America as a "nation of immigrants"

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America is sometimes referred to as a 'nation of immigrants' because of our largely open-door policy toward accepting

foreigners pursuing their vision of the American Dream. Recently, there has been a clamor by some politicians and citizens

toward creating a predominantly closed-door policy on immigration, arguing that immigrants 'threaten' American life by

creating unemployment by taking jobs from American workers, using much-needed social services, and encroaching on the

'American way of life.' While these arguments may seem valid to many, they are almost overwhelmingly false, and more than

likely confused with the subject of illegal immigration. In fact, immigrants actually enhance American life by creating, not

taking jobs, bolster social service funds through tax payments, and bring valuable technical knowledge and skills to our

country. If we are to continue to excel as a nation, the traditionalists who fear an encroachment of foreign-born Americans

must learn to accept that we achieved our greatness as a result of being 'a nation of immigrants.'

A common argument among those opposing further immigration is that foreigners take U.S. jobs and cause unemployment

among the displaced American workers. In the July 13, 1992 edition of Business Week , a poll states that sixty-two percent

of non-blacks and sixty-three percent of blacks agree that 'new immigrants take jobs away from American workers.' This is

a widely held, if erroneous belief, among Americans. However, Julian L. Simon, author of The Economic Consequences of

Immigration , states:

immigration does not exacerbate unemployment...Immigrants not only take jobs, but also create them. Their

purchases increase the demand for labor, leading to new hires roughly equal in number to the immigrant


In the same Business Week poll, eighty-three percent of non-blacks and eighty-seven percent of blacks agree that 'many

new immigrants are very hard-working.' The results of the...