Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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European immigrants fail to assimilate to new country

A student at Orion High School in Illinois writes that he’s upset that European countries have opened their floodgates to allow a mass influx of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries who have caused an increase in crimes, especially terrorism-related and sex crimes, in those countries.

Oils used in perfume making, labeled in Arabic, from Egypt (iStock)

“Not all immigrants commit crimes, but if a country just opens its doors, there will be a few bad apples with the bunch,” writes Caden Jackson in The Scarlet Ink student newspaper in an op-ed entitled “You Know What Burns My Bacon?” “If Europe had a proper vetting process I’d be fine with immigrants. You can not open your doors without knowing who’s walking in.”

Crime statistics show, pretty clearly, that some immigrants from Middle Eastern countries failed to assimilate to Western culture upon entering their new countries in Europe.

“There were over 1 million migrants that flowed into Europe in 2015 and 2016,” Caden writes. “58% of migrants were males over the age of 18, 25% were children (under 18), and 17% were women 18 and older. With the mass migration came a rise in crime rates in Europe. With the mass influx of migrants came a 50% increase in rape in Germany alone.”

Immigration numbers in the US don’t rise to the same level of statistical significance as those in Europe, but that hasn’t stopped some people, including the president, from trying to convince people there’s a link between immigration and crime.

President Donald Trump and members of Congress have been talking recently about upgrading US immigration policy, the New York Times reports. His views about a border wall have also “evolved,” according to the White House chief of staff, John Kelly.

But opinions and politics collide when it comes to understanding the statistics behind the student editorial.

Attributing the increase in crime to an increase in immigration may be a valid link, but the real question we should ask is this: What’s the answer? People don’t change their beliefs because they learn a new language, but many government efforts, especially in US public schools, focus on learning the English language. That’s not even 10 percent of the game.

What’s really important is understanding the culture, especially the respect we show each other in the West (although in some people, it falls short). Immigrants need to learn about things like Christmas and the (non-religious) significance of the holiday in the West. They need to learn how we celebrate and enjoy life, at festivals and parades, how we play sports for several reasons. And people in the West need to learn, in a welcoming way, about their once-religious holidays, their celebrations of life, their games, and incorporate them into our body of understanding, showing a mutual and reciprocal respect for immigrants as individuals as well.

Assimilation has always been a self-perpetuating deficiency, its failure a self-fulfilling prophecy. By that I mean, since assimilation requires education, we must find a way to deliver the proper instruction to immigrants. Even our best schools can’t educate a child who’s afraid to go to school because he might be identified as an immigrant and cast out by his peers or, worse, targeted by deporting forces within the government. Then, that immigrant who couldn’t receive the education necessary for proper assimilation, can’t possibly learn anything about our culture, and we can’t possibly learn anything about his in an effort to try to “meet people where they are,” as we do with the latest push to “personalized learning.”

Think of it as an on-ramp to a high-speed freeway. Everyone knows a car already on the freeway has the right-of-way over a car merging into the traffic from the on-ramp. Cars on the freeway aren’t legally obligated to adjust their speed, but sometimes, the only way to avoid an accident is if they accommodate the car merging in from the on-ramp.

When two different cultures collide, such as with the raping of women during a New Year’s Eve celebration, as happened in Germany, the laws of the homeland have to prevail. Those laws protecting women from sexual assault are in place in the US. Laws against terrorism are in place here. But assimilation, which includes education of people on all sides, is absolutely essential to the survival of immigration.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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