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A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)
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September 2, 2010
In a sense, it’s perhaps mostly of academic interest, since it represents an approach to immigration that is totally different from current American policy. (Do we have an immigration policy?) An approach so different from the inevitable amnesty and road to citizenship we will eventually provide for the more than 10 million Hispanic immigrants currently residing illegally in the United States.
But let me tell you about Danish immigration policy as reported by Susan MacAllen, a Canadian citizen, writing as a contributing editor for FamilySecurityMatters.org.
MacAllen writes that she was living and studying in Denmark in 1978-79, when Denmark had low crime rates, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism and “offered the best welcome to Europe to the new immigrant.”
But by the 1990s, “the growing urban Muslim population was obvious—and its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society was obvious. Years of immigrants had settled into Muslim-filled enclaves. (In America, of course, the new enclaves are predominantly Hispanic, not Muslim.)
The Danish reaction:
If an immigrant wants to become Danish, “you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark’s history, culture, and a Danish language test.
“You must live in Denmark for seven years before applying for citizenship. You must demonstrate an intent to work and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark, you must both be over 24 years of age.”
What are the chances that anything even approaching the Danish requirements will be applied when we finally get around to—if we ever get around to—dealing with the problem of illegal immigrants? I would say the chances range from none to none.
The Danes are trying to deal with an immigration problem before it gets totally out of hand.
In America’s case, the problem is totally out of hand. And efforts to restrict further violation of our immigration laws are, as in the case of an Arizona law passed to discourage illegal immigration, greeted with outrage from President Obama down to the level of “indie” singers like Omaha’s Conor Oberst.
In the United States, even efforts to end the granting of automatic United States citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants have yet to gain significant traction. Liberals seem to see a chance to capitalize on the problem, using it as an argument for prompt action to turn illegal immigrants into American citizens. Then those hundreds of thousands of babies born to illegal immigrants will have mothers who have become legal residents, you see.
So the citizen-baby/illegal-immigrant-mother travesty can be used as an argument for speeding the process of moving those mothers—and other illegal immigrants—on the road to citizenship.
It won’t look at all like the Danish road to citizenship for immigrants.
As to the idea that this would take care of the citizen-baby/illegal immigrant-mother problem, consider:
There are authenticated reports that Chinese citizens, who have the resources to afford it, are being offered “make your baby a U.S. citizen” packages.
The Chinese promoters offer—for a fee, of course—a “pregnancy-to-U.S.-citizenship” package which includes transportation to the United States, care of the pregnant mother and delivery of the baby, with a return trip to China, to take advantage later of any opportunity that might be open to the United States-born American citizen Chinese child.
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Over the years I have often wondered how self-anointed spokesmen for this or that organization—details as to membership are rarely reported—get so much news media attention.
A current example is an Omahan named Dave Nabity, who has been getting considerable print and electronic attention as he offers the Nabity solution to this or that political problem, concentrating now on the Nabity formula for running Omaha’s city government.
He calls his organizations “The Omaha Alliance for the Private Sector.” No details as to membership.
Nabity’s credentials appear to be that he is a businessman and that he ran for the Republican nomination for governor in 2006.
Nabity, incidentally, got 5.3% of the votes in the Republican primary in which Dave Heineman defeated Tom Osborne. I think it fair comment to observe that one can question the political smarts of an unknown candidate like Nabity to spend time and money challenging a popular governor and a popular former Nebraska Cornhusker football coach and Third District Congressman.
* * *
From time to time, if you’re like me, you run across a piece of news which evokes an “Are they kidding?” reaction.
Here is one such piece of news, reported with enthusiastic approval by The New York Times in a recent top-of-the-page editorial carrying this headline: “A Welfare Check and a Voting Card.”
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, better known as the Motor Voter Law, got public attention with its requirement for making it possible to register to vote at state motor vehicle licensing offices.
However, the law also required states to allow registration at offices that administer food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, disability assistance and child health programs.
And now that long-overlooked portion of the law is to be the object of an enforcement effort by the U.S. Justice Department.
