Assimilation varies

I read with interest Dr. Gary Williamson’s May 12 letter “Control immigration” regarding the immigration debate in America.


Dr. Williamson describes today’s immigrants as “mostly the illiterate, unskilled and extraordinarily fertile” who “live in insular communities” where they “continue to speak their native tongue.” In contrast, Dr. Williamson lauds immigrants from an unspecified past who came here and “integrated, mingled and transformed to become Americans.”

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My own grandparents came to America at the beginning of the 20th century. I suspect they were representative of the time and type of immigrants Dr. Williamson approves of. Hard-working people, they always appreciated that they lived in America. They paid their taxes, supported America and strove to make a better life for their children. On the other hand, my grandparents’ immigrant experience represented everything that Dr. Williamson claims is wrong with the immigrants of today. My grandparents never learned much English. They lived in New York City in the kind of patchwork insular communities the letter writer decries. The language of the street could have been German, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Polish or Yiddish but never English. Grandpa Max and Grandma Miriam got by with limited English their entire lives.

Just like Dr. Williamson’s “new” immigrants, they were unskilled. My grandfather spent his entire working career at hard labor in a factory. My grandparents were also “extraordinarily fertile,” as they had six children.

With the passage of time my grandparents did fulfill Dr. Williamson’s memories of immigrant experiences. Their six children all grew up to be completely American. They all spoke English without an accent. The boys all served in World War II. Some went to college. All became successful parts of the group we now call the Greatest Generation. My grandparents never really assimilated into the fabric of America, but their children (my parents’ generation) surely did.

I strongly support the letter writer’s call for secure borders and controlled immigration. I also will grant that in our vast and varied country, Dr. Williamson’s personal experiences with immigration may be different from mine. But I think we all need to remember that immigration assimilation is often generational, with sons and daughters completing the journey that their immigrant parents started.

It may be that when we put the difficult politics and policies of immigration aside, the immigrants of today and the immigrants of a century ago may be more alike than we think.

David Neches


B. M. Michales 10 days ago
Well david your grandparents are the type of immigrates we are now trying to stop from destroying America.
BRAD KYZER 10 days ago
How did his grandparents help destroy America. They seem like the kind of people who have made us great. Weird response.
B. M. Michales 9 days ago
Many of the immigrates that come to America will have 6 or 8 children and end up on welfare for you and me to support. These immigrates have a very different mindset than David's grandparents had. 
Val White 10 days ago

My grandparents came to America around the beginning of the 20th century, but they came the RIGHT way - through Ellis Island.  They were unskilled, but quickly learned skills and went to work for established businesses.  Like your grandparents, mine also lived in NY in "insular" neighborhoods that soon overlapped each other and blended. 

You are now looking at a completely different class of (illegal) immigrants who not only commit a crime by crossing our border, but then proceed to bring with them illegal drugs, weapons, and gang members.  These immigrants are only capable of picking fruit or landscaping.  You are mistaken about one thing, the majority of them are nothing like the immigrants of yesteryear.

The early immigrants were doctors, engineers, educators, scientists, and other educated and skilled workers.  They built railroads, roads, bridges, hospitals, banks, and schools.  Yearly, for decades, America has granted LEGAL entrance to many immigrants - last year it was about one million - who actually have the intention of becoming American and have enough education to actually contribute to America in ways that benefit ALL Americans.

Defending the barrage of illegals, and I'm guessing you must defend sanctuary cities, is destructive to our financial and our education system.  Mostly, they pose a danger to society.

chas cushman 10 days ago
Many of today's immigrants do not want too became 'Americans'. The Muslims want to change our country in a rat hole like they came from. Mexicans have been taught in their schools that Texas, New Mexico, AZ and CA was stolen from Mexico by the US and still belongs to Mexico. We need to stop the illegals from the south and ban ALL Muslims.   
Not Politically Correct 10 days ago
David, there is a great difference between the immigrants of your grandparent's generation and the recent (post-1980) immigrants.  Just look around.  The recent immigrants are now in their second or third generation (due to their unbounded proclivity, I guess if you don't participate in society you have to keep yourself amused somehow), but they STILL speak their native tongue at home, STILL dress in their native attire, and STILL refuse to assimilate and become American in their manners, language, customs, and values.  I do not expect them to rebuke their heritage.  I only ask that they take on ours.
Val White 10 days ago

I have no problem with LEGALS from other cultures practicing their traditions. Most Americans enjoy the celebrations, festivities and especially the food of other countries.

What becomes a problem is when they want to FORCE and/or REPLACE ours with theirs or when they want special treatment because of their beliefs.  Keep it at home and within your own friends and family.  Share with the rest of us but don't overtake us.

Roland SASSER 10 days ago

Very good comments Val. I think Mr. Neches is missing the point. It sounds like his grand parents arrived in this country legally as well as Val's. Want to see what unchecked illegal immigration can become, look at Europe. It's a mess and those that flooded in apparently have no intension to assimilate. They are setting up enclaves within their host countries and imposing the laws from their mother counties. I'm not talking customs, I'm talking laws that are directly counter to those of the host. That's not assimilation!  

In this country we don't have a flood of refugees, we have a flood of illegal immigrants. They use our social services, work under the table (cash) which they pay no taxes and send most of the money back to their mother country. Most of these people are good and decent, too many aren't. How about we get a handle on this?

