Immigrants strengthen and enrich our culture

December 18, 2015
Refugees trapped between Greece and Macedonia

Refugees trapped between Greece and Macedonia


There is much talk about immigration these days, especially concerning the plight of the multitudes of Syrians fleeing their country due to war and terror.

I believe we have in place a method of investigation and vetting of new immigrants. No one wants to welcome anyone with ill feelings for our country. The issues are fairly simple in concept and number.

First off, can we even afford to take in refugees? If not then we should not. But of course we can, we have so much money and so many resources we can do anything we want to do. Do refugees cost us anything in the long run? Read the Cato report below, they actually add to our GNP.

Secondly, and more importantly, should we take in refugees? Well, what is our moral compass? Do we have one? I feel some responsibility to help out those in need, don’t you?

I could cite many cases where we created crises and then took in refugees from those locales (Central America, SE Asia and Iraq for example). Of course the few we took in hardly made up for the mayhem we caused. Our corrupt and mismanaged foreign policy is not the issue in this essay, but rather the aftermath is. I am shamed by some of our historical behavior regarding immigration and refugees.

Sometimes these two categories are lumped into one of Displaced Persons. We pretty much ignored the plight of European Jews in WW2. Only near the end did we step up immigration; due to Congressional inaction Harry Truman had to issue an executive order to increase relief for displaced persons.

We outright banned Chinese for many years, after they slaved building our railroads. Japanese in the early ’30s had a tough time landing here. During WW2, after we had imprisoned many Americans of Japanese descent, the 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare-all were Japanese American soldiers! So much for questioning their allegiance.

In recent history little Jordan has put up 672,000 displaced persons. Germany (with 1/4 our population) has taken one million refugees. We plan to take in a mere 10,000 next year. And now there is much talk about choking off that paltry number. Sweden and other Scandinavian countries have taken many more per capita than we have. France has long been a bastion for those displaced by strife or war. And at times, so have we.

Our European allies are taking in many displaced persons. We owe them some relief from the burden of this flood of refugees. We can easily handle the cost and inconvenience. It seems we have to see if we can handle the irrational fear that certain politicians have attempted to instill in us.

There is never any lack of scapegoating of our Mexican neighbors, especially those who come here for a better life. For a time I had a couple rental houses in another city. Without a shred of hesitation, I tell you my best tenants were always Mexicans. They outshone anyone born here by a magnitude of kindness, honesty and integrity.

Whenever I see or hear Americans (usually white ones) denigrating Mexicans, I am reminded how ignorant and spoiled the complainers are.

Without a doubt all Americans are concerned with security, imposing overly restrictive limitations on compassion for displaced persons will not achieve the safety we crave. In fact our very souls will be diminished by such selfish and shameful action. Those who were born here should thank the heavens for such frightfully good luck. Many others were not so lucky. We can even the score somewhat by helping out.

From the Cato Institute (a respected libertarian think tank):

“The overriding impact of immigrants is to strengthen and enrich American culture, increase the total output of the economy, and raise the standard of living of American citizens. Immigrants are advantageous to the United States for several reasons: (1) Since they are willing to take a chance in a new land, they are self-selected on the basis on motivation, risk taking, work ethic, and other attributes beneficial to a nation. (2) They tend to come to the United States during their prime working years (the average age is 28), and they contribute to the workforce and make huge net contributions to old-age entitlement programs, primarily Social Security. (3) Immigrants tend to fill niches in the labor market where demand is highest relative to supply, complementing rather than directly competing with American workers. (4) Many immigrants arrive with extremely high skill levels, and virtually all, regardless of skill level, bring a strong desire to work. (5) Their children tend to reach high levels of achievement in American schools and in society at large.”

Pete Evans is a resident of San Luis Obispo.



  1. TiaMiaOhMy says:

    WHAAAAAAAT? Has this reporter been living under a rock or maybe a gated community and his kids gone to a “private school”??? And then again maybe he’s not including the ILLEGAL immigrants that have come into California. If he did include these immigrants then he has under estimated their financial and cultural burden on the “American Dream”. Our schools in California have gone down the drain since we have to spend SO much more money on the special programs for the non-English speakers – so funds are limited or non-existent for arts, enhancement programs or even sports. Our banks, our hospitals our governmental agencies have HUGE expenses related to printed things in other languages since the people WON’T learn English and they have to the way the gov’t “caters to them”. Money that should be going to “AMERICAN CITIZENS” is be substantially divided up when it comes to college scholarships and “chairs” at colleges to accommodate the immigrants. So Pete, you talk about “helping people” WHY ISN’T acceptable to HELP American citizens and American Families FIRST???? So tired of paying taxes and working our asses off to have it given away by the politicians. If YOU want to help the illegal immigrants or other immigrants then do it yourself!! They can create another organization like “United Way” or something and those people who feel so strongly about it can give all they want BUT DON’T FORCE me and my family to give money to causes that I feel should not be put BEFORE American Citizens. We have plenty of neighbors and people who NEED HELP HERE!!!

    (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
  2. Myself says:

    Todays Immigrants do nothing for us,they cost us plenty and now some of them want to kill us because they believe in some phoney book,slam the door on this before all is lost.
    When my Grandparents and Great Grandparents came to this country they became productive citizens,and after time and hard work they bought property and built ranches,todays immigrants just want a free handout and do nothing for it.

    (9) 19 Total Votes - 14 up - 5 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    They used to strengthen and enrich our culture 2 generations ago when they wanted to be Americans and there was no welfare state. now they keep their own culture and sponge off of ours, weakening our economic situation.

    (18) 34 Total Votes - 26 up - 8 down
  4. smiley says:

    Pete, you sound like a rich white Liberal that has lived on the Central Coast since birth. Castro flushed the toilet on us in 1980 with the Mariel boatlift and the flow has continued from places like Africa, Mexico, and all over the Middle East. I lived I L A from 1968 to 1993 and it went from a decent livable place to a crime Infested barrio from East L A to Sherman Oaks. We, that is the citizens already here, don’t need another immigrant to pushdown wages and suck up social services and be housed in our jails. The population should benefit not suffer from the effects of government policy. Trump is an absolute asshole but he is right about immigration and most of us know it. You want diversity, move to L A or for that matter any large city in this country and don’t live in a gated community.and see how much you like Immigrants!

    (17) 37 Total Votes - 27 up - 10 down
  5. Myself says:

    Dec 19 (Reuters) – United States immigration officials failed to obtain required proof from San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik that she had met her U.S. citizen fiancé in person, but granted her a spousal visa anyway, a Republican congressman said on Saturday.

    Well there you have it.

    (15) 23 Total Votes - 19 up - 4 down
  6. itneverends says:

    I recommend that Mr. Evans read the other current Cal Coast article that is posted right now titled “Animal abuser released to immigration agents.”

    (6) 20 Total Votes - 13 up - 7 down

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