Everything we debate in modern America is inevitably cast into the most stark, unyielding terms imaginable. To the right, liberals want to turn America into North Mexico. To the left, conservatives are only concerned about immigration because they hate Hispanics. No wonder it takes an executive action to get something done; we’ve lost any semblance of constructive conversation.
Perhaps we would all be better off if we sat back for a moment to contemplate what the Founding Fathers had to say on the matter of immigration. Barack Obama is willing to go as far back as President Kennedy when looking for historical support, but we might have to go a tad further to get a clear picture of America’s turbulent record of immigration. Who better to ask than the nation’s first president, a certain George Washington?
Washington signed the Naturalization Act of 1790, saying that the fledgling United States should welcome immigrants “of good moral character.” Washington knew, as Obama does, that we are indeed a nation of immigrants. But he also knew there were practical limits to that goodhearted, “let ’em all in” philosophy. He understood that we needed to make sure we accepted only those immigrants who would improve the country by joining her citizenry. What kind of fool would think otherwise?
Consider what Alexander Hamilton had to say on the matter, keeping in mind that he was an immigrant himself: “The influx of foreigners tends to change and corrupt the national spirit, to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities.” Hamilton said these things not to oppose immigration but to argue for a residency period during which newcomers could assimilate into American culture.
Not Everything Melts
There’s no question that America has benefited from its melting pot ancestry. But there’s a difference between restrained, appropriate, legal immigration and what the left wants us to practice today. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture. When people come here, refuse to learn English, and stay segregated in cliques, how does that improve America? When people come here to commit crime, how does that help the U.S. thrive? When people come here to leech off the federal government, how will we sustain the burden?
Contrary to what the left preaches, there’s nothing wrong with standing up for your country and culture. We’ve reached the point where American citizens are being asked to put away the flag because it might offend someone. That’s the kind of insanity the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid. America isn’t just a piece of land. It means something. It stands for something. The more we let the concept of America be watered down by the bleeding-hearts, the more we risk losing what so many have fought and died to protect.