Assimilation Through Immigration

I have often wondered what keeps really rabid, borderline barbaric sports fans of opposing teams from ripping each others’ heads off in confined areas. What keeps the obnoxious Giants fan from getting jumped at Cowboys Stadium after a New York road win? How can a Suns fan stay safe surrounded by a stadium of Spurs supporters?

I’m no sports psychologist, but the answer has something to do with the fact that each fan, regardless of affiliation, pays good money to get in the door. Each ticket provides legitimate rights to attend and to express allegiance to any team. Though ticket holders vary in whom they cheer for, they unite in their desire to experience the game.

Similar to property rights, groups of people are defined as much by who is excluded from them as by who is included in them. The more porous the membership criteria, generally the weaker the entity. High standards of entry promote an understanding that each member is pulling his or her own weight. Unity and assimilation result.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen three incidents that have heightened awareness of immigration and border security issues.

First, the Arizona legislation giving state and local law enforcement agencies permission to assist the federal government in executing federal immigration laws. Governments working together to maintain agreed upon standards (i.e., the law): Novel!

Is there a chance for local law enforcement to overreach? Yes, similar to the chance that already exists with federal agents.

Secondly, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s calling a woman “bigoted” for merely asking questions about illegal immigrants’ draining the resources of the British government. We have neighbors in our own community who have left their native U.K. over frustration with this very situation.

Thirdly, the Times Square attempted car bomber arrested Monday while trying to flee to Pakistan. I’m all for perceptive street vendors, but if we have to depend on savvy hot dog dealers to stymy terror attacks, we’re in trouble. We need a clearer understanding of those seeking citizenship, and we need to know which citizens attend terrorist training camps.

Securer borders make common sense. They remove suspicions by communicating to the whole that each part is doing its part; that all pay taxes to help cover the costs of the infrastructure and services they use; that all have entered through legitimate channels, thereby increasing the chances for assimilation into the history, customs, purposes and priorities of our nation.

A CBS / New York Times poll completed Sunday found that 78% of Americans believe that the United States could be doing more along its border to keep illegal immigrants out. Sixty percent said the Arizona law was about right or did not go far enough in securing the border.

Some activists are loudly boycotting Arizona because of the law. I will be watching for a quiet increase in Grand Canyon visitors in the coming months. I just may be one of them.


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