Editorial: Now newcomers will show us the American way

Photo By Abigail Rosen/MV Times: Migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard are fed at a local school.

Column By John Young

Wretched refuse.

In his glowering snark, Ron DeSantis believes he sent Martha’s Vineyard a load of manure.

From Texas’ Greg Abbott and Arizona’s Doug Ducey: shipments of human effluent to Washington, New York, and Chicago. C.O.D.

Warning: murderers and rapists inside. And some good people.

To hear these demagogues, reactions in Massachusetts, New York, Chicago, and D.C. are just a bunch of rants and whines.

No, sirs. The responses have been words of welcome, deeds of compassion, of volunteers and public officials springing to the needs of others.

Scenes of ignominy and despair? Try images bright and uplifting, like a lamp in a harbor.

Now let those immigrants show us the way – the American way.

Texas is where I lived for a quarter of a century, and where my sons were raised and educated. And let me testify that the real Texas wasn’t that represented in the ruling party at the State Capitol.

The essence of Texas is in its diverse cities and its sun-beaten work crews.

It is in the good souls who spoke not a word of English while replacing my roof with remarkable dispatch after a Central Texas storm.

It is in the remarkable transformation of a broad swath of heavily Hispanic South Waco I watched change over several years – rentals that over a decade took on the shimmer of new paint, cleaner yards, and peaceable neighbors. I promise you not all of those neighbors were here legally.

They weren’t there to feed from the public trough. They were – are – there to provide for themselves in the greatest American tradition.

“Immigration fuels the economy,” says one of those think tanks the “bus ‘em to Martha’s Vineyard” crowd no doubt would deride.

The think tank has numbers on its side, pointing to an economic term: “immigrant surplus” — the extent to which natives, and the GDP, benefit from newcomers. In 2016, when Donald Trump arose, trumpeting anti-immigrant screeds, that benefit was as much as $76 billion a year.

By the way, that think tank was birthed by another Texas governor. Its name: the George W. Bush Institute. Of course, Trump doesn’t like the Bush family either.

Costs accompany newcomers in all cases. Growth is always a long-term proposition.

President Biden recently moved to secure the benefits of immigrants all Americans should value with a directive codifying DACA – protection for 600,000 immigrants who arrived with undocumented parents and who contribute mightily to this nation.

It is to the shame of the Republican Party that these people remain in limbo 10 years after Barack Obama created DACA. They have made good on their opportunities, many serving in our military, excelling in our colleges, and enhancing our neighborhoods.

This takes us back to the welcomes in Martha’s Vineyard, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York – where Liberty’s lamp outshines racism’s rants.

Helping the newcomers get settled will cost, but they will get to work as soon as they can, filling needed roles in an economy with a labor deficit. They will produce. New York will benefit.

“Immigrants grease the wheels of the labor market by flowing into industries and areas where there is a relative need for workers – where bottlenecks or shortages might otherwise damp growth.” That’s the George W. Bush Institute talking there.

These governors seek to make good people on those buses the symptom of what ails America. In fact, they are the essence of America’s amazing success story.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.