A Canadian Reader Warns Against Romanticizing Immigration
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04/14/07 - Another Reader Disagrees With Kevin Carter About Ron Paul

From: James Schipper

Re: Joe Guzzardi's Column: They Don't Want To Assimilate

Immigration is driven mainly by economics. The vast majority of Immigrants decide to emigrate, not because they were tired of their nationality, but because they are tired of being poor. This is as true for Mexicans today as it was for Europeans 100 years ago.

Since immigrants aren't tired of their first nationality, it isn't surprising that they aren't in a hurry to adopt the nationality of their new country. Enjoying the income of their new country while keeping the nationality of their old country is usually the preferred combination for immigrants.

Nationality should be compared to religion. Name me one immigrant group that abandoned its religion upon arrival in its new country to replace it with the main religion of their adopted country.

In 1840, fewer than 1 percent of the US was Catholic. Today, Catholics are over 20 percent of the American population. This dramatic change is entirely because of immigration.

Still, assimilation usually works over two or three generations. This is not so much due to a keen desire to embrace the nationality of the new country but the pressure of circumstances. It is frequent contact with natives that gradually erodes the nationality of the immigrants.

Don't forget that many immigrants first decide to emigrate and then think about which country they should go to. The final choice often depends on practical matters. I know a Venezuelan whose Italian father emigrated to Venezuela because he could get free passage on a ship to that country. My acquaintance came to Canada because he already had relatives living here.

The lesson is all this is not to romanticize immigration as so many are prone to do.

Schipper's previous letter to VDARE.COM is here.

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