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Yes, cultures are different, but...

Reader comment on item: Making Culture an Element of Immigration Policy

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Aug 3, 2014 at 15:47

Please keep in mind that the following is from someone who actually does believe that culture matters.

I've just finished looking at two of the elder John Marshall Harlan's famous dissents, in Plessy v. Ferguson and U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. In the first, the good justice is incensed that, should he go to Louisiana, he would not be able to share a train car with one of his Father's freedmen, while a pig-tailed Chinese would be allowed to sit across the aisle from him (not exactly in so many words, to be fair). In the second, he argues that the unassimilability of the Chinese should mean that the Fourteenth Amendment would not apply even though Mr. Wong, seeking readmission into the USA in 1896, was born in San Francisco twenty-some years earlier.

Yet we have seen since then that many Far Eastern immigrants have often assimilated well in Western societies. I will note as well that not all Muslim immigrants in Europe and America choose to resist assimilation; and we have even seen, in the States, some modest movement of Muslim immigrants and/or their children into Christian churches. That sounds a bit like assimilation to me.

Maybe the real issue is that the Western world needs to re-appropriate some of the confidence it has been shedding over the past fifty years or more?

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I agree about the confidence. I still think that the bulk of Muslim refugees should go to Saudi Arabia and other Muslim-majority countries, and the same for other cultural groups.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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