Saturday, August 26, 2023

Immigration As President Teddy Roosevelt Saw It

There are currently about 15.5 million illegal immigrants living in the United States at of 2021. With approximately 1.8 million or more coming annually, that figure could be a lot higher. Many who are coming are now claiming to seek "amnesty". The question, however, is just what is meant by "amnesty"? The answer is jobs.  Like most immigrants, they want a better life for themselves and their family. Unlike immigrants of the past, however, many don't want to assimilate.  

Few have any interest in becoming a U.S. Citizen or in learning to speak English. To want to cling to familiar ways, values, and traditions. They establish enclaves which resemble their homeland than it does the United States. Some even choose to fly their native country's flag, sometimes over our own which is seen as highly offensive.

A few demand to have their children taught, at taxpayer expense, in their native tongue rather than in English. Why? Because this is where they happen to live,work, and socialize but it isn't their "home". That's hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Yet, they want jobs, and for many, any job will do. Of course, that has been the hallmark of immigrants since time immemorial.  Whereas in the not too distant past most immigrants left the "Old Country" and all that entails behind, newer immigrants maintain a much closer relationship with their former country. In fact, many routinely send money from these jobs back to the towns and villages they left. 

Mexican workers, for instance, send an average of 13.4% pf their paycheck back home to family and friends. In 2002, approximately $800 billion dollars was sent home by migrant workers here in the U.S.. Many of these communities are in fact dependent on the money sent home to survive.  

Attempts to secure our borders, as any sovereign nation is entitled to do, has been met with harsh criticism from many of the immigrants themselves, from religious institutions and businesses to stand to be impacted economically, from foreign leaders who reject our right to protect and secure our borders (as they themselves have done), and by a few other misguided individuals. In light of this, I have to wonder what would our Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President, have thought about this?

"TR" or "Teddy" (which, thanks to his crisp upper crust New York accent, sounded more like "Teedy") as President Roosevelt was often called, was the product of his times. He epitomized everything the United States stood for at turn of the 20th Century, and that included a sense of patriotism that we would find hard to understand today. As he said in one of his most famous speeches, made in 1907, we have room for one language, one flag, and loyalty to one nation---the United States of America.  

As an aside, from 1900 through 1915, which included the years "TR" was president, an estimated 15 million immigrants came to the United States, most of them from Europe, especially Eastern Europe.  That means that 13% of the U.S. population was born somewhere other than the United States. Today that number of 47.9 million as of September 2022, which represents 14.6% of the population (the high was 14.8% in 1890).  

I've come across a copy of that speech, posted by BOBWASTINGTIME about seven years ago,  which deals primarily with immigration and what should be expect of those who come to our shores in search of a better life. The video (a recreation of President Roosevelt's 1907 "Immigration Speech") originally produced by One America News Network. The video lasts just 59 seconds but is well worth watching. I think the words of our 26th President should still apply. What do you think?  

Video: Immigration Quote President Roosevelt 1907

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TheodoreRoosevelt Quotable Quote: 1907 Immigration Speech

Money Mexican migrants send back home up 13.4% in 2022

A town in Mexico survives entirely on money sent back by U.S.migrants

Migrant works sent home almost $800 billion in 2022. Whichcountries are the biggest recipients?

Immigration During Theodore Roosevelt's Presidency

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