Monday, December 29, 2008

Should Immigrants be Encouraged to Assimilate?

A new report by the federal Task Force on New Americans calls for increased and stronger assimilation efforts due to the rapid growth of the immigrant population. Increased population diversity makes Americanization efforts much more difficult.

This month the task force delivered a 67-page report, "Building an Americanization Movement for the 21st Century," with recommendations to President Bush. The report says that it is essential for the U.S. to begin on a renewed "Americanization" movement in order to “preserve social unity.”

The report addresses the concerns of immigrant marginalization and the creation of fragmented enclaves, or segregated communities, which would lead to social tension and would undermine the “very fabric of values and principles that unite all Americans."

According to an article yesterday in The San Bernadino Sun, the task force believes that immigrants do “generally assimilate in the United States” but they need more help.

Alfonso Aguilar, chief of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Office of Citizenship. "But trends show government can do more to help newcomers learn English, learn about America and promote integration across our nation."

Recommendations include:

Enhanced English language education for immigrant adults, including a focus on electronic learning and distance learning.

The report also wants the federal government to work more closely “with the private sector and community-based organizations to promote language and civics programs.”

Efforts need to be made to incorporate immigrants into American political and civic life.

Some Population Facts (gathered from The San Bernadino Sun and negative Population

There are 305 million people in the U.S. and we are growing my 3 million people a year.

By 2050, the foreign-born population is projected to reach 19 percent.

Recent arrivals are coming largely from Latin America and Asia.

Immigrants are locating in the “South, West and other places without long-standing immigrant traditions.”

Open border advocates disagree with the report and claim that America will “never become Balkanized,” or that Barack Obama’s multi-ethnic background “is an impressive example of how far this country has evolved as a culturally and ethnically diverse society.”

Armando Navarro, an ethnic-studies professor at UC Riverside views the demographic transformation as a positive, and believes that Americans are already multicultural in their lifestyle because they “go to an Italian restaurant one week and a Mexican restaurant the next.”

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), is concerned and is calling for cooperation on the issue:

"If we are going to successfully bring this huge cohort of immigrants into the mainstream, it has to be a cooperative effort on both sides. One of the things we've seen for a long time is the assimilation process is hindered by continuing high levels of immigration."

According to the November 2008 report by FAIR, a post election poll conducted by Zogby International found that “an overwhelming majority of the electorate opposes amnesty.”

The polls shows that only 32% of Obama voters supported amnesty, and 60% of all voters want strong border and worksite enforcement.

57% of all voters said that amnesty would further harm the interests of American workers and strain public resources.


  1. Should immigrants be encouraged to assimilate?

    I guess that depends on which America someone comes from and what they'd like America to be.

    To me, America is still the MELTING pot.

    And that means common language and other things.

    I've had enough hyphenated Americans to last several lifetimes.

    Especially those, and yes I do include African-Americans, but others who put their country of ancestry ahead of their country of residence.

    Of course, people gather based on similarities. Especially when they are new to a place.

    But if someone's going to be an American, then, be an American.

    Not hyphenated, not resentful of what America is not, but thankful for what it is and what freedoms and opportunities it offers.


    And Happy New Year.

  2. I think this is about 30 years late. What made America great was the fact that because people wanted to come; because they saw America as a better place than where they were, they were eager to become Americans in the cultural/social sense.

    That doesn't mean abandoning their heritage, but it means subjugating their native culture to the American culture that drew them here from their native land.

    We have become so dull about such things, either forgetting what made us a great nation, or stupidly abandoning it in favor of this mindless concept that everyone should do whatever they want, without regard for the broader cultural implications of that.

    Not looking down the road to see the possible consequences of their "heat of the moment" ideology is the defining characteristic of American liberals.

    By definition a culture will cease to exist to the extent it becomes so broad that there are no identifiable characteristics.

    That's where we are headed, and we are a good way down the path.

  3. James I love this quote from you and may just have to use it!

    " By definition a culture will cease to exist to the extent it becomes so broad that there are no identifiable characteristics."


  4. Assimilation is not the destruction of ethnic culture. Greek, Italian, Jewish, German, etc... Immigrants have all retained their culture, their religion, even their languages. What they have done is add their spice of flavor to the pot that is the American Stew.

    It is time for the new immigrants to do the same or leave.

  5. Great post Barb. The above comments are spot on. I especially agree with Finalis "Greek, Italian, Jewish, German, etc... Immigrants have all retained their culture, their religion, even their languages. What they have done is add their spice of flavor to the pot that is the American Stew." But I'll add the Irish to the mix:-)

  6. Terrific article and great comments. English should be the official language of America. No more "For English press one". If new immigrants will not assimilate willingly, then they must be forced by circumstances to assimilate. No more special treatment for Latinos. Immigrating Muslims must swear allegiance to the laws and to the Constitution of the United States: they cannot have it both ways anymore. Sharia law is not welcome here; it is in direct conflict with the principles of freedom and liberty upon which this country has been founded.
    We must begin to think of preserving our nation; the concerns of immigrants must come second to this primary mission. If America ceases to become America we all lose, the whole world will lose.
    Contrary to the delusional leftist muticulturalists, America has a unique American character, Americans have a unique character. To allow this unique merican character to be subsumed into some homogenous hyphenated hodge-podge will be our downfall. Somehow, before it really is too late, we must reach back into our common heritage and re-discover what it means to be an American. The very concept of Americanism is under attack. We must fight back, and we must fight back now, or we will lose this war for the soul of America.

  7. I agree with Roger's comment. I believe all legal immigrants who wish to stay here should want to assimilate. That doesn't mean losing all connection with your homeland, but it does mean that you want the best for America, are willing to become a part of America and work for the good of America first, before attempting to achieve for your own ethnic group.

    I do not support amnesty - in any form.

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