AMERICANS JUST CELEBRATED Independence Day so this is a good time to wonder what tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants truly think about America’s culture, history and traditional holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial, Labor and Presidents days.

Immigration is a divisive topic for many Americans. But let’s ask ourselves, who would want a loved one to suffer the trauma and plight of an illegal immigrant in a desperate journey to reach American soil? What is their motive in risking their lives to come here?

America has more immigrants than any other nation on earth, according to 2020 Pew Research findings. More than 40 million people living here were born in another country. America hasn’t had so many first- and second-generation Americans since the great European wave of the turn of the last century.

According to the government’s 2020 Current Population Survey, when you combine immigrants and their U.S.-born children, the number adds up to 86 million. Pew estimates that most, 77%, are here legally, including naturalized citizens. Almost a quarter are not here legally.

Where did they come from? The largest group, 25%, are from Mexico, 6% are from China, 6% from India, 4% from the Philippines and 3% from El Salvador.

One can argue about how they assimilate with Americans and our customs. It also is reasonable to assume they want to hold on to many of the customs of their native lands. Because they fled here, they also probably don’t want to replicate the policies they lived under previously.

We’d like to believe they will embrace the opportunities available here. They do not want to tax people to death or see an economic system they risked so much to enter radically altered. They do not want to defund the police, in fact, they depend on the police to keep their families safe.

For the most part, immigrants believe in hard work, self-reliance, and law and order. They respect the police because they stand between them and the kind of criminals who made life unsafe in the countries they fled.

Immigrants in the United States have a long history of entrepreneurship, hard work and creativity, and their contributions to this nation are incredibly valuable.

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ALL OF us want to feel safe. Sadly, the debate around policing has been reduced to a false choice: safety or justice.

We need the police, we also need them to be much better than they are. The problem is we ask them to do too much. Public safety is critical to the health and prosperity of any community, but so is police accountability.

According to Justice Department surveys, 60 million Americans have encounters with police every year, 10 million are arrested and 2 million of these episodes involve officers threatening or using force. There are an estimated 2,000 officer-involved shootings, fatal and nonfatal, annually.

Bad actors may believe police officers sometimes also act badly and resort to excessive force, but resisting arrest and refusing to obey commands is exceedingly foolish, which too often results in a bad outcome.

No lawyer would advise a citizen to resist arrest. You create a situation for yourself that can’t possibly end well. By taking that action, you commit a chargeable offense when you might have ended up facing no charge at all.

It makes no sense. The public wants to punish police misconduct, but making martyrs out of people who resist arrest only encourages others to make the same self-defeating decision.

Some advocates have suggested that police stop trying to apprehend lawbreakers altogether, especially when initiated as a traffic stop. Others have called for the use of social workers to respond to many 911 calls in an effort to de-escalate mental-health situations.