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  • Morning Bell: Why Does America Welcome Immigrants?

    Across the country, lawmakers are working to limit illegal immigration and reform policy so that more individuals can honorably and legally become American citizens. Last year’s notorious immigration battle in Arizona was met with hostility from pro-illegal immigration forces who misunderstood the Founders’ intent for a legal and meaningful naturalization process into America.

    Now, the same kind of battle is heating up in Alabama. With an estimated 120,000 illegal immigrants (according to the Pew Hispanic Center), Alabama leaders felt the federal laws weren’t protecting the state adequately. Considering the population has increased fivefold what it was 10 years ago, one can sympathize.

    Alabama’s new law is currently being met by a lawsuit from the Department of Justice (DOJ) but the case is unwarranted. As Heritage’s Matt Mayer writes:

    The argument that state and local governments mustincur enormous fiscal and societal costs, asserting that all aspects of immigration (legal or illegal) are entirely the purview of the federal government, is constitutionally suspect.

    …Alabama’s new law is sweeping only in the sense that it encompasses many laws passed in other states in one bill (E-verify, voter identification, benefits, immigration status, etc.). Most of the provisions are consistent with positions upheld in court or not subject to legal challenges.”

    The Declaration of Independence states that all men—not just all Americans—have a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That said, the task of the US government is to secure the rights of its own citizens—not mankind. The liberties and opportunities that the US affords its citizens are the main reason why so many people long to immigrate here. And because America is built on the idea of universal equality, all may become citizens in principle (not in practice of course).

    The naturalization process isn’t automatic the minute one crosses over a country line, though. It requires education, dedication and commitment to the American way.  Alexander Hamilton wrote that prospective immigrants should “learn the principles and imbibe the spirit of our government; and to admit of a philosophy at least, of their feeling a real interest in our affairs.”

    Heritage’s Dr. Matthew Spalding writes in the “Understanding America” series “Why Does America Welcome Immigrants?”:

    Individuals have a natural right to emigrate from their homeland, but that does not entail a right to immigrate to this country without the consent of the American people as expressed through the laws of the United States.

    …When the American people welcome an immigrant, naturalization in America works differently than it does in other countries. A foreigner can immigrate to France or Japan but never become truly French or Japanese. But a foreigner of any ethnic heritage or racial background can immigrate to the U.S. and become, in every sense of the term, an American.

    Such a citizenship is a privilege and America’s openness to immigrants from all religions, backgrounds, and cultures makes it an exceptional one. The latest crackdown on illegal immigration in Alabama doesn’t mean things are changing from that view.

    While the arguments surrounding illegal immigration are fiery, they ultimately center on a common desire to expand America’s melting pot. Despite the disagreement on methodology, America overwhelmingly welcomes immigrants as no other country does. Spalding writes:

    While there are differences of opinion about the number of immigrants the nation should accept and the process by which they should become citizens, there has always been widespread, bipartisan agreement that those who come here should become Americans.

    Many foreigners risk death and violence every single day in hopes of setting foot on American soil. The promise of the American dream lures men of every shade and culture because of the exceptional freedom and opportunity offered within our borders and these basic human rights expressed in the Declaration of Independence are such that men would leave their homes and risk their lives for an opportunity to exercise them.

    “America welcomes newcomers while insisting that they learn and embrace its civic culture and political institutions, thereby form­ing one nation from many peoples—e pluribus unum,” writes Spalding.

    Thus, in the legal immigration process, individuals receive specific education in history, policy, and political ideas so they become assimilated to the country in the most natural way possible. Without such education, it would be difficult to grasp the “fundamental sense [that] America is an exceptional nation not because of what it does—but because of what it believes,” writes Heritage’s David Azzerad.

    To understand America, it is imperative to recognize the importance of immigrants to our nation’s past, present and future. It is also important to note those immigrants’ essential allegiance to the American political order first and foremost.

    Spalding writes:

    In the end, a confident policy to assimilate immigrants must be understood as part of a larger renewal of our principles, a reaffirmation of what we hold to be self-evident. After all, it is our common recognition of transcendent truths that binds us all together, and binds us across time to the patriots of 1776.

    Nearly everyone in America descended from immigrants at some point in history and thank goodness for a wonderful, welcoming country that said to our ancestors, “Welcome home.”

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    83 Responses to Morning Bell: Why Does America Welcome Immigrants?

    1. MJF in CT says:

      The most important thing in this article is that it is a PRIVILEGE not a RIGHT to immigrate to the United States, and once here, you conform to OUR laws and rules, In other words, we – the People of the USA – do not owe you citizenship. If this is a problem for you, then go to another Country!

      • gio says:

        and here the no't after work the get free of anyting

      • carol,az says:

        Hi, MJF,

        My home State is CT and also where I graduated from college.
        About the time I moved, New Haven was called "safe haven" and Sanctuary for illegals being dumped from NYC. Has it changed?

    2. hotnike says:

      Eric Holder needs to go. I wonder if he has ever read the constitution, or for that matter, can he even read?

    3. Steve Cafaro says:

      The current disdain for immigrants has much to do with the declining level of opportunity and jobs for Americans. This is not new — history dictates that civilizations, large and smal, react to decreased opportunities through bigoted attitudes and policies. I'm afraid that things will get much worse if our economic condition does not improve.

      • Greg Norton says:

        Perhaps there is disdain for immigrants, though I haven't seen it. I work with many immigrants. The company I work for depends on them for their technical expertise and management talent. There is, of course, disdain for lawbreakers, particularly lawbreakers who flaunt foreign flags and boo American sports teams. One has to wonder whether they are immigrants or invaders intent on conquering (re-conquering?) some of our country.

