Illegal Immigra…

Illegal Immigrants and Eurocrats

Traumas suffered by a society generations ago can still have a negative effect centuries later. This is something Americans of a certain age should have no difficulty understanding. Half a century ago, we had to grapple with a dysfunctional and unjustifiable system of legally imposed racial segregation. It was a legacy of the Civil War a century before and of slavery before that. Americans managed to reform that system, but it wasn’t easy. Getting rid of policies that are the responses to long-ago traumas is a difficult business.

Two current instances, one facing America and the other facing Europe, come to mind. Both result from strong desires to learn from the mistakes made in the years following World War I — the Great War, as it was called at the time — which began nearly a century ago.
The first case involves American immigration policy. Many Americans were uneasy about the millions of immigrants who flowed in from Eastern and Southern Europe in the years after the opening of Ellis Island in 1892. World War I showed them that government could control the flow of people, and in 1924, Congress cut off the flow of Ellis Islanders.

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