In thinking about past waves of immigration into the United States of America, I recall well known lines from a Rolling Stones song:
You can't always get what you want, You can't always get what you want, You can't always get what you want, But if you try some times, you'll find, You get what you need.
Throughout the history of the republic, there has been a need for fresh people to push America into its next phase of development. When I say development, I mean not only industrial development but also develoment as a people. Often the immigrants encountered resistance to their entry to America. Often the immigrants brought their own conflicts and biases. As from the very first instance, it is on the soil of America where the new arrivals and previous occupants of the land (for better and worse) worked out the issues of integration (or not) and assimilation (or not). Part of the essence of the United States of America is making one country out of many different kinds of people. That is something illiberal, authoritarian, ethnicity based, democracy hating countries fail to do. Look where there is a history of internal mass violence, massacres, concentration camps, famines, multi-decade dictators, and one-party rule.
New immigrants have been the muscle behind all of the America's growth, all of the large endeavors: agriculture, industrialization, warfighting, science, politics, law, art. Upheaval and resolution of upheaval. The new people have always been there as deep in it as anyone else. The United States, if it would follow the better path, should be looking toward its next era of growth: where the next new states will be, and how to bring in and integrate another population of people who seek to practice self-governance and enjoy freedoms protected by the Constitution. Instead of preparing for the 51st and 52nd states, the United States is gambling on self-destruction.
Making one big, beautiful country of people, equal under the law, has not been pretty or easy. Instead, the process has been associated with violence: warfare against the Native Americans, the Civil War, domestic terrorism and ethnic violence. Violence to the point of accepting the fact that there will not be peace without justice. Unless all persons are treated equally under the Constitution, there will be injustice and where there is injustice there will not be peace. If you can't accept that, find a way. Go back to school, see a psychiatrist, have a smoke. Do something to accept the surety of peace with justice as you accept the surety of heat with fire.
The waves of immigrants I speak of have come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and religions. Some were pilgrims seeking religious freedom, slaves forcibly brought to the New World to be kept as property in involuntary servitude. waves of European immigrants escapng poverty and rigid social structures, Asians in search of a wide open country with the opportunity to live more freely, and refugees escaping mass violence and slaughter. By 2019, people have come from all areas of the world to become Americans. Controlling law, which is fair and respects immigrant due process rights so hated by the Trump Administration is the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965. People from all corners of the world have been able to stand up and say, "I am an American and this is my home. E Pluribus Unum."
E Pluribus Unum
That motto, "E Pluribus Unum," what does it mean? It means:
Out of many, one.
Out of many (not just states, but diverse people comprising the states) we make one nation. If you can't accept that, find a way. Go back to school, see a psychiatrist, have a smoke. Do something to accept the strength and reality of diversity as you accept the strength and reality of gravity.
In God We Trust
That motto, "In God We Trust," what does it mean? It means:
In God We Trust: Americans recognize that our lives and liberties were given by the Creator, and we bear responsibility to respect and protect lives and liberties of all persons.
Let us focus on the current war against immigrants and a subset of immigrants who are refugees. Many refugees are Hispanics being unlawfully and arbitrarily detained in American concentration camps, undergoing family separation, and being allowed to die at the southern border. Other refugees are Cambodians and Vietnamese, who came to the USA decades ago in flight from mortally dangerous situations and mass violence. Some risked their lives for the USA during the war in Vietnam. Iraqi and Afghan refugees have also come to the USA, having also risked their lives in support of American efforts to defend nascent democratic governments. The current situation is unjust unlawful, unacceptable, inhuman, un-American. No nation will lead, nor may long exist, while creating or permitting such a disaster as on the southern border of the United States. Considering that the Creator has repeatedly blessed the USA with waves of new, young immigrants before historical periods of need, the current wave to the southern border is a Creator's blessing rejected. Future Americans, future great Americans, are being snuffed out and ripped away from our future as a nation. Expect consequenses.
Trump and MAGA rhetoric used to villify the targeted immigrants is almost completely based on lies. Lies based on racial prejudice. Lies based on cultural prejudice. Lies based on political corruption. The heart of Trump and MAGA fascist campaign boils down to a desire to reverse the demographic trend of the USA toward a majority-minority population where non-Hispanic whites are outnumbered by Hispanics and people of color. Even if immigration of non-Hispanic whites stopped today, the differences in birth rates will still cause the United States to become a majority-minority country. It is the future, and nothing less than extinction of humanity will stop the United States from a majority-minority future.
Many parts of the United States are suffering hardship due to declining populations. People there are getting older, birth rates are dropping, and the work force is shrinking. As in Japan and China, the situation is developing where there are quite a lot of elderly people and not enough young people to keep society robust and functional. More specifically, young people need to do various jobs, exercise the economy, pay taxes, and look after the older people. Trump has very wrongly said that the United States is full. That is totally wrong, and he would know it if he listened to experts who study American demographics.
In addition to government corruption and gang violence, global warming will pressure Central Americans to migrate Northward, to the USA and Canada. Europe is experiencing similar migratory effects caused by geopolitics and climate change. Argue ad nauseum, if you want, about whether climate change is real, whether fossil fuel usage causes it, and who must bear its social and financial burdens. No matter what, climate will cause vast numbers of people to migrate. Consider the disaster which will follow a refusal to humanely cope with the events to come. America can lead the way, surviving and indeed thriving, or become an example of catastrophe on a vast scale.
America, you can't always get what you want. But if you live by your basic principles, you'll get what you need: more Americans, as authentic as any other Americans throughout history. E pluribus Unum: deal with it!