Robert Sheffer 10 days ago
Why can intelligent people not see the difference between legal and illegal immigration? 
ROY WHITLEY 9 days ago
Robert, you give the liberals TOOOOO much credit for intelligence.
BRAD KYZER 10 days ago
It's hard to assimilate when you are not accepted by many around you. For a lot of you people life is a zero sum game. You want to be the winners and you want the loosers to be people who are a different color, speak with a different accent or originate from a different part of the world. In building a business I had the opportunity to work with many first generation immigrants from many areas. Found the vast majority to be very hard working who sacaficed so there kids could go to good schools. Your little bitty brains can't process the fact that the more people who prosper the better off we all are. 
Gage Creed 10 days ago
No argument on that most are hard working... but what part of your itty bitty brain does not understand ILLEGAL????
chas cushman 9 days ago
Ignorance can be cured but stupid is forever.
ROY WHITLEY 9 days ago
brad, brad, brad. Brain power is not a gift that was passed down to you.
B. M. Michales 9 days ago
Good luck with that now.
Jerry Whitcomb 10 days ago
"immigrants of today and the immigrants of a century ago may be more alike than we think"

When your grandparents came we did not provide life long welfare and subsidy. We did not even consider kowtowing to immigrants who practiced a separate form of government and law masquerading as a religion. Nor did we even consider using taxpayer money to placate immigrants by building them foot baths and prayer rooms at public colleges while banning any hint of our own predominant Christian religion.

I don't know if the immigrants of today are different or if we have just lost our frigging common sense and backbone. 
BRAD KYZER 10 days ago
Where exactly are all these immigrants  on welfare, except in your mind . The ones I have come in contact work more hours than most of us want to not to be on welfare
Gage Creed 10 days ago
Brad.. are you really that blind? Or just obtuse? If an illegal is working under the table and his children are schooled, he pays no income tax or property tax... isn't that welfare?
Robert Sheffer 10 days ago
Brad, your experience here in Augusta  is not typical.  Just spend some time in Dearborn, Michigan or any other large city.....especially cities run by liberals.  
ROY WHITLEY 9 days ago
Are you legal? Seriously?
ROY WHITLEY 9 days ago
Jerry, the cowardly leftist have ceded our rights to nincompoops.
Gary Williamson 10 days ago
Dear Mr. Neches,

Thank you for your thoughtful and articulate letter concerning your own personal experience with immigration. In retrospect I believe that I played a little fast and loose with terms and by not making more distinction between legal immigration, illegal immigration, and refugee status. For that I must apologize and ask your forgiveness. It was not my intention to disparage the well established and arduous pathway to naturalization; the very path that your parents took to become citizens. I also acknowledge and agree that assimilation can often be a multi generational process.

It was my intention that a paragraph in the middle of my letter address the traditional naturalization as a means of adopting that set of values and beliefs that set America apart from all others as a beacon for liberty and self governance. Unfortunately, I made it sound as though this only happened in the past. 

The very act of applying for and earning citizenship according to US Immigration Law is evidence of the desire to join our great country and participate in it's dreams. Illegal immigration and refugee status are in most cases a different matter and is instead evidence that the illegal is willing to jump the queue for self serving reasons or, in the case of refugees, to merely bring their own values and customs here with no intention of real assimilation.

One must be honest in admitting that  many are made to feel unwelcome, thus driving them towards insular behaviors. On the other hand, we must be more sensitive about the feelings of small communities that wake up one day to learn that their government has bussed large numbers of refugees into their midst with no warning or consultation.

I would guess that persons such as yourself with such close ties to recent immigration and the succeeding generations are even more angered by those who chose to break the law.  Finally, let me express again my concern that I might have offended persons such as yourself who are the success stories  of an orderly and legal policy. Mea Culpa!  

Gary B. Williamson, MD

Roger Clegg 10 days ago

Here's my top-ten list of what we should expectfrom those who want to become Americans (and those who are already Americans,for that matter). The list was first published in a National Review Onlinecolumn [link:], and it is fleshed out in Congressional testimony [link:]:


1. Don’t disparage anyone else’s race or ethnicity.

2. Respect women.

3. Learn to speak English.

4. Be polite.

5. Don’t break the law.

6. Don’t have children out of wedlock.

7. Don’t demand anything because of your race or ethnicity.

8. Don’t view working and studying hard as “acting white.”

9. Don’t hold historical grudges.

10. Be proud of being an American.

ROY WHITLEY 10 days ago
I'd be willing to bet that your Grand Parents NEVER entertained the thought of destroying the Wonderful country they migrated to. The turn of last century and the turn of this century are two vastly different worlds.
BRAD KYZER 10 days ago
Me Creed, frequently the comments made by this crowd don't differentiate between legal and illegal. Personally, I 'm against illegal anything. I don't agree that most of the people are up to no good , most are trying to provide for their families. Many of the people commenting  judge by the country of origin legal or not. Check out the nutty comment made first in this discussion by Mr BM.
B. M. Michales 9 days ago
Read my reply to your post about my original post. It hopefully clears up my original post.
BRAD KYZER 9 days ago
Trump called somebody else a NutJob. Holy Cow
Gary McNeal 9 days ago
Do you have some proof of this, or are you repeating fake news?
ROY WHITLEY 9 days ago
brobama is camel s**t.
chas cushman 9 days ago
that is camel dung


Sun, 05/28/2017 - 18:13

‘Earn this. Earn it.’

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