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Friday, May 24, 2013

Welfare, opportunity, and assimilation | RedState

Welfare, opportunity, and assimilation | RedState

Every participant in the immigration debate agrees on the importance of assimilation.  (In public, anyway.  Privately, I suspect some of the open-borders folks could not care less about it, or are actively hostile to it.  But everyone says they hope immigrants assimilate and become fully invested, patriotic American citizens.)
What is the best way to encourage assimilation?  It’s not an individual process that can be applied to specific people and evaluated with tests.  Cultural assimilation doesn’t work like Borg assimilation.  Like many other social and economic concepts, it must be envisioned in the context of a large population growing generally comfortable with their new home, and becoming productive citizens.  Some individuals may embrace their new nation with unbridled enthusiasm; others might live there for decades without ever truly seeing themselves as fully naturalized citizens.  But the host nation has a clear interest in encouraging large numbers of people to integrate as smoothly and fully as possible.  A permanently alienated population of millions is nothing but trouble.
To the considerable surprise of its native-born citizens, Sweden is having a great deal of trouble with its immigrant population, particularly those hailing from Muslim countries. Stockholm has been burning for the past four nights.   The incident that touched off the riots was the police shooting of an elderly man who brandished a machete at them.  However, both community leaders and Swedish authorities cite cultural alienation, high unemployment, and reduced welfare benefits as the deeper causes of the unrest.

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