What American Citizenship Makes Possible

WSJ, July 27, 2016, Colin Powell.

The title of Secretary Powell’s article above drew me to read. He talks about his parent coming to America from Jamaica, and said that if they had gone to England he never could have become what he did, too much rigidity in the society. He praises immigration as part of the fuel that fires the American way of life. He praises education availability and quality as another fuel element.

I agree. We must continue to accept immigrants. We must accept those with skills. We must stop illegal immigration. We must encourage assimilation, not Balkanization as the French and Belgians have.

Our education industry has failed the country. Our educational performance continues to slide against our global competitors. We are short changing our kids.

Our polarization and name calling is a disservice to our forefathers and mothers, and especially to those who come after us. We must try new things and evaluate how they work.


This political season has seen immigration rise again in its’ importance. Some say there are 11 million “illegals” in our country, half of those are visa ‘overstayers’ per the data. Deportations are currently legal, and always have been. Per the WSJ, “Restarting Deportation Is Needed to Deter Illegals” 2 million people have been apprehended but not detained or deported. 1 million have removal orders issued but not carried out. Cities have declared themselves as sanctuary cities, not cooperating with ICE. “E Verify”, the program to verify a persons’ citizenship is voluntary but proven to be a significant barrier for undocumented people, the only jobs they can get are in the cash economy. Some conservatives like the cheap labor, most progressives want more votes, the rest of us are ticked off that neither side will enforce the law.

Undocumented workers lower wages for the entry level jobs here in the U.S. This is another factor in the income inequality we see rising. Many of us however do not want to pay more for food, waiters, lawn care, etc. as those prices will rise as wages will have to rise when we clean up the mess.

What’s “best” for country has lots of meanings.  My meaning is clean it up, I will pay more if needed.