Author: Ryan

Why California’s Immigrants Are Not As Welcome As They Think

Why California’s Immigrants Are Not As Welcome As They Think

Op-Ed: Are Californians fleeing en masse to Texas? The reality is complicated

In a state rich in talent, creativity and promise, the top-notch education, health care, and environmental policies created under Gov. Jerry Brown in California have inspired tens of thousands of immigrants, making the Golden State one of the nation’s most successful immigration destinations.

But the truth is, California is not as welcoming an environment as portrayed in the news.


When I first moved to California from New York as a teen in the late ’80s, I was surprised to learn that some of my schoolmates at the private Stanford Preparatory Academy, an all-boys school in San Jose, said a prayer together every morning, recited prayers whenever they wanted. I didn’t know any other U.S. kids did that.

I had to ask.

“It’s a Southern Catholic tradition,” one told me.

“And it’s how a lot of the boys in the school talk about heaven, too,” another added, with a mischievous smile.

“Is that a lot of men?” I asked.

“A long time ago,” they answered.

That was a little bizarre. I wondered why anyone would keep a tradition like that going that didn’t necessarily have any religious motivation whatsoever.

My father’s grandparents brought their first children to California as they migrated to the United States from Hungary in the early 1900s. Like most, they arrived under the assumption that in California they would be allowed to do just about anything.

Today’s young immigrants are the first generation who grew up with the expectation that their parents, not government policy, would be responsible for their well-being.

If they were good kids, like my grandfather was, they could go to college and earn a living, a dream my father would have aspired to for his whole life.


Like me, his grandparents would have been happy to take in a few more children like them, especially if they were a little less than they could be — not an issue in my family since my father�

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