Independence Day, Not Immigration Day

Most Americans spend their Fourth of July enjoying time with their friends and family and hopefully taking some time to reflect on the founding principles of our country and the sacrifices men and women have made to fight for them. However, pro-amnesty advocates have long tried to turn Independence Day into Immigration Day.

Beginning in 1984, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page often used the Fourth of July to advocate for a constitutional amendment, stating, “There shall be open borders.” According to their late editor Robert Bartley in 2001, “We annually celebrate the Fourth of July with a paean to immigration, the force that tamed this vast continent and built this great Republic. This is not simply history; immigration continues to refresh and nourish America.”

Three months later, 19 foreign-born terrorists—some here legally, others not—committed the greatest act of terrorism on American soil. The Journal ceased their call for a constitutional amendment for open borders, though they still promote amnesty.

However, plenty of others have continued to use Independence Day to erode national sovereignty and the rule of law. Last year, Rupert Murdoch tweeted, “Independence Day. Immigration is our history and immigration MUST be our future. Multi-ethnicities and equality under law for all.”

In 2012, Barack Obama used the occasion to celebrate his unconstitutional administrative Dream Act Amnesty by noting, “We are a nation of immigrants… Immigrants signed their names to our Declaration and helped win our independence.”

At a naturalization ceremony in June, Michelle Obama said that even the vast majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who were born in North America were effectively immigrants because “none of them were born American – they became American” and were “American by choice.” She told the recent immigrants, “Just like you’re about to pledge allegiance to our flag, [the Founders] pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to this extraordinary idea that we now know as America.”

Although it was not her intention, the First Lady’s words show why it is absurd to use the founding of our country as an excuse to celebrate immigration, much less illegal immigration and open borders.

If there was no America before the founders created it, then how could the founders, even the eight who were born in Europe, be considered “immigrants” to a country that does not exist?

As the late Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington explained, “Immigrants are people who leave one country, one society, and move to another society. But there has to be a recipient society to which the immigrants move. In our case, the recipient society was created by the settlers who came here in the 17th and 18th centuries.”

Far from Murdoch’s claim about celebrating “Multi-ethnicities,” Huntington notes that these founders took their values from British and Christian institutions.

The Founding Fathers themselves did not view America as a country of “Multi-ethnicities.” In Federalist #2, “Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence,” John Jay wrote, “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people – a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs...”

In the 19th and 20th century, millions of immigrants came to the country that the settlers created. While I believe our immigration policy for the last fifty years has been a complete disaster, I am first to celebrate the contributions of immigrants throughout history.

However, turning Independence Day into a celebration of independence obscures the contributions of the founders. So regardless of whether you are Mayflower descendant, a first-generation American, or in-between, I hope all Americans take some time today to be thankful for the settlers who risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to create this great country.


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