-- In a 1790 speech to Congress on the naturalization of immigrants, James Madison stated that America should welcome the immigrant who could assimilate, but exclude the immigrant who could not readily "incorporate himself into our society."
-- Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1802: "The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family."
-- Hamilton further warned that "The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader."
-- The survival of the American republic, Hamilton maintained, depends upon "the preservation of a national spirit and a national character." "To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty."
We are not a nation of immigrants. We are first and foremost a nation of laws. The U.S. Constitution does not say that the paramount duty of government is to "Celebrate Diversity" or to "embrace multiculturalism" or to give "every willing worker" in the world a job. The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution says the Constitution was established "to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty."
As our founding fathers recognized, fulfilling these fundamental duties is impossible without an orderly immigration and entrance system that discriminates in favor of those willing, as George Washington put it, to "get assimilated to our customs, measures [and] laws."
Lest there be any doubt this Independence Day about the perils of ignoring the founding fathers' advice, I invite you to contemplate the abyss at Ground Zero. "The safety of the republic" is indeed at stake.
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