Immigration: European Union Learns What America Never Could

Image 3-22-22 at 3.47 PM
Refugees signing up for potential jobs at a center in Warsaw.Credit...Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times
Image 3-22-22 at 3.47 PM
Refugees signing up for potential jobs at a center in Warsaw.Credit...Maciek Nabrdalik for The New York Times

Europe is finally figuring out what Americans forgot 50 years ago. Refugees, migrants, and immigrants are good for the economy, especially during a labor shortage. Countries are even waiving visa requirements. 

The European Union may have learned something from watching how America has never directly tackled its own border and broken immigration systems. 

America has never been honest with itself about the human and economic realities of its long-standing and well known broken immigration systems. 

Broken immigration coupled with a broken political system has sustained lower wages for both undocumented and documented workers.  Even though the undocumented pay approximately $7 billion a year in Social Security taxes, as a direct result of their undocumented status, naturally, local, state, and federal tax revenues are lower than they would be otherwise. 

The consequence is an increasingly tense atmosphere due to perceived feelings of lack of fairness. While the undocumented live outside the justice system every day they are in America, many minorities and disadvantaged whites find the lack of fairness and inherent inequities in the American justice system magnified by the realities they see in the broken immigration system.

‘How can these folks get away with breaking these laws?’ It defies common sense to them.


The political parties have both discovered the strength in maintaining this broken status quo. 

  • The left can paint the right as out of touch, xenophobic bigots.
  • The right can paint the left as out of touch, lawless enablers. 
  • The left doesn’t seem to know how to piece together a new legislative proposal that incorporates the new realities we face today. They struggle to come up with any coherent message that the American people can rally behind. It’s because they gave up on rural America, so their ideas are only viable once you get to the suburbs and the cities. Once you get there, there’s too many voices so any message is drowned out by all the others. 
  • The right can’t face a reality where non-whites are empowered with rights, resources, and responsibilities, because it means they would have to step up and fix what’s broken instead of just blame anyone else for all of our problems. It’s because they gave up on governance a long time ago. When the only viable skill your party has is assembling and letting loose anger and outrage based on fears and anxieties you’ve been stoking for decades, the mob you’ve been building drowns you out. 

This is where we are. Both parties are busy making themselves obsolete. 

During the general election, there is no contest in 60-70% of all counties in America. The parties don’t matter. They made it so they don’t matter. This means that failing ideas are not challenged. In failing communities, elected leaders are not held responsible. Failure is rewarded with re-election.

When ideas don’t compete, ideas die, and so does innovation, progress, and movement forward and upward. Inertia overpowers everything and everyone.

Will America wake up as it appears the European Union finally is regarding refugees? The EU has an appalling record regarding refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

However, those from Ukraine are being welcomed as they flood the zone. It has been less than a month. Ukrainians are special people. They aren’t playing the victim. They are fighting to survive and willing to work. 

What is a shame is what happens here in America. We have all of these undocumented workers that are already working. We can’t get over ourselves to make them what they already are . . . part of our communities and families . . . they are Americans, they are taxpayers, and they are part of the fabric and the strength that is this nation.

We’re just too much about some grievance that we have  . . . and about what? What is that grievance really about?

That we weren’t so poor that we had to use the last bit of our money to throw our kid into a suitcase and pay some criminal to transport them illegally into America? Are we really envious of that method to get into this country?

I’d say it’s time we see people in a better light, not the worst one we can imagine.

If we looked at ourselves in the worst way possible, we’d hate ourselves too.

Stop it already. 

Looks like some people learn from our mistakes. 

When will we?

New York Times
Share