With respect to our immigration policies and those proposed by our current administration, in the Declaration of Independence, a list of grievances is written against the “present King of Great Britain and his Tyranny over the States.” One of these grievances reads as follows:
“He has endeavoured 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.”
It is further stated in the Constitution of the United States in Article I, Section 2 and Article I, Section 3, respectively, that “no person elected to the House of Representatives … shall be less than seven years a Citizen … .” and “no person elected to the Senate … shall be less than nine years a Citizen … ” not only recognizing, but embracing the fact that we are a country made up of immigrants.
As the Notorious RBG said, “Real change happens one step at a time.”
But the fundamental truths of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America not only understand that immigration is necessary for the survival of our democracy, but they acknowledge the rise of such immigrants to positions of governmental authority to help run, maintain, and improve the country.
The Constitution has rules that can be interpreted many ways, but the requirements for seven and nine years of citizenship in order to run for office is clear and has no alternative interpretation. In the Declaration of Independence, the list of grievances is also very clear. It is not merely an interpretation by the authors. It is a list of punishments that were levied against the immigrants (colonists) who then made up the United States.
So while there will always be opinions and arguments, understand this:
That your right to speak, argue, and protest is in the Constitution. And even if the opinion you are listening to is abhorrent, if you don’t allow that opinion to be heard, you are stepping all over the First Amendment. (Including taking a knee for the National Anthem.)
That the Constitution was written in 1787, and there are things in it that can be argued or changed. Think about the abolishment of slavery. History deemed that change necessary, but the fundamental principles cannot change, or democracy no longer exists. These changes should be based on logic and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The assumption was that people would do what was just and right, without the presence of personal gains or the exchange of money for these changes. Once it becomes about money, democracy ceases to exist.
Immigrants have the same rights as each and every one of us. The United States claimed that “All men are created equal,” and although we have, as a country, not adhered to this statement, through policies like slavery, we now know that fundamental wrongs must be made right, not replaced with other fundamental wrongs. Immigrants are not only the foundation of the United States, they are every, single one of you.
So if you are looking to make a change, look to the prospects that provide a positive future. Look for a new job — study something you know nothing about that will educate you. If you are going to spend your time trying to keep people out of “your country,” you will just die an angry, unfulfilled person. And as one of my friends once posted on his social media page, “What if, at the moment you were about to die, God showed you everything you could have been.”
Immigrants are people looking for a better life. They are not here to take your job or hurt your family. (I know I don’t want your job!) Yes, there have been cases of immigrants who have hurt or killed Americans, but it’s undeniable that there are thousands and thousands of cases of Americans hurting other Americans. It’s really not the point. If you are someone who wants to stop immigration, imagine the life you would have had if someone like you were waiting at the border when your great-great-grandparents arrived, looking for a better life. If mine had been turned back at the border, they probably would have returned to Ireland and died of starvation. How about yours?