Demerits of a “merit-based” immigration system

Why have so many immigrants come?

statue of liberty museum
the new Statue of liberty museum
The regime seemed focused on having a “merit-based” immigration system. The proposed plan would increase “skills-based” immigration in the U.S. from 12% to 57%.

Yet in touting employment and skills over relatives and diversity, this approach is harsher than the countries such as Canada touted as shining examples. Canada has more immigrants in the economic stream, but it also brings in more family members, and more folks on humanitarian grounds.

Check out Freedom Is Why Immigrants Come to America in AIER. “They did not find a perfect paradise or immediate acceptance in the United States. Native-born Americans whose ancestors had arrived in the United States much earlier often looked down upon [them].”

The “them” could be the Irish, the Germans, the Jews. “So why have so many come? The reason is that in America, far more than in most other lands in the past and in many cases even now, the political is separated from the economic, the government from the marketplace.”

Richard M. Ebeling writes: “If we could go back in a time machine fifty years or a hundred years, the same kinds of work had to be done in the various corners of the marketplace, only we’d see different faces from different parts of the world, speaking different languages, and practicing some other faiths.

“Where are those who did these jobs in those earlier times? They and certainly their children and grandchildren moved up the socio-economic ladder to other professions, occupations and businesses, just like earlier generations of immigrants had done before them.”

I often watch those genealogy shows such as Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates. Almost invariably, he discovers the guests’ ancestors were people who came to the United States with nothing. They created something.

They became those shop owners. Or workers who learned English slowly, but their kids picked it up right away and helped their parents translate. Formerly enslaved people who, once freed, managed to own property and even served in government.

The regime policy is not the American dream. Meanwhile, New York State’s small towns have a welcoming attitude to refugees.

The new Statue of Liberty museum opened on May 16. “The 26,000-square-foot museum on Liberty Island… is the new home for the statue’s original torch and other artifacts that had previously been in a smaller museum space inside the statue’s pedestal, which is accessible only to the fraction of the more than 4 million annual visitors who manage to get limited-availability statue entry tickets.”

There’s a market for that “give me your tired” narrative.

And, a purely pragmatic consideration: the U.S. birth rate is dropping. The country isn’t “full”. Not only do we need more immigrants for economic reasons, we become a better people.

S is for the Statue of Liberty

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

statue-of-libertyThe Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was dedicated on October 28, 1886, 130 years ago. It was “a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.”

Here are some fun facts:
Total overall height from the base of the pedestal foundation to the tip of the torch is 305 feet, 6 inches (93.1 m)
Height of the Statue from her heel to the top of her head is 111 feet, 6 inches (34 m)
The Statue has a 35-foot waistline (10.67 m)
Total weight of the Statue of Liberty is 225 tons, or 450,000 pounds (204116.567 kg)

The Statue of Liberty was “designed by sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi in collaboration with engineer Gustave Eiffel” – yes, THAT Eiffel. “Atop its pedestal (designed by American architect Richard Morris Hunt), the Statue” at the entrance to New York Harbor “has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States.”

The New Colossus is a poem written by Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) “in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level.” The most famous part is:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

I have never been to the Statue of Liberty, despite living within 200 miles of it almost all my life. Now I HAVE seen it, on a ferry going from Manhattan to Staten Island several times. But I understand that actually “visiting Liberty Island is one of the most rewarding experiences” one can have. The Daughter expressed a desire to visit there, the last time we were in New York City in 2013, but it didn’t work out.

Indeed, I wish I had gone last century. “For over a decade, the National Park Service has implemented a reservation system. This is very different from the way past generations once accessed the Statue of Liberty. The National Park Service strongly recommends making advanced ticket reservations.”

And I KNOW this to be true: “There are many aggressive, unauthorized ticket sellers who will try to sell tickets to the Statue of Liberty near Battery Park in NYC. These individuals will often try to scam people through misrepresentation and over-charging… Ferries provide transportation to both Liberty Island (site of the Statue of Liberty) and Ellis Island.”

I expect we’ll go there eventually.

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

July rambling #1: Equality Feels Like Oppression

Smokey Robinson, a Leader of ‘a Musical Revolution,’ to Receive Gershwin Prize

synonym rolls

Refugees Encounter a Foreign Word: Welcome

‘When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression’


Medicalization and its Discontents

Expats and accents

N.J. forces mom to pay son’s student loans: Murder ‘does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness’

Noel Neill, R.I.P.

Stephen Colbert Fondly Recall the Moment He Knew His Wife Was the One

Now I Know: The Friendliest of Fire and A (Stuart) Little Discovery and A Whale of a Discovery and A Run on the Runs

Stars and Stripes

Are we overdoing the Founding Fathers?

Three-part series of American Revolution-themed Sesame Street sketches from 1986/1987.

