Econ­omy should not dic­tate im­mi­gra­tion laws

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Is it eas­ier to blame eco­nom­i­cally tough times on im­mi­grants that are dis­sim­i­lar? His­tor­i­cally, the an­swer is yes. Since 1798, im­mi­gra­tion laws have been di­vid­ing the land of the free.

First, the na­tivist move­ment ad­vo­cated against the im­mi­gra­tion of Catholics. When the anti-Catholi­cism move­ment didn’t amount to ac­tion, the na­tivist party adopted an anti-Chi­nese im­mi­gra­tion stance. The Chi­nese im­mi­grants were be­ing blamed for the de­pres­sion of the United States econ­omy in the 1870s and there was an idea that the Chi­nese were steal­ing jobs that weren’t theirs to take. The Chi­nese Ex­clu­sion Act of 1882 de­ported thou­sands of Chi­nese peo­ple, and the act was not re­pealed un­til 1943.

Dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion, hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple of Mex­i­can de­scent were ex­pelled from the coun­try, re­gard­less of their sta­tus as a United States cit­i­zen. Two decades later, Op­er­a­tion Wet­back was launched by the at­tor­ney gen­eral. This process de­ported more than 1 mil­lion per­sons of Mex­i­can de­scent, and again it did not mat­ter if they were ci­ti­zens or not be­cause they were not given their con­sti­tu­tional rights to a hear­ing.

Dur­ing th­ese anti-im­mi­gra­tion times, the re­stric­tions on im­mi­grants from west­ern and north­ern Euro­pean coun­tries were non-ex­is­tent. West­ern Hemi­sphere aliens were ex­empt from quo­tas most of the time, and were wel­comed gra­ciously be­cause they were as­sim­i­l­able.

For this elec­tion, I would like ev­ery­body to vote for a can­di­date that doesn’t look for a cul­tur­ally dis­sim­i­lar group for which to blame the coun­try’s problems. We do not need to re­peat­edly sub­ju­gate a whole group of peo­ple to solve a prob­lem that has never been solved by de­port­ing fel­low hu­man be­ings. Kathryn Marini, In­dian Head

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