The raging debate over immigration serves the unfortunate but all-too-American need to feel superior to other less-than-white groups of humanity.
It brings out racism and places it in the forefront of American political debate.
Oh, we can sugar-coat the debate with rhetoric about the economic impact of so many immigrants working so many low-paying jobs but in the end the core of the debate is good-old American racist-bred fear.
Latin-Americans now comprise the largest minority group in America and that scares the hell out of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants who must find someone to hate and fear. Forget about blacks. They're now a minority among minorities. Let's focus on the Mexicans.
But let's try and hide the racism by talking about jobs and crime and other buzzwords that mask our true intent. That's the American way.
People who used to cross the street to avoid blacks now do the same when Hispanics approach. Nowadays the ethnic slur of choice is "wetback" or "greaser" or "spic." The names change but the hate is the same.
Yet those whose protests originate from racism scream and moan about how their real concern is that all these immigrants will take away jobs while they ignore the fact that most illegal aliens work jobs that most Americans feel is beneath them: Cleaning hotel rooms, mowing yards, working hours on end in the hot sun hanging shingles on a roof.
Back in the 60s, the United Auto Workers, upset over the influx of foreign cars into America, issued bumper stickers that read: "Buy a foreign car. Put 10 Americans out of work."
That prompted someone with their head screwed on straight to put out a rival bumper sticker that read: "Buy a foreign car because 10 Americans don't want to work anyway."
Americans created the job market for immigrants by deciding that certain service sector jobs were beneath them and that anyone who worked as a maid or served up cheeseburgers at the local McDonalds was a second-class citizen.
So it's hard to blame a motel owner for hiring an immigrant who will work his or her butt off instead of a complaining, whiny American who feels the job is beneath their dignity, assuming that owner can find a complaining, whiny American even willing to take the job.
Knee-jerk right-wingers scream foul because the immigration bill that just failed in the Senate included a guest-worker program that they claim is amnesty for illegal aliens.
Yet those who scream the loudest forget that most of us are descendants of immigrants and the earliest of those were also illegal aliens who came to a new land uninvited and made a home for themselves.
If immigrants are indeed invading this country then it is just history repeating itself. That's how America became America.