Oftentimes the immigration pushers use the canard of a nation of immgirants. The immigration resistance force fights that, but there is merit to just stating the obvious difference in America around 1900 and today. America around 1900 was a much more middle tier power. America had an economy more in line with the restof Europe, and had a far more wide open economy. It also had a far weaker central government. It is not just who a nation adds but the gameboard that figures are placed on. Mid-20th century America was globally like the New York Yankees, adding new members should have been selective and potential immigrants seen as amplifiers whether bringing wealth, smarts or technical abilities. This is different from 19th century America that was an agricultural and resource power. Similar to every political or social debate in America, because of unmentionables, we cannot discuss the importance of who we are importing and what improvements they bring with them.
Check out per capita GDP of countries heading to the USA compared to today. US GDP was anywhere from even to 50% higher than the GDP of countries that people left to come to the US. The Swedes and Norwegians who came from countries with lower per capita GDPs created thriving, orderly communities in the Upper Midwest. This is not to say that all immigration was perfect, but America's economic position was relatively lower in 1870 and 1913 than today. America's economy was far more agrarian focused, and the frontier was not closed as FDR put it. With the wealth of minerals, discovery of oil, manufacturing throughout the north and transportation networks to be built, there was a huge demand for labor. There was also no PC culture or welfare system. Immigrants frozen out through the hierarchy in Europe at the time could try America.
Today agricultural jobs make up a pittance of total jobs. The economy has seen wage deprecitation not just due to the glut of workers through unrestricted immigration but through global wage arbitrage. Automation has lowered the demand for manufacturing workers. Where are these "workers" coming from? America is also pulling in immigrants from nations with per capita GDP's that are a fraction of America's. Mexico's is 1/5th, India's is 1/33rd (yes, 1/33rd), Brazil's is 1/4th and the other sources of immigration are similarly horrible. Rights, welfare, welfare rights, you name it they get it. The immigrants are coming from some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
It is about quality of life, but only for the immigrant who leaves the 3rd world, underclass standards of living hell hole behind. It does not even help the economt. It isn't about money or the optimzation of the economy or American economic power. It is about politics. The politics of boosting growth to make all of those special progressive welfare systems solvent for as long as possible takes a backseat to pure electoral politics. That is the catch-22 of so many social democrats who want a rich welfare system. The money must come from somewhere so as much as they hate capitalism, they need it to enact their policies.
It's also politics not of today as much as tomorrow. The media molds the entire message by saying America is a nation of immigrants, that being anti-immigration is racist, and that immigrants will meld perfectly into the fabric of America. This is really so that by the time their kids, with birthright citizenship, are old enough to vote, they have a legitimate voice as young Americans with shaping policy and governing the nation. Amazing how the nation of immigrants phrase takes off like a rocket around the passage of the 1965 immigration act and goes parabolic in the '90s. That language must have made the transformation of California into Alta California much easier to rationalize. At some point, the media gatekeepers will probably float out the idea of annexing Mexico. They'll have a ready made statesman to lead that unification.
Decades of immigration and conditioning that the US is a nation of immigrants has made the discussion only one of expanding immigration and moving forward. Eisenhower's Operation Wetback would be impossible today. Even if immigration becomes a yes or no question, it is easier to paint the no side as 'extreme' when we can never discuss 'who'. Discussing 'who' and even 'why' would reveal too many unpleasant truths about the relative values of day laborers from Central America vs. engineers from Sweden or farmers from South Africa. It might lead to questions of what exactly was the goal starting in 1965 of bringing in poorly performing new players to the Yankees' clubhouse.
This is also a point in determining who has the strongest power in the polygon: the media. Sure the banks have a good financial blackmail scheme going with them, but the Sulzberger family could sacrifice a bit of wealth to destroy them. The NY Times has constitutional protection that Harvard does not, and the media can quickly turn on academia to rough them up. Not one major outlet shouts about what population replacement or mass immigration has done to communities, and they do not educate the areas of the nation that have not been overrun by Mexican immgiration like the border states. Reagan could not consider an Operation Wetback in the mid '80s, only amnesty. If the NY Times wanted, they could lead the way in spotlighting immigration's detrimental effect on the fabric of the nation and the national treasury. Others could mention the environmental degredation. A two to four year campaign, punctuated by illegal immigrant kills again stories, would have voters frothing at the mouth for a candidate who wants to end mass immigration and expel recent law breakers. Most importantly, public figures could voice a wide range of policy options to debate for this primed pool of voters. Yet they remain silent. California was too big of a jewel to pass up, and Texas is now in their sights.