Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) on Face the Nation said he is in favor of a skills-based immigration system, which he said the president supports:
If you’re a doctor, or a scientist, or a computer programmer, it shouldn’t matter whether you come from Nigeria, or Norway, or any other country on this earth.
This concept definitely runs counter to inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty:
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
But this noble idea is now lost in Washington DC, or at least on many Republicans including Trump. But it shouldn’t be.
- America has throughout history been a destination for people desiring to improve their lot in life.
- Developing countries need their doctors, scientists, and computer programmers; these and other professionals need to stay home, not be lured to America.
Some parts of the globe are currently overrun with refugees. People fleeing oppression and seeking opportunities to live in peace and security with their families. America should continue to assist those seeking a better more secure life. It should present them with opportunities, not exclusion.
My ancestors were part of the tired, poor, and huddled masses. They came to America to find opportunities. Once here they because productive members of society, mostly farmers. Their progeny have become doctors, scientists, and computer programmers. America gave my ancestors the opportunities they needed.
Mormon theologian Robert Kirby recently commented on the value that the tired, poor, and huddled (think unskilled) masses have brought to America:
The one attribute they’ll bring with them is the same one that our own immigrant ancestors brought. And it made America great.
We shouldn’t be a country of elitists, but a country dedicated to giving immigrants a new start.