      • Ted says:

        [[The current disdain for immigrants has much to do with the declining level of opportunity and jobs for Americans.]]

        I'm not seeing a "current disdain for immigrants." But I am seeing a disdain for illegal immigrants. I don't know if it was the original poster's intent, but NOT making that distinction is definitely in the rule book for the pro-illegal immigration crowd. Once that distinction is made, their position is not defendable.

      • Sandra/Texas says:

        Agree the economy may drive levels of disdain, but the immigrants refusal to assimilate into the American culture by embrasing its Constitutional values is the main reason for the disdain. We should not be forced to embrase their culture or language.

    4. clarence swinney says:

      Middle Class and Poor raped by Reagan + Bush II
      Weekly wages have not increased above rate of inflation since 1973.
      1980-2007 Top 1% Income increased in after tax by 281%
      Middle Class by 25%. Below rate of inflation

      today 5% own 63% of Wealth
      2% own 50% all Financial Wealth
      2% take 30% all individual income
      2% include incomes 1M to 4000M per year
      need a big tax cut. Ho!
      400 own more wealth than bottom 90%
      70,000,000 workers get a huge big large massive 13% of all (8000Billion)individual income.Praise Allah!
      Top 50% paid 13.25% tax Rate. Party you al?

      China will replace America as top in manufacturing next year.
      Go to Wal-Mart unloading docks and watch our goods being unloaded.
      6000 Jobs gone here. Small town. 3000 in hosiery and 3000 in textiles
      Huge beautiful plants still vacant
      My office for 20 years with 500 employees and 7500 making hosiery, Hello China.
      Number two to us in hosiery Hanesbrands all plants closed this year –huge new plant in China — no overtime pay on pension no heatlh care $1 hr labor

    5. Clearhead says:

      My sentiments exactly, MJF. I have lived in several foreign countries,, some of which do not conform to the American lifestyle at all. Never have I expected unbridled concessionary goodies from these countries, nor have such ever been offered. "When you're in Rome, do as the Romans do". When you are in America, DON'T do as the Romans, Russians, Bolivians, Chinese, or Arabs do — DO AS THE AMERICANS DO !! If you want America's goodies, then become an AMERICAN.

    6. Rebo says:

      Thus, in the legal immigration process, individuals receive specific education in history, policy, and political ideas so they become assimilated to the country in the most natural way possible. Without such education, it would be difficult to grasp the “fundamental sense [that] America is an exceptional nation not because of what it does—but because of what it believes,”

      Wouldn't it be nice if our high school students receive the same education?

    7. Jeanne says:

      AMEN!!! Thank you for speaking truth and for continually standing for what is right. This article is right on!

    8. Steve S. says:

      Our "open borders" policy of the last few decades, has spawned a generation of "entitled" illegals, who are hostile and resentful of the American way. You see it all the time. They do NOT want to assimilate and be true, patriotic, American citizens…they just want free everything, instead of working for it. Their neighborhoods and backyards, still look like the 3rd world trash heaps they "escaped from". You have generations of them who STILL don't speak English. And, what is our president going to try and do? Legalize all of them…so he has more voters to keep the "entitlement crowd" in business. Yes, we are all immigrants to this country…but, the last 30 years of illegal & legal immigrants are NOT the same proud Americans that our grandparents and great grandparents strove to be.

    9. Robert, TX says:

      I can only look at the facts. Our borders are NOT secure, including land, air or sea. Our entire Congress and our president are guilty as charged. We have an estimated 20 million illegal immigrants that are working (and most work very hard); paying taxes (payroll, sales, property, fuel, lottery) voting and using welfare services (how does that happen?). And we have "free" trade with Mexico? Plus, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell just paid it forward for ten more years.

    10. Jasper2 says:

      Immigrants do not have a right to become citizens of the US. Only LEGAL immigrants, and not ILLEGAL aliens should be welcomed here. The US should not be and cannot be a dumping ground for excess untrained and unskilled workers that our neighbors to the south think we should be. As Milton Friedman stated, you can have unlimited illegal immigration and no welfare or legal immigration and welfare, but you cannot have both. He added the caveat "apart from moral issues."

      We cannot have, and continue to have, open borders if we expect to continue to exist as a nation.

    11. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Assimilate? Perhaps just after WWII "assimilating" was the aim of most immigrants. Look at any major city in America today. There is no "assimilation". Mexicans have taken over a large portion of California. In some areas, the American flag as been taken down and replaced with the Mexican flag. Cubans have taken over South Florida. Muslims are changing laws in parts of Michigan. These "illegals" want no part of "assimilation". Instead of accepting the American way of life, they invade this nation to change it into the third world rat holes they come from. And let's not forget, all the while, the Dems continue to support their effords. Why? VOTES!

      • Phil says:

        you sound just a tad bit prejudiced. I'm not calling you prejudice, just saying sound. I agree with America first and assimulate but let's deliver our consitutional laws with compassion. So you know, I'm a consitutionalist conservative. Blessed!

    12. Don says:

      I believe that Matt Mayer quote about the Law in Alabama is incorrect in several area's. The lanuage of the law is over top for the residence of Alabama. They could all be criminals just for being good christians.

    13. RogCol says:

      Because we spend billions on educating our youth in the Liberal arts. We need to either bring the well educated engineers/scientists to our country, because there is a shortage of those graduating from the "Hard" arts. we even spend our tax dollars to educate the foreigners to go home and compete against us in the world market.

