Restricting immigration makes perfect sense, but then there are people like David.
David’s mother often repeated the stories about his German grandparents. To escape the aftermath of Seven Years War, Czarina Catherine II invited Germans to travel 2000 miles and farm the fertile slopes along Russia’s Volga River.
His grandparents took the invitation and then worked the ground tirelessly—David’s parents were both born there and married at 17. The crops yielded mostly misery as marauders frequently absconded with the harvest.
Then the political climate worsened under Bolshevik and Communist rule. The family fled Russia with a single trunk carrying their most valuable possessions—farm implements.
In England, they boarded a ship bound for America. The migrant family built a rustic home in the west—where David was born in 1904. Their homesteaded plot of fallow ground became abundant wheat land. By 1917, David handled more than most young teens. After his father’s fatal illness no one was left to manage the farm. His family depended on him. His older brother had been crippled by polio, leaving David to handle all the manual labor.
He never finished school—but David insisted his siblings did. And he never left his family’s farm. In 1949, he made certain his son went to college—and join the military. He loved his country and insisted on defending it—something he hadn’t been able to do himself. David was the quintessential self-made man. An American success story.
Fast forward to the 21st Century. Now each immigrant entering the US without a high school diploma will cost taxpayers $640,000 over 75 years.
Since 2000 about 4 million adult immigrants (without high school diplomas) became US residents.
After factoring in all the government benefits they will receive, economists conclude that US taxpayers face a $2.6 trillion cost for these 4 million immigrants.
Compound this with an expected influx of 200,000 non-high school educated immigrants each year.
It’s a terribly high cost for cheap labor. Based on cost alone immigration is not worth it.
Then I think of David.
At one time America invited: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…..Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.”
In our new world of war-torn refugees, terrorism, and national debt, immigration is exceedingly complicated. It’s easier to say no. But could some of those “yearning to breathe free” help rebuild our nation?
I think so, because I’ve seen it. David was my grandfather.
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- Vietnam: Wives of Prisoners