The Melting Pot Brings Wealth, Power and more.
As so aptly described by many authors, those who leave their homes to search for new horizons are survivors: they face and overcome great challenges and adversity to create a better future for themselves and their families. And the melting pot of NYC has successfully given them the opportunity to pursue their life, liberty and happiness for many centuries.
Sanctuary cities, which have historically taken all immigrants from all countries has supported wealth creation, invention and human progress, have supported the 20th Century American model of the melting pot, a concept that is still relevant and applicable today as it applies to our current America immigration policies.
This is evident in multiple studies from 2017 and 2018 that suggest (some would say demonstrate) that ICE policies are destroying the USA’s sourcing for wealth, creativity and work ethic. Simply put, Sanctuary Cities and their suburbs and satellite communities not only pay more in taxes than the moneys they receive from the federal government, but they also have wealthier inhabitants than those in rural areas.
For example, New York City (NYC) is a sanctuary city made up of around 27.5% of workers born in foreign countries. These jobs include labor in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, aside from construction and other industries critical to our country’s well-being. The studies show that New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are all major immigrant destinations and economic powerhouses, yet their immigrant workers are constantly threatened and distracted by news about upcoming Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement actions.
As a child immigrant I observed other migrants, family and strangers who came to this country, and read the history of NYC as a cultural and economic melting pot that accepted migrants from around the world even when the other colonies excluded them, I am convinced that the US’s supremacy was built on immigrant hard work, creativeness and dedication. In fact, I observed that the original US immigration strategy allowed relatively free 2-was border crossings that allowed foreigners to cross into the USA, create wealth, and then go back home. Cutting that 2-way access forced people to stay in the USA until they “retired” since they could be unable to come back if they left without proper papers.
I propose that the 20th Century “Melting Pot” concept of immigration focused on the benefits of immigrants, and the fact that only hard-working immigrants would want to stay in our capitalistic system. Our 21st Century focus on “undocumented” migrants uses the same strategies of the failed war on drugs and the immigration failures of other countries that are still attempting to seal their borders. As the millennial Chinese civilization demonstrated, building the Great Wall took millennia and did not keep out people who would stop at nothing to reach their chosen destiny. It was and is far easier to simply absorb them into your customs and people. The false solution of using violence to deter migration doesn’t work when a person is terrified of returning “home”. Immigrants are survivors who face and overcome great challenges and adversity to leave a greater fear behind in order to create a better future for themselves and their families.
Instead, I also propose that the USA quickly focus on using the strengths of the survivors that come to our borders and not treat them as animals or inferior beings. Our media and some leaders may see them as weak and uneducated, yet they know enough to decide that they will build a new future in a place that requires hard work and initiative if they are to survive. And I will also point out that callous and cruel treatment of children and families undermines the US values and principles that we hold dear and takes away from our greatness and power.
The crucible of the Melting Pot offers the opportunity to purify and upgrade our precious human resources, present and future, and to generate ever greater wealth as long as we follow the rule of law and hold true to the values of the founders who understood that “we, the people of the United States” is every single one of us.
Sources (Worth Looking at):
Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, by Aviva Chomsky
Manuel Perez, New York State Democratic Committee Member representing Jackson Heights, Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Corona, home to many migrant families. Longtime Community and Democracy Activist in NYC and Venezuela. www.manuelny.com