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posted: 6/15/2012 5:30 AM

Immigration makes strange bedfellows

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Republican Joe Walsh, while fielding questions on illegal immigration, committed the unpardonable sin of stating that Democrats are eying the possible votes of illegal immigrants by catering to Hispanic lobby groups.

His choice of semantics proved to be politically incorrect in today's world. While illegal immigration is a costly problem for taxpayers, the catch all phrase of Hispanics tends to blame Hispanics who came here by legal means as part of the entire problem.

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Political correctness was a lesser issue in the 1920 era, Old time Americans mostly from Protestant Northern European stock saw the face of the America they had created being "diluted" by heavy immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. Many were Catholics and deemed "different" in their customs and many practiced a religion that supposedly owed their allegiance to a foreign power in Rome, the Pope.

Politicians of that era saw political hay to be reaped and quickly ushered in the National Origins Act by reforming immigration to a quota system allotting each European country a small set number of yearly immigrants to the U.S. As a result, there were fewer immigrants from Italy, Greece, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe while northern European countries were favored with higher quota numbers to maintain the profile that made up the face of America in that era. This policy endured until about 1967 when it was replaced with a national European lottery where would-be immigrants entered their names into their country's lottery hoping to get that coveted visa to the U.S. As always, the politics of immigration reform creates strange bedfellows.

Walter Santi

Bloomingdale

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