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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 321 -- Three Cheers For The American Economy. | WILLisms.com | Pundit Roundtable »

Quotational Therapy: Part 94 -- Teddy Roosevelt, On Immigration.

Immigration + Assimilation

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.

"If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American.

"We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul [sic] loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people."

-Teddy Roosevelt; January 3, 1919 (.pdf).

I tend to think that we need to allow much more, not less, immigration to this country. Simultaneously, I agree with Teddy Roosevelt. Those immigrants must become Americans. Not hyphenated-Americans. Not Americans second.

The American empire is an empire of ideas and values. As we promote those values abroad, we must enforce them at home, as well. The best immigration plan would be the plan that offers all the economic and political opportunity America has to offer in exchange for-- simply-- buying demonstrably and wholeheartedly into the economic and political values of America.

Breaking American laws precludes citizenship and economic opportunity. Playing by the rules fast-tracks citizenship and access to the mainstream (rather than underground) American economy.

Sure, that plan is not exactly practical or clear-cut or specific, but it's got to be better than what we have today-- and much better than what some are proposing (amnesty, shutting down the borders, and just about everything in between).

It also seems like a plan Teddy Roosevelt might have endorsed.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Property Taxes Are Marxist

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 April 2006 11:59 PM


Teddy Roosevelt summed it up rather nicely in three paragraghs. I, like you, have no problem with legal immigration. I would just like for them to pass "The Teddy Roosevelt Test."

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at April 29, 2006 09:11 AM

I second that!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 29, 2006 06:05 PM

Timeless. Wisdom is always relevant.

Posted by: JohnJ at April 29, 2006 08:11 PM

Mexican immigration laws work well there, lets adopt them and they'll ditto T.Roosevelts

Posted by: Mike P at May 2, 2006 06:08 AM