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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 15:18

Immigrants need to assimilate

Written by 

To the Editor:

A common sense response is necessary to the foolish arguments in a letter printed in a recent edition of The Smoky Mountain News. One could argue plausibly that being proficient in English prior to migrating to the United states may not always be possible, especially if the immigrant is from a brutal Marxist dictatorship; however, it is inarguable that obtaining that proficiency as soon as possible would be a substantial benefit to both the immigrant as well as U.S. citizens. Furthermore, it is also inarguable that newly arrived immigrants should be required to learn English since it is the language of our country.

As the letter writer well knew, no one fears immigrants who obey our immigration laws and work toward citizenship in order to adopt and accept American culture and traditions.

There is a most definite fear of massive, untraceable illegal immigrants who, especially along our southern border, are overwhelming our infrastructure and generous taxpayer funded social welfare programs.

Many of us who are paying higher and higher taxes are tired of these people taking advantage of our system. We are fed up. That was what was reflected in the election.

Undocumented people are the same as illegal. It’s not just a matter of semantics — illegal is illegal. Making it sound softer does not diminish the effect these people have on our economy. Maybe you are one of the 50 percent of the U.S. citizens that don’t pay a dime income tax. No skin in the game; it doesn’t touch you. But it certainly touches the other half of the population.

While your paternal grandparents assimilated, or tried to fit into the U.S. customs, and learned English, many now do not and will not. We have eased up on requiring immigrants (not through laws) to assimilate and look what it’s getting us: poor school performance from classrooms being forced to teach kids who don’t know English, overburdening our healthcare costs, overcrowding our jails, and so on. I suggest the letter writer do some research on the late writer Ted White. He was no conservative but he spoke out for the vital need for one unifying language so that the U.S. doesn’t become balkanized.

Look at the former Yugoslavia: three separate cultures hated each other so much that the people went on a brutal killing spree in the 1990s? And perhaps you don’t know about the problems continuing to plague the French speaking Quebec. Living here in the beautiful safe mountains gives you no idea of what’s going on in other countries unless you read and research.

Finally, there is nothing “ethnocentric” or “selfish” (meaning those “evil white people,” right?) about believing in and supporting a distinctly American culture that includes capitalism. Capitalism is why America is so great and envied; it also is why you get to enjoy setting up any type of business you care to! This is why people across the globe try there very best to enter our country in the first place!

James Devries

Bryson City

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