    14. Charlene says:

      When legal US citizens are sent to jail for breaking federal laws and illegals/undocumented aren't and we give them DREAM Act, etc. This is wrong. We can't take care of the world. Before the feds cut out benefits that taxpaying, legal citizens pay for (ie Social Security retirement, etc.), first get rid of the illegals who are draining our health care systems, state and federal funds. I don't get it…..our elected officials need some backbone and address this issue.

    15. Jill Maine says:

      And don't expect us to change our laws to some barbaric system of religious laws.

    16. Frank says:

      Every nation has the right, in fact the duty, to regulate who crosses their borders… if only to protect its own citizen against foreign enemies. We simply cannot have "open borders" and ignore the lawbreakers. We can welcome many to emigrate here legally, but there has to be a limit and the process needs to be orderly. I resent politicians on both sides who pander to the illegal immigrants in hopes of "buying" ethnic votes by purposely "turning a blind eye" to the problem.

    17. @pwtori says:

      There is a requirement to become an American. Even for those of us born here.

    18. HOTNIKE says:

      ERIC HOLDER HAS TO GO.

      • KC - NM says:

        Holder and the rest of Obama's team including Obama must go! They are killing this country! We need to clean house in 2012 – Yes we can and yes we must in 2012!

    19. Robert says:

      It is the greed of the politician, looking for more tax revenue from a greater body of people that they allow a flood of immigrants. It is the greed of many businessmen, that cannot survive without throngs of swarming people because they are inadequate, and the idea that more people will buy more stuff makes doing business effortless and mindless. Although a planned society is inimical to individual liberty, unbridled and out of control immigration can only result in the destruction of our culture and national identity. Diversity sucks. And immigrants have no respect for the society that we had built; nor do our leaders.

    20. Tom Rankin says:

      Morning Bell is a part of the Heritage Foundation which is Neocon big government and totally supports the Empire and undeclared wars. They are a part of the problem. They are funded by the war machine.

      "Unless America gets back to buying military ships, planes and vehicles soon, the industries that provide these goods will dry up and blow away. Then, when the next war comes, we'll be back to 1917: anxious to spend billions, but no place to spend them. Well, maybe the Chinese will sell us something." –Heritage Foundation's James Jay Carafano

      End fiat money and central banking and you will end the NWO and wars. It really is that simple.

    21. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      There is a major difference between immigration and repatriation.

      Welcome immigrants who value American Core Values, understand the beauty and foundational principles of the Constitution and know the difference between opportunity, not entitlement.

    22. CB in Ohio says:

      Ericka I think the issue can be summarized by three words in the following sentence from your Morning Bell article. "It requires education, dedication and commitment to the American way". The three words are "THE AMERICAN WAY". For a huge and growing number of our legal citizens, THE AMERICAN WAY means redistribution of someone else's wealth. Free healthcare, not paying taxes, welfare, etc. etc. This is the AMERICAN WAY immigrants are getting used to and are telling all their friends about. We are truly loosing our grasp of the true AMERICAN WAY and if conservatives don't wake up in mass next November it could be lost forever.

    23. Ronald Cochran says:

      The United States has open borders at both the north and the south. The people at the north are not invading this country. They understand that they are expected. To conform to the American laws and way of life.

      The people to the south think that they can come to the U.S. Get a goverment check and food for free. Which most are. Thier ideals are still with thier home nation.

      They believe in corruption of goverment. They see that they can profit from corrruption in the goverment. Therefore they flock to the border and storm across. Looking for a corruption in the goverment to help them stay.

      That is why they mostly vote for a liberal. I guess I should just go ahead and say it. They vote for Democratic politicans. They know where the corruption is located.

      • Laura says:

        They also seem to think that we should have everything written in Spanish as well as English because they have no intention of learning to speak, read, or write in English. If you were to go to Mexico or other Spanish-speaking countries, you would be expected to speak Spanish. Most of the immigrants from other countries at least try to learn English or know it when they come here and they try to obey our laws when they come.

    24. Stuart MacLean says:

      Eliminate the Federal Minimum wage.

      When immigrants came through Ellis Island at the turn of the last century there was no 'minimum wage'. They were legal. They could assimilate. They got jobs 'off the boat' in sweat shops and worked their way up. Our pioneer immigrants had set the stage for them.

      We force our 'immigrants' underground. Eliminate the minimum wage, have them pay taxes and allow them to participate in prosperity. We create our own 'wars'.

    25. Mr B says:

      I am not opposed to legal immigration, like our forefathers were required to do. These people came here
      to succeed by doing their best, learning our languish, abiding by our laws, putting in a hard days work and not looking for a free handout.

      Today Politicians refuse to tighten our borders, let the rift-raft sneak in, give them food stamps, welfare and
      Social Security Benefits, free heath-care etc. etc. Then Obama and his administration will legalize them for their vote.

      Wake up America, put these people out of office and these policies will stop.

    26. John Tolan says:

      U.S. Border Patrol Officers are represented by an entity of the AFL-CIO labor organization. Southern states are typically "open shop" "right-to-work" states. Understanding President Obama's affiliation with this and other national labor unions, is it possible Eric Holder is prosecuting Alabama and Arizona as a federally funded proxy of the AFL-CIO?

    27. Ed Weirdness says:

      Simplistically speaking (always the best for of communicating) the growing opposition to unconstrained immigration, and citizens demand for strict enforcement of immigration laws comes down to a few facts that neither politicians, cheap labor interests, or illegals themselves can argue against. Overpopulation, urban sprawl, congestion, crumbling infrastructure, diminishing resources, vanishing farm land and green space, overcrowded schools, hospitals and jails, water and energy shortages, crime, pollution, lack of affordable housing, increased competition and reduced opportunities, depressed wages, increased tax burdens, the marginalization of American workers, students, taxpayers and voters, the balkanization of our communities, indeed, the overall decline in quality of life, are all the result of unconstrained immigration and lax enforcement. In a nutshell :too many people competing for the same limited resources is NOT, and NEVER WILL BE, sane, sustainable social, economic or environmental policy!

