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Yesterday's immigration worked out OK...

Claim:

Today's massive immigration is just like that of a century ago

Summary:

The conditions have changed, making that a logical fallacy

Many claim that because the massive immigration that occured a century ago worked out OK, the current massive immigration will similarly work out OK.

This argument is an instance of the logical fallacy "Appeal to Tradition". The context has changed from a century ago. While there are certainly parallels, there are many differences and it's quite a leap to claim that the current situation will work out the same.

In fact, here are just nine of the differences between then and now:

  1. Many of our current illegal aliens are from a neighboring country, meaning they don't have to make a clean break, they can go back and forth. There are families with members on both sides of the border.
  2. Related to that, past immigrants came here on ships; current immigrants can walk over.
  3. Italy, Poland, Germany, and Ireland never held territory in the U.S. On the other hand, the Southwest U.S. briefly was Mexican territory. And, in a poll conducted in Mexico, 58% said that the U.S. Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.
  4. There wasn't a far-left, Gramscian "multiculturalism" movement a century ago. The related issue of political correctness makes it difficult for some to, for instance, use the correct names for things ("illegal aliens") rather than euphemisms ("undocumented workers").
  5. There were ethnic newspapers, but nothing like today's ethnic media.
  6. Immigrants who came through Ellis Island were checked for disease and suitability. And, they were pre-screened by the cruiseship companies, who were charged if someone was rejected. Nowadays, anyone can overstay their visa or just walk across.
  7. There's been a rapid increase in dual citizenship, leading to U.S. citizens with divided loyalties. 14% of U.S. citizens are eligible to be dual citizens, and Mexico encourages dual citizenship as a way of obtaining political power inside the U.S.
  8. The welfare state hardly existed a century ago.
  9. Obvious to anyone who's been to, say, Dallas or Los Angeles, there were many fewer people here a century ago than there are now.

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