The Spirit of 1776 and Immigration

| Opinion | July 5, 2018

by Stephen Smith

Last week, we celebrated the signing the Declaration of Independence. I admit it, I love that document and stand in awe of those brave and brilliant men who established the principles that for these United States of America, all men are created equal, we are endowed by God – not man – certain inalienable rights, which among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The idea is new as tomorrow. This document was a proclamation that the purpose of government is to protect human rights from the abuses of government and the democratic majority.

Signing this declaration came at great risk.

“That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

If captured, they knew that the signing of the Declaration meant their death warrant.


The least remembered part is where the abuses inflicted upon the colonists by King George were enumerated. Given the issues we are having with immigration today, this one is worth reflection:

“He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose, obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”

Sounds like a call for open borders. I would suggest that circumstances, not values, have dramatically changed. At the time, our nation was dramatically under-populated. We needed labor and entrepreneurs. We still have a need for agricultural labor and people with special skills, but now, I think the size of our basic population is adequate. I remember a speaker once saying, “I know the Bible says be fruitful and multiply, but look around, we did a good job.”

Prior to our nation becoming an entitled society, immigration functioned quite differently. People who arrived at an official port of entry, many at Ellis Island, were checked to see if they were in good health and able to work and provide for themselves. They were asked if they had family or friends that they could stay with. There were no government support programs, such as welfare, affordable housing, Medicaid and public education. Their situation was to arrive, survive, adapt, prosper or self-deport. They were highly motivated to become “American,” learn English, become economically self-sufficient, educate their children and truly become part of the great melting pot that represented our national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” from many, one. Many of our most successful and prominent families who have become fully part of our society came from this hearty lot.

Today, the thousands of people crossing into America represent a great human tragedy. They are escaping the cruel and failed socialist governments that so many of our progressive Democrats seem hell-bent on emulating. By avoiding our legal ports of entry, they are entering without screening for infectious diseases, criminal associations, willingness to adapt, English fluency, self-sufficiency or help from their families already living here. If they make it past the border patrol (not ICE), they move into communities where there is little need to learn English or to adopt the American Dream, yet they may still receive public benefits that allow them to continue living here.

The inconvenient truth is that we are simply ill-prepared to meet the challenge of processing so many families into our society. They have begun their life in America by violating our National Sovereignty. Our Congress, Democrats and Republicans have proven unwilling or unable to pass legislation that can solve the problem. Those who are attacking President Trump and calling for the end of ICE are acting like spoiled children by professing their feelings without offering solutions. I certainly have not heard any protestors offering to take a refugee family into their own homes. They are encouraging anarchy and public confrontations, while promoting a socialist, communist one-world view. Protestors seem more committed to the overthrow of the Republic rather than solving a problem. The freedom given us by our founders is a fragile thing. Pray that we can honor that vision while coming up with a practical solution to mass migrations from failed socialist societies.

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