No Immigrant Bashing


In advocating for a significant reduction in mass immigration, FSP is speaking about the numbers of people coming into the U.S. and not about who or where they come from. FSP does not advocate hostile actions or feelings toward immigrant Americans. Even illegal aliens deserve humane treatment as they are detected, detained and deported.

Unfortunately, to write about problems of immigration is to risk seeming to attack immigrants themselves. Even worse is the risk of inadvertently encouraging somebody else to show hostility toward the foreign-born as a group.

All of us personally know immigrants and we should take a very personal stake in not wanting to provoke hostility or discrimination toward the foreign-born who already are living among us.

But our kindly feelings toward immigrants must no longer stifle public discussion about the effects of immigration numbers.

To talk about changing immigration numbers is to say nothing against the individual immigrants in this country. Rather, it is about deciding how many foreign citizens living in their own countries right now should be allowed to immigrate in the future.

None of this is to suggest that no immigrants are scoundrels or contribute to problems of immigration because of their bad personal behavior. It is not unfair, nor does it constitute immigrant bashing, to criticize the behavior of specific immigrants who violate our laws or otherwise behave in a manner unworthy of guests who have been invited into this country.

It IS immigrant bashing, however, to ascribe those bad characteristics to whole groups of people based on their ethnicity or foreign-born status. All of us should be careful of the language we use so as not to inadvertently appear to be making such negative generalizations.

Not only is it ethically wrong to engage in such stereotyping, it is tactically short-sighted. There is much to suggest that most immigrants already among us would support reductions in immigration numbers. The reasons are not surprising. Virtually any reduction designed to help native-born Americans would be even more beneficial to foreign-born Americans. That is why so many immigrants are supporters of reduced immigration.  See Polls.

Perhaps the greatest "immigrant bashers" are those Members of Congress who refuse to look at the abysmal conditions of so many immigrant Americans and who every year insist on adding more than a million more immigrants into their occupations, schools and communities.

Groups, books, individuals and websites known for their opposition to current immigration numbers naturally are defined most easily by what they are AGAINST.

FSP is motivated not by our opposition to immigration but by our passion for some very dear values: