Immigration is not the problemBy Russ Cashin

If you listen to some in politics today, you will hear it said that immigration, both legal and illegal, is a major problem in our country. But is it really?

It is true that many people have immigrated to the United States for decades to achieve the so-called “American Dream” or to pursue a vision of freedom, education, and employment opportunities that may not be available in their country of origin. And in fact, many of these people have achieved levels of personal and professional success that they could not have obtained in their home countries. Still others were brought here against their will.

It seems as though we have forgotten that this country was primarily founded on immigrant populations. In fact, except for the Native American tribes who were here long before the European incursion, every other person or their ancestors who arrived here in the last few hundred years were all immigrants. Migration, or what is now branded as immigration, is profoundly an aspect of human nature and always has been.

Since prior to recorded history, humans have been a geographically migratory species. In 2005, an anthropological DNA study by National Geographic known as the Genographic Project was made public with the intent to understand the migratory paths of humans since our emergence out of Africa tens of thousands of years ago. From an anthropological perspective, our nomadic ancestors would follow the climate and travel to seek food for survival. Modern humans, those who emerged out of Africa around 70,000 years ago, would begin to rapidly migrate to new territories to seek out needed resources.

What has changed since the early days of our modern human existence is the artificial creation of boundaries that we call countries. The problem is not that people are crossing these political boundaries, it’s that these artificial boundaries are crossing people! One of the most natural aspects of human behavior — to move about for a variety of reasons, especially survival and improvement of quality of life — is being criminalized through political processes.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t have fair and reasonable paths to citizenship within a given country, but it seems that our current political system here in America regarding immigration is increasingly being driven by an underlying and dangerous eugenics ideology.

There are a couple of reasons for this development. The first is that our political system and its leaders aren’t being informed and driven by reputable empirical scientific understanding; rather, money in politics has corrupted the operation of our foundational institutions. Further, there appears to be a “white elitism” that exists along with the idea that somehow this preferred and dominant “culture” should make the “rules.”

What many of our politicians and citizens ignore or simply refuse to understand around the issue of race, ethnicity, and culture is that the migratory nature of humans is built into our DNA and has been thousands of years in the making. Further, and most importantly, is the fact that the fair, light skin pigmentation that is apparent in most individuals of European descent is due to a relatively new genetic variant in human evolution that only appeared and spread through the European population around 6,000–12,000 years ago. Prior to this genetic variation, it appears that most European ancestors were basically brown-skinned.

In other words, “color” really, truly, and scientifically is only skin deep.

It is time that we put into perspective the fact that it is more important that we see humanity as one tribe rather than a multitude of racial and cultural differences. When I have met people from various parts of the word, regardless of their race or culture, I have discovered that we all have the same needs and, generally speaking, the same passions and desires.

It seems that if we fail to make the changes necessary to demonstrate our humanity through compassion, empathy, and caring in our immigration policy, the current political system is trending against one of the most fundamental aspects of human nature — to migrate — and fighting an inevitably losing battle with human anthropological history. This is not simply conjecture, it is the human spirit driven by evolutionary forces.

While the mostly “white” elite currently running the political show may stay in power for a while longer and continue to attempt to manipulate the population through the fear of “other,” evolution is a powerful and systemic influence that will eventually force change. If the powers that be continue to insist upon swimming against the tide and refuse to evolve and adapt, the system itself may perish. That is the nature of progress.

Articles related to “Immigration is not the problem”

As Hispanics support Trump’s immigration policies, GOP has lessons to learn

Citizenship test for high school graduation a good idea, poor execution

You can’t unring the Liberty Bell