Historically, cultures that have come to another country for work and not tried to assimilate have drawn the ire of the natives. Although the success of immigrants abroad usually creates a bigger backlash, keeping up language and social barriers puts them in a perilous spot. Germans living abroad suffered after World War I and II. Those successfully farming in Russia were told to stop teaching classes in the German language, end printing newspapers in their former country's tongue and cease gathering in secret groups. After World War II broke out, these immigrants were forced out of the country as some were believed to be drumming up support for the Nazi cause. Businesses were taken from them and many were sent to their deaths in the cold harsh elements. Russia wasn't the only one that treated Germans this way but restrictions on schools, newspapers and social groups were created in Brazil and even in the United States. This same thing happened to many cultures including the Jewish, Lebanese, Chinese and eastern Indians. Those that don't assimilate become resented for their success, what they might be saying or teaching in their language and even outward appearance.
These thoughts have been on my mind during the recent marches by those supporting the rights of illegal immigrants. I've been waiting to see things come to a head in our country as they are now. Personally, I'm stuck in the middle. The marches have shown me more than I expected. People carrying the Mexican flag as they try to show the United States that they are patriotic? (Being born in Sacramento, California, if I were to wave a state flag, I would hoist that of Nevada as it represents me as a Nevadan.) I've even seen signs saying that they are just taking back the property the U.S. stole from them. Ignoring the outcome of the Mexican - American War is not helping their case.
I personally believe that we have a lot of people that don't want to or can't physically or mentally do work in our economic system. In February, we posted a 4.8% national unemployment rate. Many of the jobs being taken are entry level set at our minimum wage standard. Many of the other jobs are ones we have little record of seeing that if I pick someone up to do yard work and pay him in cash, taxes aren't reported nor collected. So, I'm not against a guest worker program if it will keep track of who we have in our country, push towards assimilation, accurately increase tax revenue and lessen the strain put on our education system. But, I also believe that giving amnesty to those that broke our laws promotes more of the same. (This year, I hope we can forgive anyone that broke the speed limit... no points on your license and no fine. How will you drive next year?) Amnesty would also buy a lot of the Hispanic vote come election day.
Do good fences make good neighbors? Sure, to some extent but if one neighbor has to watch the fence more than the other, something is wrong. I hate the whole situation as I like my friends that have come to work over here. I also dislike racism with a passion. Right now the United States Senate and House of Representatives are redefining what being an "American" is and the future will only tell if history repeats itself.