Why is Immigration necessary to our existence as a Nation

By Anita Botti on January 21, 2020

Americans, except for our native Indians, all came from somewhere else. 

Without the constant influx of immigrants that has been such an integral and vital part of our history, it is certain that we would never have become a great nation. 

Americans continue to argue against the need to accept foreign born migrants despite an overwhelming recent absorption with discovering our own immigrant roots, evidenced by the recent surge in various ancestry programs like “Ancestry.com” and “23 and Me DNA Ancestry”.  

Anti-immigrant sentiment has been part of our national fabric.

At one time or another, Germans, Irish, Italians, Jews, Eastern Europeans, Asians and Hispanics all have been targeted. Every new group of immigrants has faced rejection by those already here. Some, particularly those at the lower end of the economic ladder naturally feel that their tenuous hold on economic security is threatened by new-comers’ willing to work longer hours and for lower pay. Others fear that these recent arrivals will dilute American culture.

In the 19th and 20th century, the need for immigration was so apparent that it overrode this natural opposition.  Immigrants were badly needed to settle our vast lands and work the factories and mines that fueled our economy.  They were even called upon to serve in our military. Today, the need is less evident, but is still very real.  

The rate of U.S. population growth hasn’t been so low since WWI. Back then, nationalism, suspicion of foreigners and fantasies about their disloyalty to American values created a national outcry against immigration. Today, we are witnessing a reduced birth rate and an increasingly aging population. At the same time, our government imposes severe reductions in the number of immigrants, accelerating this trend. Anti-immigrant sentiment continues to worsen. Many now question even the need to admit those seeking to reunite with families in the U.S. or fleeing persecution, whether as refugees and asylees.

This trend has serious implications for the future growth of our economy and for the multicultural character of our nation.

Reduced immigration of young and vital workers has significantly reduced the availability of labor. They were needed to fill jobs and grow our economy.  Exclusion of immigrants will also reduce the pool of tax paying workers and contributors to the Social Security fund. As a consequence, this will reduce the government’s ability to support our growing elderly population.  

It may be a harsh truth for many Americans but immigration is a necessity if we wish to survive as a great nation. This was a reality that Germany has already recognized. They admitted some one million refugees to meet the needs caused by their rapidly declining workforce and aging population.   

We should put aside our prejudices and fears and promote immigration reform in order to meet this growing problem. It will be a test of our wisdom and trust in the past and the resilience and fortitude of our people to grow and prosper as a multicultural nation. 

 

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