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Immigration 101 with Charles Kuck

“America looks more like Oglethorpe than Donald Trump’s cabinet.”

-Charles Kuck

Leading immigration lawyer, Charles “Chuck” Kuck (pronounced “Cook” as in Cookie) came to Oglethorpe University to rectify common myths and provide educated information to students and faculty alike.

Kuck first talked about what the immigration process was like during the 1920s and dispelled the myth that today in the 21st century, this time has seen the highest count of immigrants. According to Kuck, in the early 20th century, during the time of the Great Depression, immigrants were inspected to check if they were sick and if they were not, they were granted access. However, he also described how politics today has made immigration the main issue when there are more important issues to be debated in today’s world. He talked about how the Democrats use immigration as a recruitment tactic, promising they will “solve the immigration problem” and the Republicans use immigration as a scare tactic, saying that immigrants are thieves and criminals that we need to protect our country from.

Another myth that Kuck dispelled was that America has “too many immigrants”. He provided the following example:

“Take 35 million [immigrants] out of America…we reduce our working age population by about 20%...Social Security [becomes] insolvent, [and] our economy is significantly smaller…There 7 million jobs that are open, there’s only five and a half million people looking for jobs, there’s a million and a half more jobs than people…”

Kuck went to talk about the benefits of immigration, saying how it actually creates more jobs than reduces them, it increases the diversity of a country, as well as how immigrants are finding ways to get into the United States, with or without a visa.

This talk was also very emotional for students, prompting some to not even go because of the content. Kuck openly discussed the raw truth behind immigration: the immigration courts are horrendous and have not been properly fixed, DACA students and parents are at high risk, and the government, at the local and national level, are introducing and enacting some policies that are xenophobic. However, to end his talk, he left the crowd with this: Educate yourself on immigration through sites like The CATO Institute and the American Immigration Counsel, speak up and get active in the fight against anti-immigration, and “We can fix the problem, but we can’t fix the problem until we fix the politics.”

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