Before getting into Border Patrol: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), I just want to touch on The Economist’s piece Immigrants do not need to speak English before they arrive.
What I like about this article is that it debunks some of the common propaganda Trumpists sell to a gullible public:
The foreign-born percentage of the population peaked not last year—the administration likes to talk of “unprecedented” numbers—but in 1890, when the share of foreign-born residents was at an all-time high of 14.8%. This proportion has risen again after declining in the mid-20th century (it stood at 12.9% in the 2010 census).
One of the reasons why the populace is so gullible about immigration misinformation is that most Americans grew up in an abnormal demographic environment where English dominated. English has not always ruled the American roost:
Herre’s an interesting tidbit I heard on the Freakonomics podcast. The reason why Americans smile so much in comparison with other countries is years ago many people didn’t share the same language. Smiling became a non-verbal way of communicating.
Historically, this is the norm rather than the exception: the years from 1925 to 1965, when immigration was almost completely cut off, were unusual. But those born from the 1940s to the 1960s became used to the low numbers of foreign-born residents, regarding this state as normal. That in turn supported a belief that America has always naturally belonged completely to English.
OK, let’s get on with John Oliver.
Be aware there is swearing in this video.
You have been warned.
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