What should a government do when masses of immigrants come in with foreign customs? Should they respect the foreigners customs? Of course. Should they even bend laws in order to make it easier for the foreigners? Probably. But should there be some kind of red lines as to what is OK and what is not? Absolutely.

Child marriages is a custom in certain countries that is certainly way beyond the norm in the United States. What is the rationale behind them? Is it somehow connected to terrorism? These are not easy questions to answer. If it is part of a potential security threat, then it must be dealt with. If it is not, then it enters the grey area.

The key to successful integration

It is very challenging to integrate any massive group of foreigners. Especially if that group has customs that seem far removed from social norms in the new country. The key is to find people who understand both the norms of the foreigners and the norms of the new country and have them be in the key positions. Foreigners will always gravitate to those that speak their language and live a somewhat similar life to them. But these already adjusted immigrants can serve the vital job of serving as a bridge for everyone. This is actually a rather obvious point – but time and again it is overlooked.

At Ellis Island, very few former immigrants served in the absorption process. This could have prevented many of the difficulties for all sides.