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Illegal immigration is simply 'share the wealth’ socialism and a CRIME not a race!


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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The USA - NOT a nation of immigrants

Yesterday Sen. Bill Frist noted that American was founded by immigrants.

Not so fast, Mr. Frist. Our founding fathers were by a great percentage born and raised in the colonies. Many of them second and third generation "Americans".

The 55 delegates who attended the United States Constitutional Convention were a distinguished body of men who represented a cross section of 18th-century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were dominant in their communities and states, and many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the Revolution; at least 29 had served in the Continental forces, most of them in positions of command.

Geographic and educational background

Most of the delegates were natives of the 13 colonies. Only eight were born elsewhere: four (Butler, Fitzsimons, McHenry, and Paterson) in Ireland, two (Davie and Robert Morris) in England, one (Wilson) in Scotland, and one (Hamilton) in the West Indies. Reflecting the mobility that has always characterized American life, many of them had moved from one state to another. Sixteen individuals had already lived or worked in more than one state or colony: Baldwin, Bassett, Bedford, Dickinson, Few, Franklin, Ingersoll, Livingston, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, Mercer, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Read, Sherman, and Williamson. Several others had studied or traveled abroad.

MORE good reading on this subject.

Wrong on the Founders
The Wall Street Journal Independence Day tradition.

By John Fonte

(snip) However, the open-borders ideology continues to haunt the Journal's otherwise sensible editorial pages. On July 3, on the paper's website, assistant editor Brendan Miniter begins his op-ed, "Let Their People Come," with the quotation from the Declaration of Independence that complained about George III's restrictions on European immigration to the American colonies. Miniter then uses this quotation as a launching pad to endorse a "fundamental right" of emigration to America and implies that this "right" is one of the founding principles of our nation. He thus maintains that the "right and necessity to allow people to live and move freely is self-evident indeed."

In fact, exactly the opposite is true. As the Declaration of Independence states our nation is based on " rights " and "consent" — or "government by consent of the governed." Clearly, in American democracy, immigration policy is decided by the "consent of the governed," that is to say, by the American people. There is not — and never has been — a "fundamental right" to immigrate to the United States against the consent of the American people. To suggest otherwise, as the Wall Street Journal editorial page did on July 3, is to ignore the crucial principles of "consent" central to our democratic republic.

Nowhere in their voluminous writings do any of the Founders endorse the idea that everyone in the world has a "fundamental right" to immigrate to the United States. They would have considered such a notion preposterous. The Founding Fathers' views on this subject are best explained by the Claremont Institute's Thomas G. West in Vindicating the Founders in his chapter on immigration.

At the beginning of the chapter, Professor West notes that the United States from the first days of the republic has "always set limits" on immigration and citizenship. Moreover, he argues that:

To say that there is a fundamental right to immigrate is as much as to say that the government of one country is obliged to secure the rights of every person in the world who presents himself and demands it. Such an obligation is by nature both impossible and unjust….a violation of the fundamental terms of the social compact.

On immigration, assimilation, and citizenship naturalization, West finds that the views of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Franklin, John Jay, and Gouverneur Morris are remarkably similar.

First, the Founders believed that the American republic had the right to set the limits and conditions of immigration and eventual citizenship. As Gouverneur Morris stated at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, "every society from a great nation down to a club had the right of declaring the conditions on which new members should be admitted."

Second, they welcomed immigrants, but on the condition that they become good citizens. As George Washington explained, "We shall welcome [them] to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment."

Third, the Founders insisted on assimilation. Washington wrote to Adams that he worried about immigrants "retain[ing] the language, habits, and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them" and favored "an intermixture with our people [where] they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, [and we] soon become one people."

In short, the Founders maintained (sensibly enough) that immigration/assimilation policy be judged on the basis of national interest, i.e., what was good for America. There is not a scintilla of agreement between the Founders' views and Miniter's position that there is some "fundamental right" of free immigration. (Incidentally, Miniter's position is also rejected by leading libertarians such as Milton Friedman). (snip)


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