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Old 11-20-2010, 02:13 AM
 
Location: Tower of Heaven
4,023 posts, read 6,269,475 times
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In the late 1980s, new jobs in an expanding meat processing industry attracted an immigrant Hispanic workforce to the Midwest and significantly changed the ethnic makeup and culture of many small agricultural towns. One of these is Marshalltown, Iowa, where an influx of Hispanic workers and their families has challenged long-time residents and newcomers to find ways to communicate, understand each other and work together.
Marshalltown, which had a population of 25,814 in 2009, is an agricultural and industrial town located in central Iowa. Like the rest of Iowa, Marshalltown historically has had a very homogeneous population. The town was settled in 1853 by primarily German, Irish and Norwegian settlers. Twenty years ago, only 5 percent of the population was non-European; the percentage included refugee families from Southeast Asia, Native Americans and African Americans. None of these groups ever developed a significant population base in Marshalltown. However, the 292 Hispanic residents, or 0.76 percent of the population living in Marshall County in 1990, were the foundation for a rapid ethnic diversification of the town and its environs.



Revitalizing a Midwestern City: Immigrants in Marshalltown

I like this article
And images there:
Meet Marshalltown: Image and Voice
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:05 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,257,090 times
Reputation: 6657
I guess I'm vaguely disappointed as the article's title implies it's things it's not. I was thinking this would be about a declining town that rebounded due to skilled or unusually useful legal immigrants. That doesn't seem to be what it's about if I read it right. To start

"with “illegal” taken to mean criminal."

Well seeing as it is a violation of US immigration law it would be kind-of a crime right? And at least in some sense if you commit a crime you are criminal of some kind I'd think. At the very least it's strange for a government site to host an article implying violators of US law should not be considered criminals in any sense and that any concern with illegal immigration is just bigoted. (Which it might be, but still the government telling us its laws are bigoted seems a bit weird)

The other problem is it's not clear to me from the article how these immigrants "revitalized the town." Basically the town decided they sympathize with their plight and have accepted them. That's nice, but it doesn't tell us that the town was "revitalized" by it. They had a meatpacking plant that expanded and needed new employees. They don't indicate the new employees could only be Hispanic immigrants unless you just blithely accept that only Hispanics would take such jobs. It just says they were Hispanics. Maybe adding bright colors to the town's housing palate and more festivals was enriching, but I don't think that's necessarily "revitalizing." Nor is it clear to me it's something only Mexicans, many of them illegals apparently, could do.

So it's not really about immigrants revitalizing a town so far as I can tell. It's implicitly about how illegal immigration is good because their life in Mexico is bad and they're such colorful people compared to boring old Iowans. The first part of that, that Mexico is bad, I'm sympathetic enough toward I can understand open borders sentiment. Still that's maybe more an argument for aid to Mexico than anything. On the second even though I like the idea of making places more diverse, I like that Hispanics are coming to our town, I'm not sure it's a good argument on immigration laws. If it were we should be unsatisfied with Marshalltown mostly just getting Hispanic immigrants from a few parts of Mexico and want them to get more illegals from China or wherever. (Or end all immigration laws, but have quotas so we get more non-whites than whites to increase our diversity)

I might be less bothered by it if it were just a news article, but even then I would say the title needs to be changed or the article needs to do a better job justifying the title.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:13 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,257,090 times
Reputation: 6657
That said I think there have been examples of immigrants revitalizing small towns. Many small towns have been helped by doctors who came to this country from India and elsewhere. Or small college towns aided by students from abroad. I guess I was just expecting something like that.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:28 AM
 
20,979 posts, read 15,629,058 times
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Okay.

Demographics change.

So what?

As long as they are here legally.

Americans are not against legal immigration.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:16 PM
 
5,649 posts, read 13,610,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale View Post
Okay.

Demographics change.

So what?

As long as they are here legally.

Americans are not against legal immigration.
Kind of a blanket statement there!
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