The American Enterprise Institute recently hosted a book discussion between Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume and AEI president Arthur Brooks, on the future of the conservative movement and Brooks’s new book, “The Conservative Heart.” During the question and answer time, Brooks was asked to comment on why so many immigrants, while morally conservative, vote for liberal Democrats in such high percentages. He gave a valid answer: immigrants don’t feel as welcome and included within the Republican Party. As an immigrant, I would like to give another answer.
One of the reasons my family fled Iraq was that my father did not see a future for us there. He brought my sister and me to America so we would benefit from education and work opportunities, opportunities made possible by this country’s embrace of free enterprise. This is true of most immigrants, no matter their national origin. Whether the immigrant is from India, China, Japan, Syria, Iraq, or any of the Latin American countries, most people who come to the United States are coming for a better economic future for themselves and their families. For a dozen generations, America has offered and delivered this to her natives and her immigrants alike.
Many immigrants do well in this country because they capitalize on so many of the opportunities that some natives spurn. They work hard—as my father did, holding three jobs at one point—to make a better life for themselves and their families. Mothers and fathers sacrifice so their children, that first generation, can do well in school, access higher education, and take jobs with upward mobility. Many immigrants prod their children to go into professional fields so they will have higher incomes, and so they can take care of their parents when the time comes.
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