As I have said many times, I am the son of an immigrant who became a naturalized citizen. I am not “against” immigration. I am “for” an immigration policy that is rational and serves the best interests of American citizens. However, I am definitely “against” illegal entry into our nation by any means – including both illegal border crossing or overstaying a legal visa.
The left takes every opportunity to use the words “un-American,” “racist,” and “xenophobic” to describe an American citizen who thinks it is prudent to propose a restriction on immigration, no matter how minor.
[Source: No, Trump immigration plan isn’t ‘un-American,’ by Rich Lowry]
[Significant portions of the following are taken from the Lowry article] Is it a secret that “we are a nation of immigrants?” Of course not. Americans all understand that notion. Even “Native Americans” were immigrants of a long past era when a land bridge existed between Asia and North America.
However, disagreement about how many immigrants and which immigrants should be admitted has been highly contested throughout our history. “America,” the late political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote, “has been a nation of restricted and interrupted immigration as much as it has been a nation of immigration.” Progressive/statist/altruists seem to believe the only correct answer in immigration policy is always “more” and never “less.” And, their motivation is hardly “altruistic.” They believe immigrants will vote for Democrat candidates.
Even individuals with a passing interest in politics can find reason to criticize the immigration order recently signed by President Trump. However, a pause in immigration from seven Muslim-majorities countries is far from a violation of the nation’s creed or Constitution. Levels of immigration spiked in the 1880s, dropped in the 1890s, and reached new highs before World War I. They declined precipitously during the war and bounced back afterward. Then, the 1924 immigration law brought a new phase of lower immigration that didn’t end until the late 1960s. In 1965, fewer than 300,000 immigrants were admitted to the United States. We have been at elevated levels for decades since then and now admit about 1 million a year.
The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 abolished an earlier quota system based on national origin. Over the next four decades, the policies put into effect in 1965 would greatly change the demographic makeup of the American population, as immigrants entering the United States under the new legislation came increasingly from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as opposed to Europe. I am not making a judgment about the wisdom of this step. The paragraph is FYI.
The above shows us that immigration policy has changed numerous times. It is entirely possible to reduce immigration without shutting our doors. If Congress were to reduce immigration to the levels of the early 1980s we would still be admitting roughly 500,000 new immigrants a year. This would be a high number compared to 1965 and a high absolute number compared to almost every other country in the world. The Trump policy that has caused the current bruhhaha would scarcely cause a rounding error in these numbers.
President Trump has pledged to put much more emphasis on the integrity of our borders. I applaud this as an American who believes a “nation with open borders” is NOT A NATION. That doesn’t make me “un-American.” It makes me AN AMERICAN!