Why Doesn’t the White House Want to Help Immigrants Assimilate?
When it comes to assimilating immigrants, the Obama administration appears to have drawn a line under the day the president first took office and forgotten much that came before it. That’s a pity, as the country had learned a thing or two about acculturating immigrants since the first German Mennonites and Pietists settled in colonial Pennsylvania in the 1680s and ’90s.
Oh, and the word “assimilation” is gone from the vocabulary—or at least from a 23,000-word strategy plan by the White House Task Force on New Americans.
That report, “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents: A Federal Strategic Action Plan on Immigrant & Refugee Integration,” published in April, also eschews such words as “patriotism” and “Americanization.” E Pluribus Unum, both in spirit and in word, also fails to make the cut.
And this, mind you, is a strategy for how to make “New Americans.”
What it seems to have plenty of is how communities must be the ones to change so they can celebrate immigrants’ “diverse linguistic and cultural assets”; how governing institutions must sanction “diverse cultural practices”; how becoming a citizen should be streamlined; and how we must have “bi-literacy and dual-language learning” so as “to maintain native-language proficiency to preserve culture.”
Given all this, The Heritage Foundation today advises that Congress scrutinize the president’s strategy for how to integrate immigrants into our unique national culture.
The need for such scrutiny is all the more apparent when one considers that President Obama told journalist Ezra Klein in January that as the U.S. becomes “more and more a hodgepodge of folks,” it will become harder for conservatives to promote their policies. Is the president is trying to enlist immigrants to, as he once admitted was his goal, “fundamentally transform” the United States?
Immigration has been part of this country since those first German dissenters flocked to William Penn’s Quaker colony, and German, Scots-Irish and French went to New York, in the late 17th century. America has been called a “nation of immigrants” because from these beginnings, different surges of people—mostly from Europe but also from Asia and Latin America—have settled different geographic parts of the country. More