‘Is Lady Liberty a man?’: Fox worries France ‘pulled a fast one’ with transgender Statue of Liberty

Hanging Clothes

Trouble With Comics: Nationalism and the comics

How Justice Scalia’s Absence Has Affected the Supreme Court’s Decision

Racism In My Front Yard

The Negro Motorist Green Book and Black America’s Perpetual Search For A Home; Yes, I wrote about this here

Real Time with Bill Maher: How “Trickle Down” economics has never worked

Fun facts: Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. His father, John A. Chaffetz, was previously married to Katherine (Kitty) Dickson, and they had one son, John. Later, John Sr. married Jason’s mother, Margaret A. Wood. Kitty subsequently married Michael Dukakis (D-MA), the now-former governor. Jason worked on Michael Dukakis’ 1988 Presidential campaign.


The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy to Make Donald Trump Look Like a Bigot

Donald Trump is shattering taboos around race, causing alarm among those who track racial tension and galvanizing white supremacists

WHO ARE ALL THESE TRUMP SUPPORTERS? At the candidate’s rallies, a new understanding of America emerges.

The Theology of Donald Trump

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

How voters’ personal suffering overtook reason

Donald Trump and the Jews, explained

An old episode of Sesame Street featuring a Muppet named Ronald Grump who is proposing building a condo tower called Grump Tower. Throughout the show (0:00, 10:52, 21:27, 28:18 and 51:23). Plus ‘Sesame Street’ Parodied Donald Trump As A Garbage Grouch


Let’s Make America Great Again

Neil Sedaka – The Immigrant (re John Lennon)

30 Years- Roan Yellowthorne a/k/a Jackie McLean, who Remembers Her Childhood as Don McLean’s Daughter

US. Navy Band Sailors – “Jersey Boys” Medley (2014)

DakhaBrakha: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert


Ten iconic TV opening theme songs

Donny & Marie Do Steely Dan

Smokey Robinson, a Leader of ‘a Musical Revolution,’ to Receive Gershwin Prize

Animated interview with Bob Dylan, age 20

Paul Simon Talks Peace with His Holiness the Dalai Lama (2005)

The Spice Girls at 20: ‘Women weren’t allowed to be like that in public’


Thanks. Giving. (Refugees)

We make a mockery of the inscription of that beacon of hope, the Statue of Liberty.

syrian refugeesThere are three basic arguments against blocking Syrian refugees from entering the United States after the extensive screening already taking place:

1. It’s exactly what Daesh wants. That’s a rather persuasive argument against equating refugees with terrorists, for me. The identified Paris attackers were not refugees, and the Syrian passport conveniently found near one of the attack sites, was most likely a fake.

Daesh has been recruiting people that are already citizens in their target country. As my former TU blogging colleague Kevin Marshall notes: “Planting operatives among Syrian refugees that have to undergo vetting processes, scrutiny, and no resources for them once they reach their uncertain destination? Not only is that the opposite of their modus operandi, but it’s also a really dumb, convoluted plan with unnecessary obstacles. It’s like the Rube Goldberg Device of terrorist plots.”

Yet at least 30 governors say they want to close their states to Syrian refugees. Presidential candidates are talking about shutting down mosques (that would be D. Trump) and discriminating against refugees on the basis of religion. Members of Congress are threatening to cut off funding for refugee assistance while four million Syrian refugees are desperate to get away from a civil war not of their own making.

In other words, to quote the cliche from dozen years ago, “We’re letting the terrorists win.” Or as Robert Reich put it, channeling FDR, we’d be “fearing fear itself.” (Which FDR himself succumbed to with the Japanese internment, one of the most shameful acts in American history.)

2. It falls desperately short of the American ideal. To quote Andrew Cuomo, which I VERY seldom do: “We have to protect Americans and not lose our soul as America in the process.”
syrian refugees2
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

When we close our borders and stop letting in those that need our help to enter this country, we make a mockery of the inscription of that beacon of hope, the Statue of Liberty, and as Cuomo noted, “I say take down the Statue of Liberty because you’ve gone to a different place.”

And I get to agree with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) when he notes, about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggestion to favor Christian refugees from Syria over Muslims, “I don’t think any child, whether they are Christian or whether they are atheist or whether they are Buddhist, that we should make a distinction,” McCain said. “My belief is that all children are God’s children.”

Plus, resettlement in the U.S. is a long process as it is. The Refugee Admissions Program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within DHS conducts refugee interviews and determines individual eligibility for refugee status in the United States. John Oliver explains.

We should not respond with hysteria. Here are some things ordinary people can do to restore sanity.

3. It’s not the Christian thing to do:

Imagine a poor Middle Eastern couple, the woman very pregnant, with no place to stay. Recall how the child who would be born grows up to say, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Here are some other Bible verses about how to treat refugees. If we claim to be Christians and ignore this invocation, we might as well keep those creches in their storage boxes this Advent season.

When I posted the Resolution for Protection and Hospitality for Syrian Refugees from the Albany (NY) Presbytery on Facebook, I was told, “I think you’ve just glossed over just about everything that [a lengthy rationale from a third party] has said in favor of blind faith.” To which I replied, “I guess I’m just trying to literally respond to WWJD.” Check out Stephen Colbert’s response.
lawn ornaments
Or, in the words of The Thinking Atheist: “Why are we so quick to see the ugly…when we stand before the beautiful?”
Remember this Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving explanations from Anglophenia

Choose to be grateful. It will make you happier.

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