      Virtually every industrialized nation, China, Mexico, Great Britain, the European Union, Asia, the Middle East, have all adopted zero tolerance policies for illegal aliens entering and operating within their communities. Likewise, these same nations have implemented policies and enforcement practices aimed at curtailing legal immigration to only that which is prudent, demonstrably necessary, readily assimilated, and above all other concerns, limited only to that which is in the best interests of their native populations. It's dangerously misguided to suggest that the United States not do likewise!

    28. toledofan says:

      It is a priveledge to be a U.S.citizen and for those that don't follow the process or laws of becoming one aren't citizens and shouldn't be afforded the benefits of those who do follow the rules. But the political process has been rigged to favor the Democrats and the system bastardized so the advantage goes to the Democrats and every opportunity to get their votes are exploited. It is past time to start enforcing the laws already on the books and insuring our borders are safe, secure and protected from unwanted problems. But, again, as long as the Democrats are in control nothing will be done because it's not politically to their advantage. So, the saga continues.

    29. w.s. gerald skey says:

      In a recent New York Times magazine article entitled "Outlaw" a young man from the Philippines recounted his own story of how his mother arranged for him to come to the United States as a young boy – all of which was accomplished illegally. The author then describes how he succeeded over the next ensuing 15 years or so in becoming a journalist but always living in the shadows as he had no legal documents. It would be impossible to dismiss this man's story without a degree of regret and yet I found myself manipulated. Noone could read his story without empathy as the United States was and is the only country he has ever known. Through the generosity of others and his own hard work, he appeared to be a model citizen and it would be difficult to argue with that premise.
      But I also found myself thinking that many who are critical of those who would enforce our immigration laws are missing the point and missing it altogether. The problem has nothing to do with whether one person is a success and another a failure. The entire structure has to do with fundamental fairness. No country can have an immigration system based on who wants to be in the country the most. There are millions of people who are waiting to immigrate legally and our system has any number of ways to accomplish that goal without necessarily putting the current citizenry of the United States at risk.
      The issue is one of how a country manages itself and how it establishes the processes through which people can come here legally. Anecdotal stories such as appeared in the New York Times Magazine add nothing and seek only to manipulate – sadly as there are many sad cases to be sure. But we are facing and have faced a tidal wave of people who want a better life (noone can argue with people wanting to better themselves) and the undeniable facts are that such arguments are wholly irrlelevant.

      • Babs says:

        my husband has a cousin who lived here 30 yrs ago with his mom and dad. They are from Italy. The family moved back to Italy but the son wanted to come back here to live. He had gotten a teaching degree. He wanted to come back legally but was denied the visa to come here and work. He never made it back. Outlaw, even though a model example of illegal alien status, still broke the law. We either have to enforce the law or stand back and watch what is happening and will continue to happen.

    30. Guest says:

      Once upon a time people came to the U.S. legally, and to work. Now we have a different class of immigrants that do not bother to enter our country legally and without i an intend to work, what should them? if we have a nanny state prompt to give our tax money to EVERYBODY. Furthermore we are letting people live here that are our born enemies and they little miserable hearts just bit for their own tyrant, their land etc. they only leave to come here to eat and be merry then fly back "there" as soon as they put some of the welfare money away or find a way to traffic "goods" to the dictator. Enough of lottery visas and give our money, liberty away. We don't need those people!!

    31. KC - NM says:

      We should allow individuals from foreign countries to come into the USA – but only if they do this legally and obtain a work visa. Then they would be able to work and use their skills. Since they have a visa, they would be taxed on their income wages. They would not pay into SS or medicare since they are not citizens. If they break the law, they are deported – no exceptions. If they have kids after being allowed into the USA, the kids would not immediately become citizens until the family unit became naturalized as citizens. This should not be a free ride, they need to work for what they get. Becoming a USA citizen is a privilege and needs to be earned.

    32. Bob Crum says:

      Why are the signs in Lowes and Home Depot, etc. in TWO LANGUAGES? This is America and they should be in ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • mikidiki says:

        Boycott the store and get others to do the same

      • Robert says:

        Don't blame Home Depot and Lowe's for our immigration problems and porous borders. If Congress and/or any of our presidents over the last 30 years did their jobs, then those signs would be in English only. And think twice before you support "what bridge" Rick Perry for president.

    33. Julie Hundley says:

      Alabama hired the best lawyers to read, interpret and coinside with our national law. Since our government does not want to enforce our national law, each state has the right to enforce it. But wait, Eric Holder and his group of cronies want to sue Alabama and any state that tries to enforce it. Why can't THEY enforce our national law?
      Could it be that Alabama has a Republican governor or that they(The government) doesn't want to be upstaged?
      You decide.

    34. Jack D Bear says:

      Immigration is NOT illegal. Slipping across our border and demanding all the rights of an American citizen IS illegal. These people are illegal aliens, criminals from the get-go. We don't need more criminals in the USA. Now try this: sneak across the Mexican border and try the same shenanigans as these illegals – BUT be sure to bring a 50-yr calendar to count the days before you get out of prison…

    35. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I often find the Press not differenting between AN IMMIGRANT, that is legally here and an Illegal Immigrant who came over the border via a Cayotte. We here have a large amount of illegals, they are taking over home improvement and landscaping jobs, leaving people like my sons in the cold. They are living three or more families in a home(one around the corner from me) I went to a county bldg. and it's mostly hispanics getting food stamps, and some are getting SSI, it's got to be stopped. My paternal grandparents came from Denmark in the 19th Century, it was required to speak English, have a sponsor,know American history, and they had to swear that they could support themselves and family and "NOT BECOME A BURDEN TO THE STATE" Now it seems they head to the Soc. Serv. office and apply for any and all benifits as soon as they get here. We have limits as to who can be here for a reason.

