Opportunity, Assimilation And A Lesson From Sweden

As the immigration debate rages on, we need to make sure we agree on the importance of assimilation. While some immigrants will fully embrace their new country with unbridled enthusiasm, others will live here, disaffected and unproductive for years. A permanently alienated population of millions is nothing but trouble.

Lavish welfare payments aren’t the answer. (Whenever something is given away as a hand out, not a hand up, there is no gratitude, and no assigned value. In fact, there is not only a quick dependence but a demand for more and more government largesse.)  Learning the language is essential, of course, but there is still something else.

In fact, the only thing that really encourages immigrants to assimilate, to become productive citizens with a sense of belonging, is opportunity. Opportunity to put their God-given gifts and talents to work, opportunity to create their own businesses, opportunity to earn, save, build and create – to assimilate fully into everything society has to offer those who work hard and play by the rules.

Stockholm, in the notoriously welfare-happy country of Sweden, is, literally, on fire. Unhappy (and ungrateful) immigrants are sending a message. Are we here in the U.S. ready to listen and learn?