The Times editorial concedes that registration at public assistance offices proved “far less popular” than the provision for registration at state motor vehicle offices. The editorial said Republican officials did not want to provide easy entry to the voting polls for low-income people whom they considered likely to vote Democratic.
The Times, of course, made no mention of the certainty that people so little interested in becoming voters that they have to be enticed to register when they are picking up their welfare checks or food stamps are very unlikely to be well-informed voters if indeed they can be enticed to the polls at all.
This nation already has an abundance of uninformed voters. Mixing food stamps and welfare checks into the equation isn’t at all likely to improve that situation, as I see it.
* * *
It’s heartening news to read of the way three schools which I greatly admire—Creighton University and my two alma maters, The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha North High School—are stepping up to meet their challenges.
For the eighth straight year—and 13 of the past 14 years—US News and World Report has ranked Creighton the No. 1 private university in the 12-state Midwestern region stretching from Nebraska to Ohio.
The category in which Creighton is ranked tops is the so-called private college sector, in contrast to so-called public universities, like the University of Nebraska, which are government-owned and operated and financed largely by public funds.
With an appropriate touch of pride, the Rev. John Schlegel, Creighton’s president, commented:
“The university’s outstanding academic programs, as well as its commitment to providing scholarship assistance to its talented and diverse student body, once again places it at the top of this category.”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln prolonged its streak of finishing among the nation’s Top Fifty public universities. UNL has made the US News Top Fifty for seven straight years, ranking this year as the nation’s 47th best public university. (The University of Iowa is ranked 29th and Iowa State University 41st.)
As to my other alma mater, Omaha North High School:
The school has dedicated a new science wing, a project which was conceived seven years ago and included input from students. The result is the school’s new Engineering, Science and Technology Wing, a four-story 30,000-square-foot addition.
Principal Gene Haynes—among the very best of the school principals with whose work I am familiar—said of the former students’ contribution: “We tried to incorporate their ideas where we could.”
The student planners were invited back for the dedication ceremonies.
From this North High graduate, a heartfelt “Thank you!” to the generous donors, including some North High alumni, who made possible the construction of the $8 million science wing. It helps make North High an even better school than it was when I was a student there—and it was a very good school those 70 or so years ago.
The generous donors who funded construction of the new science wing included George and Sally Haddix, Susie Buffett’s Sherwood Foundation, Dianne and Allan Lozier’s Lozier Foundation, Janet Strauss, Sid Dillon, Sr. and the William and Ruth Scott Foundation.
* * *
As regular readers know, I try to end each column on an upbeat note. Today’s upbeat note is very seasonal in nature, offering very kind words—from Florida, no less—about the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
It’s a real pleasure for this Nebraska Cornhusker football fan (I attended my first Husker game 77 years ago) to share with you a Florida newspaper columnist’s view of the Nebraska-Texas shootout in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln October 16.
It’s hardly news that many of the nation’s football fans and sports columnists will be highly interested in the results of the Nebraska-Texas showdown.
But columnist Larry Burton of the Panama City Beach, Fla. News Herald suggests that the Texas Longhorns are so unpopular that the Nebraska Cornhuskers “could be, for this year anyway, America’s team.”
Why, columnist Burton asks. He answers his own question thus:
They, and Colorado, had the nerve to finally stand up to Texas and tell them they could take their personal conference and shove it. A lot of people really like Nebraska’ new ‘Pluckiness.’”
The Florida columnist recalls the fact that Texas was willing to abandon the Big 12 Conference, taking Oklahoma along to join the Pac 10.
Considering “the arrogance of Texas,” Burton writes, “nothing would be sweeter than to see Nebraska take Texas to the woodshed one last time and take a conference trophy home with them as an adios gift.”
Burton opines that the Big 10 “would love to have their newest member come into their conference as a champion.” Then this reference to last year’s Big 12 championship game:
“Nebraska is certainly an able team. They did beat Texas last year until a mystery second was added to the clock. And while they may not be able to fulfill the dreams of payback that fans everywhere want to see, they will certainly have a lot of new support in hoping it happens…
“Texas has made a lot of enemies, and Nebraska suddenly has a lot of new friends.”
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