Friday, January 12, 2018

George Washington on Immigration

From George Washington to Joshua Holmes, 2 December 1783
To the Members of the volunteer Associations & other Inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ireland who have lately arrived in the City of New York. 
The testimony of your satisfaction at the glorious termination of the late contest, and your indulgent opinion of my Agency in it, afford me singular pleasure & merit my warmest acknowledgments. 
If the Example of the Americans successfully contending in the Cause of Freedom, can be of any use to other Nations; we shall have an additional Motive for rejoycing at so prosperous an Event. 
It was not an uninteresting consideration, to learn, that the Kingdom of Ireland, by bold & manly conduct had obtained redress of many of its greivances—and it is much to be wished, that the blessings of equal Liberty & unrestrained Commerce may yet prevail more extensively in the Mean time, you may be assured, Gentlemen, that the Hospitality & Benificence of your Countrymen, to our Brethren who have been Prisoners of War, are neither unknown, or unregarded. 
The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent & respectable Stranger, but the oppressed & persecuted of all Nations & Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights & previleges, if by decency & propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment. 
Go: Washington


Glenn Donovan said...

Are you really using this statement by George Washington to make a point about having open borders, ensuring we mostly get illiterate peasants coming in and the 80 million foreign born who currently live here?

Cuz it doesn't. George Washington would puke in his grave if he saw this country...

JMS said...

Of course Washington was addressing Irish persons in that letter , which fit into the 1790 Naturalization law enacted by Congress mandating five years' residence in the country, "good moral character," and that applicants be "free white persons." Such criteria preserved the constitutional understanding of citizens as white persons to the exclusion of African Americans and "Indians not taxed" from citizenship. This U.S. nationality law was intended generally to transform northern and western European immigrants (e.g., Irish) into U.S. citizens.

“U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 41% of immigrants arriving here from 2011-2015 had completed at least a bachelor’s degree, while in 2013 only 30% of U.S.-born adults had completed at least a bachelor’s degree.
On the other end of the education spectrum, almost a quarter (23%) of today’s new arrivals have not completed high school. Even so, it’s an improvement over 1970, when half of newly arrived immigrants had not finished high school.

The improved educational profile of recent arrivals that has quickened in the new century is likely due to several factors. First, immigrant arrivals from Asia – now the region sending the most new immigrants to the U.S. – tend to be very well educated, with some 57% of them holding at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013.

Immigrant arrivals from Central and South America tend to be less educated. But the number of immigrants coming from those regions has sharply declined from 2000 to 2013, while the number of immigrants from Asia has been on the rise.”

But the U.S. agri-business sector is not looking for educated workers. “For decades, farms in the United States have relied heavily on low-wage foreign workers — mainly from Mexico — to work their fields. In 2006, 77 percent of all agricultural workers in the United States were foreign-born. (And half of those foreign workers were undocumented immigrants). All that cheap labor has helped keep down U.S. food prices, particularly for labor-intensive fruits and vegetables.”

Enjoy your next smoothie or salad.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I enjoy my salads fine. If it's exploitation, it's mutual. And I don't really like these stray pluckings from the past to support the cause du jour: We don't know how Benetton George Washington really was.

"With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole."

Although Harvard social scientist Robert Putnam doesn't like his research being used as an argument against multiculturalism and willy-nilly immigration, that's too bad--the facts remain that too much diversity is not beneficial, at least in the short term.

In that paper, Putnam finds that in more diverse neighborhoods, people trust one another less, are less altruistic, and have fewer friends. They keep to themselves, “hunker down,” in his words. Not only do people in diverse neighborhoods trust those who are ethnically different less; they also tend to be less trusting of people who are similar to them. They don’t spend as much time volunteering in their communities, and instead “huddle unhappily in front of the television.”

They hunker and huddle.

And of course we know what Ben Franklin thought.

Art Deco said...

Perfectly oleaginous.

Another piece of evidence, in case I needed one, that much discussion of 'the Founders' is a game of capture the flag.

Tom Van Dyke said...

And when the Founders can't be co-opted, they are dismissed as DWM slaveowners. Sweet racket.