Earlier, in the Twentieth Century, the new immigrants coming to America's shores were often just as poor as the Mexicans arriving here now. Most of them spoke little, or no, English. Nor, did they all have families or friends to help and assist them - during their own transition - to our strange American ways of cultural life. In all of these ways, they very much resembled those currently trampling across our southern borders today.
At that time, of course, we were a different nation as well. No one was given public assistance through the agencies of government. There was no: Food Stamps, Public Housing, Welfare, or Safety Net - to speak of. Although Godliness, Human Kindness, and Charity were then socially encouraged - massive and systemic governmental undertakings were considered by most Americans as a very real threat to Individual Liberty and Freedom! Americans either offered assistance to others, or not - based purely upon their own personal situations and moral discretion. Consequently, newly arrived immigrants couldn't lay any claims upon Publicly Funded Benefits, which the rest of us didn't [factually] possess either. Of course, the resultant individual Tax Rates were substantially lower, as well.
Since these new immigrants didn't have families, or friends - to welcome and assist them, in getting started - they established their own Ethnic Communities in our major metropolitan cities. Often Uncle Frank and Aunt Susan, were merely strangers who shared a familiar or even a similar background. Such ethnic enclaves ultimately became the real families, which - in turn: sheltered, nurtured, and fostered them. In this way - they served an important, significant, and valued societal function. Although we may actually forget it, self-imposed segregation may serve a highly needed and truly beneficial social necessity!
With so many new people always coming and going, these communities were usually much poorer than other, more affluent, and surrounding neighborhoods. And yet, the sense of community and ethnic social cohesiveness ensured that few individuals or families went without their basic human necessities being met. In fact, many of those same neighborhoods were in far better shape then, than they [quite honestly] are today. Moreover, they offered new immigrants the basic tools needed for cultural assimilation into the overall society at large - while equally inspiring them to work hard, and to eventually get out!
I realize that it isn't politically correct to actually say this, but it's true.... Nor, am I speaking about what I don't [factually] know. My own mother and grandmother were immigrants from Austria, who initially settled in the ghettos of New York City - even, as my father's own ancestors arrived upon the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. My Uncle Brooks and Aunt Anne Sweet were and still are some of the dearest members of our family, and yet we weren't physically related at all. Nor, were my Uncle Dick and Aunt Else Mayer. These were those who merely: welcomed, accepted, befriended, and [honestly] loved my mother - when she first arrived in America.
And yet, they are [even today] our closest of family relatives! You see, bloodlines don't determine who are definitively considered to be one's family. The Key Ingredient is "Love" and it always has been.... I have an older brother in Colorado, whom I have never once physically met. To him, I am merely another stranger in a world filled with other numerous and nameless people. Likewise, I have a sister in Connecticut who has never, once, tried to even contact me - at all. Families are built upon our self-imposed structures of love.
Furthermore, some of us even realize that - by extension - All Americans are equally our family... for regardless of: Race, Ethnicity, Religion, or Class - we are all living in this large familial community together! Martin Luther King jr. was just such a man, and today their are many more like him. I, myself, am one. Hopefully, you are as well. Likewise, we are all the descendants of immigrants. For, when you go back far enough, Noah and his three sons got off of The Ark [equally] together.
The Problem is not Immigration... but rather, the socialization and stratification of our ever-evolving American life! High rates of Immigration are only socially disruptive, and culturally destructive, when a society has unreasonable expectations of governmentally derived and socially expended largesse. Moreover, when that nation effectively punishes necessary and demand driven social segregations, a governmental social support network becomes the only real means to mitigate a whole lot of unnecessary individual suffering.
The problem is within our own: selfishly driven, nationally mandated, and ill-conceived governmental policies. Consequently, when America rediscovers her roots of Individual and Personal Political Freedom, Immigration will again be the greatest blessing God gave ever us. Remarkably, the average American Immigrant can explain this concept often better than those who have been born here! What should that tell us?