Round 132 in the "Are Immigrants Destroying America?" debate is upon us, and politicians from both sides of the aisle are frantically sticking their wet fingers in the political winds to see what Americans want this time.
So, what are the immutable truths about the folks who walk, fly and swim to get here?
First, they create jobs, not destroy them. Immigrants from up and down the wealth scale have proved to be incredibly entrepreneurial. Many technologically savvy immigrants from Western Europe and India helped create thousands of jobs in Silicon Valley. One in six of these companies was started by immigrants.
Many of America's best scientists, economists and engineers are not originally from Kentucky or Florida or Maine. They are from Beijing, Moscow and Bangalore. This reality is because American kids can't do math and science, so Microsoft and Google have had to find these geniuses somewhere else.
Poorer immigrants have created thousands of restaurants, retail shops and other service-based companies. One visit to San Francisco, New York or Chicago will show you how many native-born Americans are earning a paycheck because of the incredible efforts immigrants have put into our quasi-capitalistic market.
Immigrants without money and business plans have filled jobs in meat packing, textiles, lawn care and restaurants that Americans simply won't take. Sadly, it is beneath the dignity of the average American to pick onions or cut fat off a pig 10 hours per day. Who is supposed to fill this gap?
Immigrants have also helped keep our rate of inflation down by supplying valuable labor in areas where shortages would otherwise exist. Imagine what the price of housing or restaurant meals would be if not for immigrant roofers and dishwashers with tremendous work ethics.
We can also thank immigrants for having lower crime rates, higher graduation rates and lower participation in the welfare state than native-born Americans. Routinely, immigrants from the Caribbean show up, look around and find opportunity where many native-born Americans look around and give up on the chance to advance over time.
If I were president of the United States, I would fly to New York and read the plaque on the Statue of Liberty. Then, I would go on television and announce to my fellow Americans that every one of us is a descendant of someone who originally was not from here. I might also mention that if we want to help India and China pass us up in the economic superpower game, the surest way of achieving that is to keep immigrants from those nations out.
I would also suggest that we are never going to win the war on terror if we do not let liberty-loving people from the Middle East come over here to find out why America is a nice place to live.
Finally, I would suggest that if we want to kick out the immigrants, we might want to look at our own history with respect to the first Americans, "real Americans." I seem to recall that when we showed up from Europe -- as immigrants -- we took away their property, forced them to move to less desirable places and killed many of those who resisted.
Perhaps then the best immigration policy of all would be for everyone who is not an American Indian -- also known in politically correct terms as a Native American -- to leave at once.