Listen, I know we’ve been saying this silently for decades, through our immigration policies, the dehumanizing and financially draining red-tape behind every visa application, and decades of dog-whistle rhetoric that has been normalized in most social circles. But like a freshman in a screenwriting 101 program, we've decided that subtext is for suckers, and are just writing a loud narrator who says our inside-thoughts out-loud. Artistry! What a bold new age to live in! So here goes: Don’t come to America until you've already achieved the American Dream.
I hear what you’re saying: this really clashes with the overall narrative we’ve built up in the past century. But I’d like to offer a few counterpoints.
Firstly, it is unacceptable to ask our citizens ( and non-citizens and undocumented people who also pay taxes, but that’s not the point.) to subsidize a tiny segment of an extremely vulnerable population who need food stamps and medicare to survive, and are already too terrified to accept any welfare for fear of retaliation. Because our hardworking taxpayers are already subsidizing so. much. corporate taxes. So. Much. Yes, undocumented immigrants and non-citizens pay more taxes than most multi-national corporations, but what do you want from us? Ask Jeff Bezos to fill out a W-2 like a fucking normie next year? Not pay private prisons $800 million of taxpayer money to detain working, undocumented immigrants in inhumane conditions? Are you out of your mind?
And I hear you asking “But wait, if I can only live here if I’m rich, and I can’t get rich until I live and work here for a while, isn’t this kind of a hellish catch-22?” Sure, but have you ever considered how hard it is to construct and normalize a catch-22 this perfect? Do you think it’s easy to turn immigration into a sort of dystopian American Idol for basic human rights, where we divide immigrants into worthy and unworthy piles, and specifically disadvantage brown and black immigrants as a bonus? But we did it, nevertheless, because this is America, not American’t, damn it.
We just can’t be taking in people who are tax burdens on the economy, and exploit welfare loopholes to drain more resources than they contribute. That’s reserved for corporations, not working class people.
What was that? Every single person rounded up in ICE raids last week was trying to not be a burden, pay taxes and stand on their own two feet? Okay let me put it this way, it’s not so much about standing on your own two feet, but that we want your two feet to always be wearing limited-edition Air Jordans? Does that make sense? You can still land on Ellis Island, but the only way to get there is if you have a personal yacht! It’s not a bad deal! But fair warning, next year we might place a cut-off on yachts that are lesser than a 30ft long.
In conclusion: Our position is still that this is the land of opportunity (if you’ve already had plenty of it) and anyone can make it here (as long as you’ve already made it by the time you get here) if you’re qualified (rich, and hopefully from a country with fjords, we fucking love fjords) and work hard (only if they have jobs that offer stock options, 401Ks, and dental+vision)—to contribute to this country (‘s already skyrocketing income inequality) so, seriously, tell your friends (the ones with trust funds)!