The American people, in every survey taken, say they prefer less immigration and tighter controls-and with good reason, given the economic, fiscal, social, and political problems caused by mass immigration. At the same time, we can be proud of the fact that we are at least xenophobic society in human history, making Americans out of people from every corner of the earth. This recognizes two parts of any approach to this issue: immigration policy and immigrant policy. The first governs the conditions we place on admission of newcomers, the second governs how we treat them once they’re here. Thus the answer: a meta-policy that combines low immigration and no-nonsense enforcement with an enthusiastic embrace of lawfully admitted newcomers. In other words, a pro-immigrant policy of low immigration-fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome.
Immigrant policy sounds a lot like Americanization policy to me. The practice of Americanization however has been attacked and immigrants, who before the 1960s were subject to Americanization programs, are instead encouraged to retain their country of origin’s cultural heritage and values. Such promotion widens the gap between immigrants and Americans and serves to undermine the values this nation was built on. Immigrant policy on the other hand serves to promote American culture and values in immigrants, thereby aligning immigrant’s culture and values with those of American’s.
However, I think that immigrant policy may violate personal liberty. If this is true, how then do immigrants integrate into American society and absorb its culture and values? Or should we ignore the issue of liberty for immigrants until after they have been Americanized and are citizens?