Friday, April 28, 2006

Who gave Miles Standish a green card?

Those who remain ignorant of history are condemned to repeat it.

The Truth about Immigrants: Xenophobia existed in early America

Picture this: a state within the U.S. has been receiving a large number of immigrants from a foreign country. The immigrant population becomes so great that the public school system institutes bilingual education in many areas. Over time, abetted by political events, this practice becomes controversial and a public backlash forms against bilingual education and the immigrants themselves. One disgruntled state legislator declares, "If these people are Americans, let them speak our language." Does this story describe California or Texas in the 1990s? No, it describes Nebraska in the early part of this century. The immigrants in question are German immigrants (Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life. New York: Harper Collins, 1990. ps.159-60). The history of the United States is a story of successive waves of immigration, each wave arriving from a different area on the globe. With each new influx of immigrants, the older population has balked, claiming that the new arrivals would cause harm to the nation. Chances are, what is said today about Hispanic immigrants was once said about your own ancestors.
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