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Reader comment on item: [West Africa:] New Route to the West
in response to reader comment: Global Change

Submitted by Sidda (United States), Jun 5, 2006 at 21:02

Yoven, you made some good points in your post. I am also a young person and it is good to see someone else who is interested in the world around them. If you will allow me, I would like to make a few points of my own.

In regards to the indigenous peoples in the USA. Yes, the white man did bring some negative things. They also brought some very good things to this land. While I do not condone what was done to the Native Americans, I would like to add a little balance to the history you provided.

Native Americans weren't exactly sitting around smoking a peace pipe and singing Kumbaya. They warred with each other, often inflicting horrendous tortures on their captives. Some tribes would abandon their elderly in the snow to die if they could not keep up. When European settlers journeyed West, there were wide open spaces which were not settled. The Native Americans fought hard against the settlers; there was brutality on both sides.

Now, to address the Mexican issue. If you were you to speak to members of the tribes indigenous to the Southwest, it would come as a surprise to them that the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas were former inhabitants of their lands. The Aztecs were indigenous to Mexico, while the Incas and Mayans were indigenous to Central and South America.

The fact is that if you are going to use the rationale that people who once inhabited a certain area hundreds or thousands of years ago now have the right to "reclaim" those lands, you're going to have one heck of a mass migration all through Europe and into China and the Indian subcontinent! There was migration of all kinds of people from one area to another all throughout history . I don't think anyone really wants to open up that can of worms. Nobody applied for visas 500 - 1,000 years ago because the government infrastructure to do so did not exist then!

However, as you so correctly pointed out, that was then and this is now. Now governments do exsit, and countries have borders. Every country has the right to determine the amount and rate of immigration that it determines to be in its best interests; therefore, I agree with your suggestion of selective immigration. Allowing unfettered immigration strains a country's resources to the breaking point, makes integration of the new immigrants very difficult, and lowers the standard of living in the host country. And in today's world of terrorism, it is also dangerous. A government's first obligation is to protect its citizens. Chaos on the border increases the risks of terrorists coming across, as well as criminal gangs, and drug trafficking.

In regards to the immigration situation in the USA, I agree that we need to reform our immigration policies to make them more efficient and humane. We need an orderly process by which immigrants who wish to work in the US can be paired with employers who need workers PROVIDED those jobs cannot be filled by American citizens who are already here. We need to ensure, however, that the immigrants who come here have jobs which enable them to support their families to prevent them from becoming a burden on hard-working, tax paying citizens. Having said that, we have the right to expect that our immigration laws be respected. Also, the last time I checked the CIA factbook on the US, we are not experiencing a negative birthrate such as some countries are in Europe (and Japan I believe).

It is a tragedy that Mexico, due to dysfunctional government and corruption at all levels of its society, cannot provide a decent standard of living for its citizens despite its vast natural resources. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by the Mexicans. Allowing Mexico to use the US as a safety valve to rid itself of its poorest citizens only allows that government to maintain the status quo.

I doubt that deporting Muslims from Western lands is something that will happen. However, I do think that it is time to limit further Muslim immigration. When and if the Muslim world ever manages to subdue the millions of extremists amongst them, then we might all reconsider that position.

Best regards

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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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