Tuesday, March 03, 2009

the immigration "problem"

"To Benjamin Franklin the prospect that the Germans 'will soon ... out number us' was one full of alarm. Their children didn't seem to learn English; they read imported German books and a German newspaper; interpreters were now needed in some courts. The very "Signs in the our Streets have inscriptions in both languages,' he noted warily, 'and in some places only in German.'"

Sound familiar? No one seems to worry about German-speaking immigrants these days, because in time, of course, they learned English -- just as today's immigrants to the U.S. will do.

- from Peter Silver, Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America, (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008), p. 13.

No comments: