Skip to comments.Border control our right ("Remember what happened to the Indians")
Posted on 11/17/2006 1:12:27 AM PST by ajolympian2004
It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I only have room for about 700 here so let me be more concise.
Just the other day, an editorial cartoon, set in the 1600s, depicted a rowboat full of Pilgrims coming ashore in the New World and encountering a group of Indians constructing a log wall to keep them out. Standing next to a boulder marked "Plymouth Rock" (in case you didn't get it) on the shoreline, one of the Indians, with his arms folded in an unwelcoming position and a disapproving frown on his face, blocked their way. The caption conveyed the words of one of the would-be new arrivals reporting back to his fellow Pilgrims on the rowboat: "They say they're building a wall because too many of us enter illegally and won't learn their language or assimilate into their culture . . . "
Cute. I'm not sure what the cartoonist's intended message was. Perhaps he was accusing those who support border security and immigration control today of hypocrisy, since their ancestors may have once been invaders themselves. Of course the Indians didn't originate here, either. The only real native Americans are dinosaurs and cockroaches. Whatever. But I took my own lesson from this cartoon.
If the Indians knew then what they know now, they'd have tried mightily to keep out the Pilgrims and all who followed. Over time, waves of immigrants overwhelmed the Indians, their societies and their culture. Early arrivals brought their own culture, religion, laws, language, system of political economy and technology with them. Later arrivals assimilated to this melting pot. It was the Indians who had to adapt.
I kind of like our culture, our customs and our language the way they are, and I'd like to preserve all that. I'm not opposed to immigration - legal immigration, that is - as long as it serves our interests. By controlling our borders and setting immigration limits and qualifications we can avoid the fate of the Indians and keep from being swamped by future waves of immigrants. Is this selfish? You bet. Just as every other nation in the world that behaves rationally is selfish.
Once upon a time, America thirsted for immigrants. That's when we were rapidly expanding our frontiers, heading west, homesteading, prospecting for gold and building railroads from sea to shining sea. We needed many skills including an army of hearty laborers. That was then; this is now. We still need refined skills and manual labor, some of which can be supplied by immigrants and guest workers. But we don't need this in infinite quantities.
Another thing that's changed since the days of rugged individualism and Manifest Destiny is the creation of the welfare state. Now you don't have to necessarily carry your own weight. The government has woven an intricate safety net to support you. We don't need more net tax receivers.
A recent letter to the editor attempted to make some tortured point that those who oppose open borders are un-Christian, arguing that the Bible instructs us to "take in and help the stranger, the alien and the downtrodden," and that Jesus would not have said, "Go thou and build a wall" to keep out illegal immigrants. Advocates of liberation theology use similar arguments to paint Jesus as a socialist, which might have amused Lenin and Stalin. The distinction is that there's a vital difference between one's behavior toward an individual encountered on the street and a nation's public policy.
The Bible might envision the day when we could beat our swords into plowshares, but in the meantime there's nothing un-Christian about a nation defending itself from Islamofascist suicidal murderers. Similarly, sovereign states (like the Vatican, for example, which has boundaries and a protective wall) are entitled to secure their borders and establish their own immigration policies. If Christians, or anyone else, as individuals, want to assist the downtrodden, adopt a child from an impoverished nation or go on a mission abroad to help others, God bless them. But that doesn't mean they can't also subscribe to reasonable and practical immigration and border security policies for their secular government at home.
The United States now has a population of 300 million. It's doubled in the last 50 years, increasingly from immigration. The world population is 6 billion today and projected to grow to 8 billion in 20 years. I don't doubt that half of them would love to come here if they could. That would be good for them but not so good for us. And that latter consideration should be the first criterion for our immigration policy. Remember what happened to the Indians.
Mike Rosen's radio show airs daily from 9 a.m. to noon on 850 KOA. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cartoon that Mike mentioned in this column -
Other Jeff Parker cartoons -
spread it around.
Our motto could be "Remember Plymouth Rock".
A good analogy is of water. We need it, want it and like it, so we pipe it into our houses at a controlled rate according to need, and we record every entering gallon on a water meter.
We do not like water entering our houses through the roof, because if that kept up, the house would crumble and fall upon it's furniture and other contents which already would have been destroyed.
Legal immigration: controlled, recorded and good
Illegal immigration; unrecorded, out of control and very bad
If you look at internal migration patterns in the USA you can already see patterns similiar to those of the Indians in the 17th & 18th centuries
If they had targeted the US/Cuban "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, I would have enjoyed the cartoon more.
If fences don't work, then take down the fence aroud the White House.
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