There was a lot of talk this past week over the whole "s---hole" controversy, but way too little of it acknowledged what we have a unique capacity to do as a country -- assimilate and transform. We are extraordinarily capable of drawing in new people and molding them into Americans. And we have an even more extraordinary capacity to transform low-value human capital into high-value human capital. That's a dry and aloof way of saying "We have ways of getting far more out of people than other places do", and "The American Dream really is something special".
That has special meaning when we apply it to refugees -- exactly the kind of people the President was dismissing:
Having a little empathy for today's poor and exiled isn't new -- it's our longstanding American way. American civilization isn't a genetic trait, and it never has been.