Thomas Jefferson’s Cautionary Immigration Message
Published on June 29th, 2015
By Joe Guzzardi
June 26, 2015
Independence Day is a uniquely American holiday that celebrates the nation’s sovereignty and reaffirms the United States’ collective greatness. July 4th should be a day to rejoice in America’s rich history, and to enlighten the growing numbers of citizens who benefit from the country’s greatness, but know too little about the glorious path the nation took to succeed.
Instead, Independence Day has become a forum for President Obama and some of his predecessors to promote comprehensive immigration reform. Last year for example, more than a dozen hard-left immigration advocates attended a closed door session in the White House’s Roosevelt Room with Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Cecelia Muñoz, head of the Domestic Policy Council and former National Council of La Raza leader.
The White House pre-Independence Day topics were the unaccompanied minors surging the U.S. border, and House Speaker John Boehner’s refusal to call a vote on the stalled Senate Gang of Eight bill that passed in 2013 to give amnesty to about 12 million aliens.
The outcome of Obama’s meeting that also included the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO and other hard core advocates was the president’s promise, which he eventually fulfilled, to move ahead with his executive order amnesty that would give temporary legal status, work permits and welfare benefits to about five million unlawful immigrants. Later the same day, White House press secretary Josh Ernest told his audience that Obama would preside over a July 4 ceremony where he would naturalize illegal immigrants. Ernest scurried to cover up his error, but some wondered if the slip of the tongue didn’t reveal that president’s true agenda.
Critics insist that Obama exceeded his constitutional authority and that rewarding illegal immigrants hurts Americans. But nearly a year after Obama’s insiders-only White House immigration meeting few can argue that, based on his other pro-immigration, anti-American actions, the president is more concerned about advancing illegal immigrants causes than addressing Americans’ plights.
Over the past few years, Independence Day has slowly morphed into a day synonymous with swearing in new citizens. On its face, immigrants taking their oaths of allegiance on Independence Day is a fine practice, but the sub-rosa message is that Americans and Congress should more vigorously support comprehensive reform. The swearing-in events provide the sitting presidents with welcome photo-ops and the platform to make a major propaganda push.
In 2008, President George W. Bush used Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s birth place, as his forum for immigration advocacy. Like Obama, Bush’s immigration agenda failed—twice—in Congress. But Bush reluctantly admitted that he had never before visited Monticello. And he dedicated most of his speech to encouraging more immigration, while overlooking sovereignty’s important place in an evolving America.
The Founding Fathers would disapprove of the U.S. immigration policy as it’s practiced in the 21st Century and would be particularly critical of high illegal immigration levels. Jefferson warned against foreign nationals settling in large groups, felt they would be reluctant to leave their customs and language behind, and proposed that immigration’s goal should be to benefit the American nation while also allowing reasonable asylum opportunities to the oppressed.
America accepts more than one million legal immigrants annually, about 750,000 guest workers, and thousands of refugees and non-immigrant workers. Thousands more sneak across the border without fear of deportation. Jefferson would take a dim view of such lax immigration practices that are not in America’s best interests.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]