During the Obama years, Dinesh D’Souza made several documentaries on Obama as well as Hillary Clinton. He is most famous for being targeted by the previous administration and jailed on charges regarding a campaign finance contribution he made while others committing the same offense were “privileged” with impunity. After watching D’Souza’s documentaries and listening to him speak, it espoused principles and values one might term conservative. However, in an article by The Daily Caller, D’Souza, while appearing on Fox & Friends, took up the mantra of “America is a nation of immigrants.”
In the short clip, D’Souza stated:
America is a nation of immigrants. We are not a nation of refugees, and there is a critical difference between the two.
An immigrant is somebody who has made a decision of the will to choose America. Immigrants want to come to this country because they believe in America, they want the kind of life America makes possible. A refugee is someone who just wants to get away from some problem, a civil war or a famine, something that is going on in his or her own country.
The difference can be summarized as an immigrant wants to come here. The refugee simply wants to get out of there.
So, let’s take a stroll down history lane. When the first settlers came to the eastern shores of this land, the land was a colony of Great Britain and the people the subjects of the King. People came to settle here for various reasons — the most important being religious freedom. Up until the Declaration of Independence in 1776, individuals “settling” in this land “owned” by Great Britain were under the government and rule of a monarchy. If these individuals came from another country, such as Germany, these individuals were “settling” a new territory controlled by Great Britain, which could be said they immigrated to Great Britain. Their arrival was one of choice that occurred under the government of Great Britain, not the country known as “America.”
Once the colonies won their independence from the monarchical rule of Great Britain to become the united States of America, the former “subjects” of the King became citizens of the new republic. From that point forward, any child born to these citizens in the colonies at the time of independence, became natural born citizens and could hardly be called “immigrants.” In the case of many individuals alive today, their ancestors came to the new British colonies before the War for Independence as “subjects” of the King, then citizens of the new republic once independence was attained. For generations since, the descendants of those brave settlers were born here, meaning they did not immigrate.
Basically, it amounted to someone moving from Montana to Idaho — moving from one territory governed by Great Britain to another.
Next, one has to look at the native American population or the Indians. This group of people were already here and therefore, cannot be classified as immigrants.
While I agree with the statement that immigrants “choose through a decision of will” to come to the united States for the reasons Mr. D’Souza claimed, the perpetual repetition of “America is a nation of immigrants” is not entirely accurate. He is correct to state that “America is not a nation of refugees.” And, his definition of refugee is spot on.
For a time after the founding of this republic, there was no immigration. The population boomed from the citizens who were here. When immigration was allowed, those choosing to come to the united States correctly fit the classification of immigrant.
If there is one thing that I am sick and tired of hearing, it would have to be “America is a nation of immigrants.” The second one would be, “That’s not who we are.” Both sides of my family came to this land while it was under control of Great Britain as subjects of the crown. My ancestors became citizens of this republic upon the attainment of independence. Since that time, all of my family has been born here as natural born citizens. I did not immigrate; neither did my parents, nor their parents, nor theirs, and so forth and so on back.. And, I would bet plenty of citizens of this republic fall into the scenario I just described.
The true immigrant boom did not begin in the united States until the mid 1920s. The populations coming into the united States were mainly from European nations. Considering the history of Europe and the era the immigration boom started, one can see why Europeans left their home to immigrate to the united States. However, to claim that “America is a nation of immigrants” only feeds into the rhetoric of those who do not support the Constitution but take up the mantra of “multiculturalism.”
And, for the “one” who continually tried to shove down the throats of citizens the idea “That’s not who we are” regarding controlled immigration with stringent requirements, it most certainly is as many who immigrated in the past had to have a sponsor, a means of supporting themselves, and an expectation to assimilate to the culture of the united States. There were no government programs handing out money like candy to those who immigrated into the united States from European nations. Our culture is one of laws and recognition and guarantee of God-given individual unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with little government interference. One can hold on to their heritage and still assimilate into the united States culture.
I am not an immigrant, nor was I born to immigrants, nor did any of my family immigrate to the united States. My ancestral family settled into a colony of Great Britain as subjects to the King; then, upon the 13 British colonies becoming independent, my ancestral family became citizens of the united States of America. In fact, my ancestors fought in the War of Independence and every war in which this republic was involved since.
It would be nice if these “catch phrases” would disappear in favor of fact.