    36. George Fuller says:

      Bringing in 1.5 million new immigrants a year is completely ignoring our capacity to assimilate……1 in 5 Floridians today were not born in this country,,,,,at what point do we simply become a market place of people instead of a nation of Americans? The number quoted does not include the illegal aliens in our midst. A couple of decades ago the legal immigrant breakdown was one in 20.

      What is unacceptable about our immigration policy is we are bringing in 1.5 million people a year comprised primarily of uneducated, unskilled non-English speaking people who are immediately dumped into the workplace environment where there are 24 million unemployed or under employed Americans…..If anyone cares to try a logical explanation I promise not to laugh…….out loud.

    37. Ken says:

      Spalding makes a good point but falls into the same trap in his interpretation of "e pluribus unum" that pro illegal aliens use in their argument for multi-culturalism. The latin phrase was used to describe separate and individual states forming one United States not "forming one nation from many peoples". Be careful how we use these words that are not our country's motto but on the seal of the United States.

    38. Roseanne says:

      Eric Holder is a bully. Oh! but then so is his boss. In all my years I have never seen states being sued by the federal government because they either don't like their right to have their own laws and/or because they try to enforce and enhance those laws that the federal government has already passed but doesn't enforce.

    39. TAS says:

      Another reason we welcome immigrants is both the Democrats and Republicans want more consumers/Voters! The legal’s, in recent history go through the steps to citizenship and then go back to their old ways once they become citizens (Language, religion and life style) .
      The biggest tragedy of this whole immigration system is that the hi-tech companies are sponsoring thousands of Indian and Asian immigrants instead of spending the time and money to train our own unemployed for these hi-tech jobs. In turn these immigrants sponsor their relatives who end up running gas stations and convenience stores, which our native born citizens could be given the help needed to become business owners. We should probably close the borders until we get this problem figured out!

    40. Whicket Williams says:

      America is finished as a country And the fault lies with the American voter. They keep electing the Same Bums, even after they have proven they will destroy the country

    41. Ima Conservative says:

      I just read an article that states that 1 in 8 adults in America is an immigrant (not native-born). Back in 1970 it was one in twenty. 62% of immigrants are Latin American. 1.6million people (legal and illegal) immigrate here every year according to the U.S. census bureau. 34% of legal and 60% of illegal don't have a high school degree. Where are we supposed to find jobs for them all? They are competing with low income workers already here for a scarce number of jobs. Our governments first loyalty should be to its native born citizens. They (Republicans and Democrats alike) are selling us out for votes and because they are too afraid of being "politically incorrect." Why isn't it politically correct to protect our borders and our own citizens?

    42. Pingback: Estados Unidos: Acogiendo inmigrantes | Heritage Libertad

    43. Jim, CT says:

      America's current policy of restricting immigration but pushing to make sure that every person who does immigrate legally becomes an American citizen is exactly the opposite of our original policy.

      For roughly our first 100 years America had an open borders policy. That was just as radical of a pro-freedom position then as it would be today. Anyone at all could walk across the border or sail in to a port, no questions asked. But not everyone became a citizen. Originally, to become a citizen, an immigrant basically had to get a job and stay out of jail for two years, and live in the same state for at least one of those two years, and then he could apply to any common law court to be naturalized. The length of time before an immigrant could apply varied, but that was how it worked for a long, long time.

      It changed slightly in 1882 when a law was passed that barred immigrants with infectious disease, "convicts (except those convicted of political offenses), lunatics, idiots and persons likely to become public charges". The medical inspection process was 6 seconds long and basically consisted of watching people walk up stairs. They put chalk on the people who looked like they might be sick. The immigrants then rubbed the chalk off and continued on their way. Practically speaking, nothing changed. For this "service", Congress charged immigrants $0.50 per person ($11.28 in today's dollars.) This only applied to people who came in through a port. There was still open immigration by land. They also passed the Chinese Exclusion Act that year.

      Aside from an English requirement passed in the early 1900's, the government didn't seriously start restricting immigration for another 40 years, until the 1920's. It was prompted by union thugs pushing flawed economics and eugenicists like Madison Grant.

      And that is what our current immigration policy is descended from. We've become like old Europe. Aren't we proud.

    44. Ron W. Smith says:

      Andersen's piece is right on. The only problem–and it's not so much a problem as an omission–is that she hasn't pointed out the bait and switch we're guilty of when we propose or enact laws which punish the illegal immigrants who are in this country. Bait and switch? What else can you call allowing word to get out in Mexico that there are jobs here, and for those Mexicans willing to risk life and limb once they've heard the word-of-mouth advertising, providing those jobs without screening the job seekers for papers allowing them to be here. The dismally failed legislation of 1986 designed to avoid the very problems we now have was but the start of what our people in Congress could have been doing to clamp down on illegal entry and the employment of illegals in the ensuing 25 years. Congress looked the other way, however, succumbing to the urging of employers who needed the cheap labor, and now some states have become involved trying to solve their own versions of the illegal immigration problem they have put up with for too long.
      Any attempt at remedy for the problem that punishes illegal immigrants is the switch in bait and switch. Yes, we didn't stop you from taking jobs you heard about in Mexico and gave you when you arrived, but now we're going to nail you, you poor suckers. It's employers who need to be punished for being complicit in the problem and, in the case of quite a few bigger businesses, for lobbying Congress to wink and nod at the problem, not go for effective legislation and enforcement.
      Yes, Ms. Andersen, where did "allegiance to the American political order" ever go in all of this mess we've allowed? Where have all the congresspeople of long tenure been on the issue since 1986–John McCain, Orrin Hatch, and a host of their colleagues in both chambers?

