Declaration of Independence, Founding Fathers, Fourth of July, Im-Politic, immigrants, Immigration, Independence Day, Kamala Harris, progressives, slavery
Freshman (person?) Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California clearly thought she had made a slam dunk point in the national immigration debate on July 4, when she sent out this tweet:
“A reminder this Fourth of July: it was eight immigrants who signed the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day.”
And lots of the Twitter-verse evidently agreed, for the tweet received more than 132,000 “Likes” as of this morning. The messages she sought to send and that they received were clear: Anyone who diverges from the Open Borders gospel they’re preaching is ignorant of and maybe even opposed to fundamental American values, especially like inclusiveness and diversity; and these supposed nativists either don’t know or don’t want others to know that the foreign-born have made outsized contributions to the country’s historic success.
Unfortunately for Harris and her fans, she should have done a little more research. For it turns out that most of these eight immigrant signers of the Declaration shared another characteristic that’s consistent with another claim often pushed by many of Harris’ fellows on the progressive Left: that the Declaration signers and the Founding Fathers generally were white racists who have at best little to teach the nation today. (Click here, here, and here for some examples – the latter from a University of Michigan Law School professor, no less.)
Specifically, no less than five of the eight immigrant Declaration signers were slave-holders. Here’s the evidence for Button Gwinnett of Georgia and Robert Morris of Pennsylvania (both born in England, rather than in one of the thirteen colonies); for George Taylor of Pennsylvania (born in Ireland); for John Witherspoon of New Jersey (born in Scotland); and Francis Lewis of New York (born in Wales).
Even worse, two of the five (Morris and Lewis) were significant players in the slave trade.
Of course, many of the remaining 48 Declaration signers who were born in the colonies owned and/or traded slaves, too, along with other Founders. And why should anyone be especially surprised? All were products of their time. Some were honest enough with themselves to recognize the self-evident conflict between slavery on the one hand and the principles of liberty and freedom and equality that they espoused on the other. Some weren’t. Nor should this observation be the least bit surprising: Where they were born was completely irrelevant.
As for the Open Borders crowd in general, it needs to admit that, ethically speaking, in its view there’s no difference on average between foreign-born Americans, native-born Americans, immigrants, and aspiring immigrants either. You can throw in refugees and asylum seekers (real and fake) as well.
Let’s of course by all means continue to have a robust debate on U.S. immigration reform. But let’s focus on genuine policy dilemmas, like economic impact, financing the costs, proper assimilation measures, and national security screening, instead of trying to write a morality play. Dropping the immigration fake history (and Harris is hardly the first such trafficker in this genre) would be a great place to start.
Benjamin Cole said:
Hey, I like everybody but every developed sovereign nation needs to secure its borders. The “correct” level of immigration must be determined by democratic processes. If we do not believe in rule of law in immigration…well, a slippery slope, no?
I get a chuckle out of this: The Native Americans were extremely xenophobic, nativist and racist when white people began appearing in North America.
They should have embraced diversity and open borders, instead of literally murdering many settlers.
Perot Conservative said:
What are aspiring immigrants? Illegal immigrants or illegal aliens?
There is a massive difference in crimes committed when we compare citizens and legal immigrants, versus illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate amount if crime, and there us also a massive use of social programs.
Our liberal colleges and politicians want to push the multicultural agenda, and being non judgemental, but the facts prove otherwise.
Alan Tonelson said:
Thanks as always. But whether you want to call them immigrants or aliens, isn’t the main point that their presence is illegal? Re crime, I’m aware of no data showing that illegals commit a disproportionate amount of crime. But on top of the misdemeanor of being in the country initially illegally, and the felony of illegally reentering, they certainly commit enough to invalidate the progressive/liberal/Democratic claims that they’re overwhelmingly saintly. And they do use social programs heavily, according to all the studies I’ve seen.
Perot Conservative said:
My understanding is that local, state, and federal governments make it tough to summarize the data, and many in government and media have no desire to highlight it.
I believe Ann Coulter summarized somd of the information in her book !Adios, America! I haven’t read it.
1. The Federal Government’s GAO put together a large study over 5 years ago. I’ll highlight a few facts. For simplicity, I may use some rough numbers. Some statistics appear highly disproportionate. Living out West and having spent a decent amount of time in barrios, supermercados and taquerias, the drug trade, gangs, and Mexican mafia all play a major role.
United States Government Accountability Office
GAO Report to Congressional Requesters
STATISTICS Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs
March 2011, GAO-11-187
– A total of 351,000 SCAAP (State) and Fed prisoners.
– In 2005, 27% of Fed prisoners illegal immigrants, compared to 4% of the population (if we use the Fed govts laughable 12 Million figure).
– 5,000 homicides per year estimate, roughly 33% of the US total.
– Homicide the primary offense for 8% of criminal aliens (pg 20).
– 25,064 homicides for a 5-year period, 5,000 per year average (pg 21).
– Arizona, primary offense homicide in 4%; CA 9%; New York 27%. (Pgs 28-32.)
– 50% of criminal aliens have a primary offense that is assault, homicide, robbery, sex offense, or kidnpping.
2. Review the DEA Most Wanted website sometime. In the western US, a large percentage of criminals are Mexican and / or Central / South American nationals.