Ensure every working American can lead productive, dignified life

Nov. 11, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Citizenship is the most cherished thing our nation can bestow and as such needs to be treated as something special. I doubt any issue calls more for an "America first" approach than immigration. The Declaration and Constitution compel we put the interests of our citizens first and welcome those outside our borders who are best prepared to handle the duties of citizenship and contribute positively to our country.

While we wish our fellow man well and immigration has enabled some terrific people to come to the USA, it is only our fellow citizens to whom we have a duty and whose rights our government was created to protect. And, among the highest obligations we owe is to ensure that every working American can lead a productive, dignified life. That has always been the purpose of our immigration system: to create conditions in which normal hard working Americans can thrive.

Historically, our immigration system was not supposed to serve the interests of foreigners or select elitist Americans. The theme of American immigration's story was to benefit working Americans and serve the national interest. Open borders and lotteries, such as the Diversity Visa Lottery allowing more immigration from "low admission" countries makes little sense; especially in the light that many of these visas go to people from cultures who cannot or will not assimilate in our hyper-competitive American society.

Commenting in 1790, when the very first Congress was debating our very first naturalization law, James Madison said, "It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into the common lot with ours." Note "the worthy part," not the whole world. Madison continued, "But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community."

Uniquely, America started as an idea; but it is not only an idea. America is a real place with real borders and real flesh and blood people. And our founding documents tell us it was so from the very beginning. We can only have "one people" united by a common understanding of citizenship.

Bobby D. Whitefield, Victoria


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