American Elephants


Another View of Immigration and Becoming a Citizen by The Elephant's Child

There’s a splendid essay on “Citizenship and Choice” by Angelo Codevilla at American Greatness (Excellent website) Angelo M.Codevilla is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press. 2014) on immigration and citizenship. Here’s an excerpt from his essay:

My friend, Peter Schramm, recalled his father—realizing that the 1956 revolution against the Soviets was going to fail—telling the family that they would flee to America. Now Peter, who was 10 years old at the time, would have gone anywhere his father asked him to go, but he was confused about why his dad had chosen America, so he asked, “Why America?” His father’s answer is instructive: ““Because, son. We were born Americans, but in the wrong place.”

My own experience confirms his. On the foggy morning of August 8, 1955, as the S.S. Constitution slipped past the Statue of Liberty, I stood with a couple of hundred other immigrants on the port rail of the third-class section. There were tears, and not a few sobs. None of us spoke any English. I was 13 and, like the others, had seen America in the movies, had heard stories, and had gone through the extensive screening process. We knew the basics: equality, freedom, opportunity, non-stop work, and utter seriousness. Having chatted with many of the others over the 10-day voyage, it seemed that I was already an American patriot in the company of American patriots.

Had we read what Lincoln had to say about immigrants becoming citizens, “equal in all things with us,” we would have cheered even more than did his 1858 audience: “When they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,’ and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, [loud and long continued applause] and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together.”

Do read the whole thing, it’s not much longer. It is a proper and useful contrast to the histrionics of the Left who want all immigrants admitted at once without screening, or order, want ICE abolished  because “ripped from their mothers’ arms” has become their theme, because new immigrants are likely to vote Democrat, and the only goal of the Left is to be fully in control.

Like Alexandria Ocasia Cortez, newly elected to Congress, they want free college for all, free health care for all, and have no clue about where the money will come from. It will come from somewhere, and we’ll just pay for it. She is currently somewhat indignant because she will need an apartment in Washington DC, and doesn’t know who is going to pay for it.

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