Alan Bloom, in his book The Closing of the American Mind, had, in 1987, predicted my predicament as an immigrant to the United States since 1997: I lived one-half of my non-immigrant years, educated in graduate programs of American universities, as a legal non-immigrant student and worker from India and the rest of the time as an immigrant educating my educators about my (adopted) country.
My life has been normal before 9/11 and new normal after it, not working for government and then working for it – having immigrated voluntarily but drafted involuntarily into the “service” of the United States.
Bloom does not veer far – in his more abstract political-philosophical critique of liberal American education characterized by cultural and moral relativism – from Howard Zinn’s story of the making of America in arguing his case strenuously about how far Harvard, for example, has deviated since 1636 from the enlightenment liberalism of self-governing, fully participatory, economic communes which founded the country in 1776.
Immigrants since then, both Smith and Keynes will concur, in swelling the population of the land newly found for the Europeans, have subscribed to the unchanging egalitarian openness of the United States to new entrants – the teeming masses from elsewhere around the world to grow the new republic.
This recipe of American success will continue to work.
At a time when the political class in Washington is wrestling with ensuring legal entry into the country, grand legislative schemes may not be necessary when simple bureaucratic procedural changes at the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can do the job of giving newcomers a chance to make their lives as they choose, in independence, with little or no government red tape, only constrained by the stricture of social equality fully enshrined into law for the past half-a-century.
USCIS, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can take the fingerprints, health, and American history and politics examinations (English language requirement, as of today, is unconstitutional and needs a constitutional amendment) of all those legally standing in line, no matter their national origin, race, ethnicity or religion, much earlier in the process when permanent resident application form I-130/I-140 is filed with USCIS, and the US Department of State can grant permanent resident visas upon the approval of I-130/I-140 on a first-come-first-serve basis for immigrants to receive their identification cards on the condition that new immigrants become citizens immediately upon eligibility (the current 2 to 5 year waiting period after receiving permanent resident visas in their foreign passports).
Immigrants grow the economy by triggering domestic investment because dollars then need not go to far away lands where markets made of people beckon but people can be brought to the dollars in a continental country from east to west with a projected population of less than one-third that of China or India by 2050. After all, commonsense dictates that more people will need more things which they will make.
Illegal migrants can be politely and swiftly returned to their countries of origin, pardoned to stand in the back of the line.