We are a nation of immigrants. We came both willingly and unwillingly to this land to create something that had not existed before. We displaced the peoples who came as immigrants before us, taking their lands and their lives to build a nation based on the principle that men and women had certain inalienable rights given by God that no government should take away. (The irony of this statement is intentional.)
Today we are engaged in a great civil war where sometimes violent protesters condemn any effort to restrict the flow of new immigrants into the country. They use all the tools available to tell a story of the great unfairness this is to the class of people we call immigrant.
But who are these new immigrants and what do they offer in exchange for their acceptance?
Is it fair to the citizens and legal aliens already living in the nation to open up the flood gates to all who would seek life in the United States? Will it make life for those who are already living day to day or hand to mouth better by bringing in the great unwashed masses yearning to breathe free? That has always been the question. In the past the great agrarian South pressed the government for the importation of cheap labor from Africa to work as slaves, then the industrialists pressed the government for the importation of cheap labor like the Irish, the Poles, or the Italians to man the sweat shops and factories along the east coast. Then the Chinese to build the western railroads. More recently came the Jews to escape the persecution of the Fascists in Germany, Italy and Spain, but we balked at that and millions died.
So, at the end of the day how do we determine what is fair and who we need to be fair to? Is it fair an immigrant who has nothing can come to this country and displace an American who has little? That seems to be the question. On the one side, we have a group that seems unwilling to answer this question with conviction, on the other we have a group unwilling to understand the risk of not allowing refugees to seek asylum.
But those who are protesting for unlimited immigration rights, is it fair to those who will lose their jobs and perhaps their lives because you think it is unfair to the immigrant?