Monday, April 30, 2007

Those Damn Immigrants

Another one of those horrible immigrants from Bosnia is asking for us to give him even more:

A Utica man is working to put together a benefit concert for fallen Utica Police officer Thomas Lindsey.

Nedim Mujic never met Officer Lindsey, but says after hearing the news of his death, he wanted to do something to help.

Mujic, who is originally from Bosnia, created a web site in Officer Lindsey's honor and came up with the idea of a benefit concert. He says this is his way of giving back to the community.

You can find Mr. Mujic's website, and details about the benefit concert, at

In case your sarcasm detector is broken, I think this a typical example of how much recent immigrants to our country, and our area in particular, add to our community. There's a certain subset of the local population that thinks the thousands of Bosnians that now call Utica home are a "problem". Not surprisingly, they also dislike the immigrants from Somalia, Russia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Peru, Cambodia, Pakistan, and, well, pretty much anywhere.

What most of those critics of immigration fail to grasp is that the only thing stopping our area from undergoing a massive economic collapse is the influx of legal immigrants. Without them there's a good chance our population would have fallen below the level necessary to support any kind of tax base in the last decade. Even a casual examination of the real estate transactions and business incorporation announcements in the Observer-Dispatch will demonstrate that it's the people with "funny sounding" surnames that are now building the foundation of our local economy.

They're the ones buying marginal properties in blighted areas of the city and restoring them.

They're the ones starting up the small businesses that fuel what little real economic growth we have.

They're the ones that are helping to give us a future.