borders and be more concerned about who we let in and how many.

Paul Westrum

Albert Lea