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Immigration is a U.S. asset, not a weakness

I believe that Congress is not only failing the “Dreamers” but is also failing the nation by mishandling this and other immigration issues (“Trump says he’s open to a path to citizenship for some ‘Dreamers’ in immigration bill,” Jan. 24). We keep hearing about chain migration and merit immigration. As these are mainly Republican ideas, we need to crack the code to get to the reality.

I believe that most of us whose ancestors arrived here from Europe a few generations ago were caught up somewhere in chain migration. Merit immigration would mean that Donald Trump would not have been born, as his mother immigrated from Scotland as a domestic. The Trump dynasty as we know it would not exist if these new Republican ideas were in place before President Trump's mother decided to come here. The hypocrisy of Mr. Trump should not be a surprise. If we look at many of the current immigrants, we see hard working individuals and families who make a major contribution to our nation. Many arrive and start a small business and insist that their children work hard at school and receive a great education. Many of these children become doctors. lawyers, scientists and job creators.

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If we compare this group of more recent immigrants to the children of Europeans who have been here longer, we see significant differences. We are allowing our children to became lazy by pampering them and failing to hold them accountable. Children spend too much time on social media and are failing to learn good study and work habits. Countries with low birthrates and lazy children will find it difficult to survive without new blood. Who are the people who are willing to do the hard work? In ages past, children worked to support themselves and their families. Child labor was outlawed years ago but the expectation was that children work hard while in school.

We have all seen how our system is failing. Parents are over indulgent and focus on leisure activities rather than academic pursuits. The major priority for parents in Baltimore County appears to be air conditioning in the public schools. The majority of children brought up in this system can usually support themselves but they are unable to make contributions to the wider community. Immigrants are better prepared to do the work that many Americans are too lazy to do.

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I believe that some have chosen to demonize immigrants as they generally make us look lazy and incompetent. We should continue our American tradition of welcoming the immigrant as we and they will both benefit. We should not cave in to the hateful rhetoric of the far right as they really fail to understand and appreciate American values and they lack common sense.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore

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