    45. Bobbie says:

      In early grade school we were showed films of people from third world countries. They lived in huts and the governments were hostile, communist and socialist. The film showed a willingness of children/ people to learn English and showed them being taught. They learned about Americans and America's principles and values and seemed to appreciate it to want to be a part of it. Of course they would need help to establish what freedom and personal dignity to take care of their own meant to disregard their lifestyles lived in huts and under socialist communist regimes. That's where tax payers were obligated to provide in the beginning continueing after 30 + years.

      HOODWINKED!!!

      They came influx at various times and all of a sudden English had to be taught at a cost as if they knew none and once the first influx was taught, couldn't teach their own at no cost as time went on. American values started to change for their benefit of socialism not under communist regime. Immigrants and weak American leadership, only took advantage of the American culture and minds to undermine it into socialism where no one but government is accountable… I'd like to know who started the destruction of the American Constitution, but where do you start? government leadership exploited immigrants to get their own schools, their own custom education, their own expenditures paid not by them, they've been tax exempt!!! immigrants live in areas that vote themselves in whatever they want at someone elses expense. "special interests" that if immigrants want it they're obligated to the expense.

      Somebody needs to straighten this unconstitutional and extremely selfish mindset out!!!

      If immigrant Americans want to make a sincere difference they need to stop playing dumb and stop expecting so much with other peoples money and start providing for their own and reeducate THEMSELVES!!! And we need a government that can interpret the Constitution without misguidance so WE'RE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE!!!!!

    46. Todd says:

      Fathom the hypocrisy of a Government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured … but not everyone must prove that they are citizens!

    47. Gerardo says:

      I'm agreed. If we want to become citizen from USA, we must swear to the flag and adopt the new traditions, not only be happy for having a green card. Being an american means to me, leave your past and embrace a new nationality, even give my life for the new fatherland if necessary.

      • Bobbie says:

        Gerardo, you exemplify the dignity of immigrants America honors and always welcome! Thank you for your strength and endurance! Wherever your life brings you, I wish you well.

    48. carol,az says:

      TO; Congressman Rob Bishop of the great state of Utah.

      AZ, thanks you Sir, as the framer and passage, of H.R. 1505.
      This will allow our border to be further protected in the Federal held wildlife areas that we were told by the Federal Government was, "off limits" to our border agents.
      Since these preserves run from the MX Border as a conduit and passageway to the interior of AZ. It was also a main drug and human smuggling route.
      It has turned into a human toxic waste dump that few can imagine ; Tons of human feces, Abandon vehicle, ultra lite planes, tonnage in all article of clothing and other personal effects, thousands of water jugs and dead bodies.
      This bill will allow us to save lives, and triage those left behind by the coyote guide, clear up our environment and further securing our porous border.
      AZ stand strongly in support with Alabama and will fax and email our support. You can't kill thousands of messengers unless you refuse to heard.

    49. Charles Lukens says:

      What about those who are already here?
      In New Jersey we are presenting legislation as follows:

      NJCIC is Campaigning for Laws That Bar Hiring Illegal Immigrants

      Legislators and Union Leader Join NJCIC at Press Conference

      Launched by a successful press conference in Trenton on June 30, our campaign is off and running. Our goal? Passing A189 and S2773, the "Jobs Protection Acts." These bills would bar NJ employers from hiring illegal immigrants by requiring them to use the federal electronic database system, E-Verify, or face the loss of their business license. The timing is ideal since every member of the NJ legislature is up for re-election this year, and if we can make this an issue, our chances are much greater.

      A189 prime sponsors Alison Littell McHose and Gary Chiusano, both R-24, spoke at the press conference, stressing jobs protection. Mr. Rich Tolson, director of the NJ International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts Workers, also spoke and pointed out that his members have lost jobs or faced income reduction because contractors are increasingly hiring illegals at lower wages.

      • carol,az says:

        New jersey must stand firm Sir,
        Your proposed laws sound excellant. I'm from the East Coast and know how strong your trade unions are there. But your brick layers union is an example of your strenth. One of the best examples for reinemployment of your fellow Americans IS to pass E-Verify for ALL employment.
        I thought that Gov Christie did this (?) so that confused me.
        Anyone who thinks this current system is some kind of new age Nationalism, reinfusing America or some other wacko description is teling lies, as truths.
        Foreign work Vias's have been incresaed, Congress passed to allow another 10,000 Muslim to immigrate here this year and the S/W has a porous border with the full fury of our Federal Gov't to counter real interdiction by withholding troops. Please download these website and get the daily updates. Mnay keep track of current laws and those pending and other updates from the border states , witheld from from you. http://www.boderlandbeat.com http://oneoldvet.com http://southnexexposuredocumentary.us/
        Let us know how New Jersy makes out. Good Luck from AZ.

    50. Wallyblu says:

      I wonder if all the groups supporting illegal immigrants would support a move to import 10 million refugees from Ruwanda or some other third world country?

      Just asking.

    51. Ken Kok says:

      The discussion of immigration is interesting but the treatment and identification of citizens helps make the problem worse. We should eliminate the modifiers such a latino, asian, black etc. and move to a identification of American if you are a citizen by birth or by naturlization. If you are not a citizen then you should be identified as such. It is the political correctness of using modifiers that leads to seperation and the associated problems of rights. When asked I identify myself as a Dutch Surnamed Native
      Born American. Afterall a Dutch surname is just as deserving of recognitions as a Spanish or Latino surname. If you are a legal immagrent be proud to say so.

