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Manhattan Institute

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Can America Still Assimilate Immigrants?

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Can America Still Assimilate Immigrants?

The Wall Street Journal August 7, 2019
OtherImmigration

Newcomers don’t threaten America. The danger lies in diminishing the values of freedom and opportunity.

There is a scene in the first season of the Amazon television series “Jack Ryan” in which a French intelligence officer explains to the title character, her American counterpart, why immigrants to France have so much trouble assimilating.

“In America, you can still be an African and an American,” she tells Ryan. “You can be a Mexican-American, an Italian-American, a Chinese-American. In France, there are no hyphenates. You are either French or you are not.”

The scene is set in Paris, but the conversation could have taken place in Berlin or Rome or Zurich, where tolerance and respect may be emphasized but outsiders generally aren’t fully embraced. Shared culture ultimately trumps everything else. You’re either German or Italian or Swiss—or you aren’t.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

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Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

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