Perhaps the most important fact about the immigration bill introduced
in the Senate is that its advocates are trying to rush it through to
passage before there is time for serious questions to be explored and
debated, so as to get serious answers.
Anyone who suggests that we
should compare welfare rates, crime rates, high school dropout rates
and drunk driving arrest rates among immigrants from different
countries, before we set immigration quotas, is likely to be stigmatized
as a bad person.
Above all, we need to look at immigration laws
in terms of how they affect the American people and the American culture
that gives us a prosperity that has long been among the highest in the
Americans, after all, are not a separate race but people
from many racial and ethnic backgrounds. Yet most Americans have a
higher standard of living than other people of the same racial or ethnic
background in their respective ancestral home countries. That is even
more true for black Americans than for white Americans.
whatever we have in this country that makes life here better than in the
countries from which most Americans originated is something worth
preserving. A hundred years ago, preserving the American way of life was
much easier than today, because most of the people who came here then
did so to become Americans, learn our language and adopt our way of