    52. Pat says:

      BACKGROUND-
      1) In the past legal immigrants came to improve their lives, but most important their CHILDREN'S lives by sacrificing so their children had the opportunity at upward mobility.
      2) It has been the accepted practice (Law) that if you are born here no matter if your parents were legal or illegal you were automatically a citizen.
      3) Illegal immigration is the result of inadequate border security on the part of the Federal government . The end result is that we have a large number (10-20 million?) of illegals that have put down roots and have been here for many years and are part of society but reside in the shadows.
      4) In general we are a country of great compassion so we are not about to round up illegals and send train loads back to their home countries. After all is of our own making regarding border security.
      5) Assuming our borders can be secured the question keeps coming up- what do we do about the illegals that are already here??
      6) If it can be agreed that illegal means that the law of entry has been broken, there has to be some
      penalty. Paying a fine and jumping through some other hoops in the opinion of many is a reward for breaking the law and encourages others to keep doing the same. The goal is obtaining US citizenship.
      PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE-
      1)If you are here illegally you have broken the law . The question is how do you bring illegals that have established a life (3-20 +years) out of the shadows so they are properly identified and protected by the laws of the land??
      2) All illegals would be able to apply for a PURPLE CARD (pick a political correct color) for permanent residency. THE PENALTY FOR COMING HERE ILLEGALLY IS THEY WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO VOTE.
      3) They would benefit in all other aspects-social security , medicare, etc. They would be protected by law.
      4) Minor children that were brought here by parents could become citizen by joining the armed forces as is now the case. What about other minor children that were brought here- being hard nosed about it -it becomes a problem between the parents and child. A lot hand wringing on this one.
      5) Illegals have maybe 2 years to present their case establishing that they have been living in this country and providing for themselves.
      6) Obviously criminals would be ineligible except for minor offenses.
      7) The threat of deportation would hang over the head of those illegals that chose not to apply for their PURPLE CARD for whatever reason.

    53. Jack Stewart says:

      Since ACLU , ACORN, and other pro-illegal immigration organization's are going to challenge Alabama's new law and probably ones in other states. Why should not Alabama and other states, with immigration laws to be challenged, pass multiple (maybe 10 or 15) immigration laws similar in context , but different , and have these people challenge each and every one of these laws. This would keep these people tied up in court for long periods of time. And as one law is struck down the states can pass another one. Eventually one should pass in the Federal Supreme Court. I understand also that the states will spend a lot of time in court. We have to find some way to protect ourselves "the American citizen". Just a thought.

    54. MJH says:

      Shouldn't the Mexican government be embarrassed that so many (is it millions) of their people are willing to break the law to leave Mexico and come to America? Mexico has a great climate, natural resources, seashore on both coasts, yet their people risk their lives to come to America.
      We should send the Mexican government the bill based on a head count for every one of their people who cross our borders illegally.

      MJH

      • carol,az says:

        MJH: Please understand that the MX Govt is corrupt beyond your imagination.
        Your own Govt is and had been supporting the NARCO War with MX.
        The MX Govt and most of S. America are dumping their poor here for several reasons.
        The money earned here, goes back into their economy.
        Free health care here, you and I pay for, received here , not given there. That's the short list.

    55. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Isn't it because we're a nation of immigrants?

    56. mcr says:

      USA like also Canada right now , are taking many illegal immigrants, because of the overpopulation generated in other countries or areas, like Latin America. But at what social cost really???: Let's take the latino group with 53% (thats now majority) of teenagers pregnant and mothers on welfare. That is even higher that the average in Latin America where is still only about 25%. or 1 in 4 babies born there are to single teenager mother.s. Is is worth it to accept the illegal excess population that entails family structures and birth rate sthat basically require social assistance for generations??? Now in times of unemployment and crisis this debate is necessary.

    57. Pam says:

      UNTIL those mexican americans that have been here FOREVER start speaking out against these people the Dem's will continue to pound this mess down our throats.
      It's really sad. I was around and was in Miami when Carter allowed all the mess with the cubans and Hitians(sp) to allow citizen ship here and stay here etc. What a mess what a mess. Just like NOW As always there are good one and bad one but in this situation there are MORE bad than good. Mexico doesn't care, just like the Dem's or mr O What ever it takes to detroy this country and feel sorry for these people and take away job–do it…. IT'S WRONG These people, have NO respect for anyone in this country NONE. So, please all of you Mexican Americans that came here the legal way please speak up and out about this mess

    58. Richard Arena says:

      Political commentators on the right have long asserted that the Democrat Party wants America flooded with poor immigrants from Latin America because sooner or later the great majority of them will vote Democrat, thus insuring long-term Democrat control of government . On the other hand left leaning pundits point out that when the Republicans controlled both houses of congress and the White House they too failed to secure the borders. They postulate the reason for Republican malfeasance on the issue is because agribusiness and other industries that contribute heavily to Republican coffers want cheap labor.

      Whether the political elites on both sides of the aisle have failed to fulfill their constitutional responsibility to protect and defend the United States from the invasion of millions of illegal immigrants is because of political self-interest or not doesn't matter – the fact is, they have failed.

      It is just another sign that Washington is broken and it is time for patriotic Americans to pay attention, participate and start cleaning house (and senate) of those who are complicit or just inept on illegal immigration.

