Even so, there are undoubtedly many Mexican immigrants who strongly want to integrate their families into American society. Many of these immigrants find their path to the American mainstream blocked, however, by the simple fact that they cannot live or work legally in the United States. Without legal status, there is no road to citizenship. Economic advancement is difficult when one is relegated to the shadows of the labor market.
What, if anything, should we do to encourage assimilation? The anemic progress of Mexican immigrants is but one sign that our current immigration policy is not working. Before deciding what to do about it, though, we need to make some important decisions as a society.
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To answer the question in the second paragraph above...nothing. Why should we encourage assimilation by a group of people that crawled through sewage or waltzed through a national forest in New Mexico to get here? It's bad enough illegal immigrants are given more benefits than citizens in our society, but it seems now we should incent them even more to 'assimilate'. Don't believe me? Try paying for health insurance in Massachusetts when you've suddenly lost it after being a lifelong resident, only to find out that illegal foreign nationals get green cards and Masshealth immediately upon arrival...free of charge.
The goal of the government, in attempting to assimilate illegals, is higher wages, more consumer activity, and a better economy. Illegal immigrants are considered the next economic boom by policymakers, so encouraging assimilation makes sense. Make illegals feel even more welcome than they already feel, and pretty soon they're working in offices, consuming, and racking up huge amounts of debt. Some of us are working to abandon this lifestyle; apparently the government feels it works just fine as long as we overpopulate via illegal immigration and keep feeding the corporations with our hard-earned cash.
The difference between the prior, mostly European waves of immigration and the current wave of Mexican (illegal) immigration, is that Mexicans live directly south of Texas and can therefore sneak in undetected. Worse, they're not thrown out when they are found by our government; it usually takes being caught for committing a crime to actually be sent back to Mexico. Even then, an ICE unit in my own town admits that most of them just sneak back when they get the chance.
As I wrote earlier, when one has to work hard for citizenship and when there's an understanding that you're certainly welcome to contribute in your new home as long as you appreciate the privilege and don't attempt to reverse colonize or negatively affect our established culture, immigration is a wonderful thing. Sadly, that is not the reality of immigration today, and both sides are at fault for selling out any lingering American culture & values that were left before economics took the reins and sold us all down the river.