Edward J. Erler is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at California State University, San Bernadino, and recently he delivered a speech at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Colorado Springs on the issues of diversity, unity, citizenship, and immigration.
In his speech, Professor Erler stated: “The American people can, of course, consent to allow others to join the compact that created the American nation, but they have the sovereign right to specify the terms and conditions for granting entry and the qualifications for citizenship. Presumably the qualifications for entry and naturalization will be whether those who wish to enter demonstrate a capacity to adopt the habits, manners, independence, and self-reliance of republican citizens and devotion to the principles that unite the American people. Furthermore, it would be unreasonable not to expect that potential immigrants should possess useful skills that will ensure that they will not become victims of the welfare state.”
When Professor Erler discussed “the habits, manners, independence, and self-reliance of republican citizens and devotion to the principles that unite the American people” he was, in essence, describing cultural assimilation. Immigrants who immediately culturally assimilate to American norms and adopt said habits, manners, independence, self-reliance, and other principles stand a far greater chance of achieving success in this nation.
When Professor Erler addressed “useful skills” he was, in essence, speaking to the importance of immigrants immersing themselves in English and becoming proficient in English as soon as possible. When immigrants immerse themselves in English and become proficient in English as quickly as possible, then they are adopting the “useful skills” that will lead to a far greater likelihood of their economic and professional success in this nation.