According to the Migration Policy Institute:
Of the 40.4 million foreign born residing in the United States in 2011, 38 percent entered the country prior to 1990, 27 percent entered between 1990 and 1999, and almost 36 percent entered in 2000 or later.
That would make the current immigration population of the United States the 33rd largest country in the world. There are 242 countries which means over 210 countries around the world are smaller than our current population of immigrants alone.
Have you ever wondered why people from other countries leave their homes, family, and the land they grew up in and risk everything to come to America? They come because America was known to the rest of the world as the land of opportunity. The great majority of Americans, approximately 290 million of us, were born here. We only know America as we see it, as an insider, so our perspective is minimal.
I have read of, heard, and spoken with countless immigrants who have shared their concern for the direction of America. The immigrants I have spoken to don’t classify themselves as Italian Americans, German Americans, Greek Americans (my ethnic heritage), or African Americans. They proudly say they are Americans! They have come to America many of them with nothing but the shirt on their backs and very few dollars. They have taken menial jobs and worked hard to save a few dollars to start a business, or go to college. Some became successful working for a company by doing what few American born workers were willing to do. They were and continue to be grateful for the opportunity to determine their own destiny.
Now, so many foreign born and American born citizens are concerned the opportunities to succeed are getting increasingly difficult due to a ever growing and intrusive government. For what purpose you might ask? Is it to make America more fair or provide more equality of opportunity? I don’t hear complaints from the many hard working immigrants (legal or not) who just appreciate the opportunity to pursue their dreams by discipline and hard work. Is there discrimination in America? Always has been, and most likely always will be. I’m sure many of the immigrants can tell us horror stories about discrimination we might find hard to believe.
One recent talk I heard I want to share, as it is a story similar to those told to me by so many immigrants who came here with a larger perspective than the almost 300 million born here. This is not a red, blue, or tea party talk. Listen to the principles that attracted this man and so many other immigrants to America. This is real perspective from someone who has lived through experiences many of us have not. I challenge you to listen with an open mind because for some of us will disagree, but maybe we haven’t lived anywhere else but in America.