James Fallows has written a book about the vibrancy of local communities in America. He says this vibrancy, when undistracted by national politics, is ushering in the future. He cites three ways in which local communities can express their vibrancy: by connecting with other communities to confirm they are working on the same issues; by active engagement in community life, and by correcting the perception of what is actually happening – correcting the misperception created by the national media.
Nowhere is this vibrancy more noticeable, and essential, than in how communities accept, adapt to, and come together over immigrants. What happens locally, neighbor to neighbor, church to church, business to customer, business to employee, is what counts for making a success of our very long term and vast investment in immigration as a country, since liberalization of immigrant laws in the 1960s. This applies to Cupertino, California, which is the heart of Silicon Valley’s immigrant millionaires, and to towns in Tennessee or Iowa whose main businesses exist because of low wage immigrant workers.