It is a sad thing to see that the USA is now a country that refugees are fleeing from.

Throughout my life America was the country that people fled to. There is talk of "making America great again" but its greatness was that it hospitably received people from all over the planet who then built new lives and, in the process, built the American dream. That dream now seems to have gone into reverse and far from making the country great such a development may well hasten its decline.

Why is this happening? It is evident that the country is sharply divided on this issue and that divide is creating very difficult politics. However, this has to be a symptom rather than a cause. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that when America thrived on being a "melting pot" there was a great emphasis upon assimilation. You could become American, wherever you came from, so long as you adopted American values. However, it is now much less clear what "American values" are and when there are large number of Latino immigrants still speaking Spanish and often identifying themselves with Mexico across the border, even though living in the USA, assimilation tends to become less feasible. At some point such a transition from assimilation to multi-culturalism is likely to put excessive strain upon community relations and presumably this is what has happened in at least some parts of the country, producing the backlash that we are currently seeing.

It is an unfortunate development. One wonders how far it is likely to go. Will America succeed in becoming an integrated single people again? Or will it tear itself apart as the tensions mount and mount? And in the meantime, what of the refugees who heretofore have looked to the land of promise for their future safety and the prosperity of their children?

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