    59. JohnL2 says:

      The United States has always welcomed LEGAL immigrants! It is the ILLEGAL immigrants that number into the millions legal American citizens do NOT like and want stopped, as they were supposed to be in 1986, IF the federal government would enforce its own law! Obama is allegedly the nations top law enforcement agent, and all he does is direct Eric Holder to NOT enforce our laws and sue the states who try to!! As with most of the states already, English must be the official language of the USA and enacted by both houses of congress as such. IF any immigrants are allowed into the borders of the US, let them do it by our rules legally. ALL of those who are now here and are still coming should be deported post haste. VIOLATION OF OUR LAWS SHOULD NEVER BE REWARDED!!!! To hell with Obama's votes!! He has done enough damage to the USA already!!!!

    60. Mary P. says:

      Most Americans are not against immigration, they are against Illegal Imigration, and we should be. When they come here illegally, they violate our laws, they have babies which become American citizens and they should not, when this law was made it was made for Legal Immigrants, who learned the language, did not need to receive welfare, and followed our laws. If you go to Mexico, you must stop and you have to show what you purchased while you were there, if you go in a Bus with a group, they search the bus, and you do not get freebies if you stay there. There two many illegals getting all the Freebies that you and I pay for. We are not prejudice, we just want them legal, and not getting welfare, free this and that, having babies free and not evern learning the language or violating laws. This is America and Our Flag still stands.

    61. RogerClegg says:

      Here's my top-ten list of what we should demand from those who want to become Americans (and those who are already Americans, for that matter). The list was first published in an National Review Online column a decade ago [link: http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/comment0912... ], and it is fleshed out in Congressional testimony [link: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/May2007/Clegg... ]:

      1. Don’t disparage anyone else’s race or ethnicity.
      2. Respect women.
      3. Learn to speak English.
      4. Be polite.
      5. Don’t break the law.
      6. Don’t have children out of wedlock.
      7. Don’t demand anything because of your race or ethnicity.
      8. Don’t view working and studying hard as “acting white.”
      9. Don’t hold historical grudges.
      10. Be proud of being an American.

    62. Dr. K says:

      Immigration is a positive infusion of ideas, etc.Three of my tour grand parents were immigrants. They learned the rules for immigration and played by them. ILLEGAL immigration is INTOLERABLE and has been the drain on the legal citizens and legal immigrants. Having a daughter-in-law from another country playing by the rules through legal means serves to rankle me even more over the illegal penetration of our nation. If fences, "busts," and other measures keeps illegals out and deports those who have illegally entered then they are money better spent than many other programs offered by the government–especially coddling illegals.

    63. The U.S. immigration policy is broken, to say the least. I work with companies who require massive amounts of hourly laborers. These people work with their hands in a cold, wet environment for $10 or less per hour. With a 15-18% real unemployment rate in the U.S., these companies can still not get typical Americans to fill these positions. In the past they have used immigrants from Mexico & Central America who all did incredible jobs. Admittedly, many of them turned out to be illegals and have now left this geographic area because of the recent crackdown on illegals by the state governments and because the companies have completed self-audits to limit their liability. Now, they are resorting to using immigrants who are here in the U.S. legally as they are seeking political asylum from their home countries (Burma, Somalia, Kenya, etc..) Some of these plants have 12 different languages spoken on any given shift. This too, is huge liability from a safety perspective, but at least they will not be raided by ICE.

      There are two big problems with the job system. First, people who were born here in the U.S. are gaming the system and sucking on the teat of our entitlement system. Why go to work making $320 (taking home $250), when you can stay at home and "look" for work and make more in combined benefits (Welfare benefits, food stamps, free cell phones – yes FREE cell phones for "emergencies", healthcare, etc…)

      The second big problem is the immigrations system itself. Why not make it easy to come here legally? Why not have expedited visas so people can come here to work legally in a matter of a few weeks or even days, as long as they proved they already had a job that provided benefits and they were documented & therefore obligated to pay taxes. Trust me – they are NOT stealing American jobs. They doing work Americans will no longer do. They are responsible for nearly everything you eat from meat (beef, pork, chicken, and fish) to vegetables, to cheese. Americans would have to pay about 50-70% more for food, if not for immigrant labor. The problem simply must be addressed.

    64. George Pajunen says:

      We as conservatives do not wish to ship every illegal back to where ever they came from. We just want there green card , red card or whatever special treatment they are getting pulled away. let them all in but no special deals or treatment. Let them work pay taxes,pay for there own housing,gas,electric,car insurance etc,etc,etc..

    65. Recce1 says:

      I must respectfully disagree with the statement about the "hostility from pro-illegal immigration forces who misunderstood the Founders’ intent for a legal and meaningful naturalization process into America." The Left hasn't misunderstood anything about the Founders' intent. They vehemently disagree with the Founders. They want a socialist welfare nanny one-party world wide government. They find borders as an anathema to what they call social justice.

      The Left knows what the Constitution says despite the ignorance of many conservatives. The Constitution states that the Federal government sets the rules for naturalization. That's in Article 1 Section 8 Paragraph 4 of the Constitution. What it doesn't give the Federal government is the right to control immigration. That according to the Constitution is left up to the states. Read the 10th Amendment in light of the foregoing reference.

      The Left knows it can't win in an honest discussion of the issue, hence their conflating illegal immigration with legal immigration. They know that most Americans welcome orderly controlled immigration.

      To sum it up, the first duty of the Federal government is to protect our borders from invasion. The second duty is to protect the rights and benefits of US citizens. Any politician who is unwilling or incapable of supporting these concepts should be impeached and removed from office.

    66. Laura Al-Amery says:

      Hello,

      Thank you for your great article. Also the pic is very nice.

      Thanks

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