The word meant failure, loss and defeat in the lives of people who sought refuge in other countries. It meant loss, too, to the families who had depended on the physical proximity of the immigrant. It branded the immigrant with the stigma of a loser in the game of life.
In my 25 years as a immigration attorney, I have seen thousands of families confront the pain of admitting financial failure by immigrating. But the families I see are not walking away from their responsibilities. They take on the arduous task of living in a foreign land to support themselves and their families. Many of them fail; the burdens on them are just too great. Many of them successfully make the transition.
It is unfortunate that recent immigration reform failed — lacking the support of both Tennessee senators — leaving the barriers and punishments for immigrating in place, with loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected.
At first blush, the Tennessee immigrating rate may cause concern. But the nation's immigration bureaucracy would be far better off had Congress seen how immigrants assume responsibility and try to succeed the best they can. They use the system in the right way, when it lets them.
Do you agree? If not, see if you agree with the original article, which has nothing to do with immigrants. With apologies to Hank Hildebrand.