Monday, March 27, 2006

Sorry Mr. President but I must correct you.

During a speech this morning by President Bush on immigration he made the statement that “this country was founded by immigrants”. That however is not correct.

As critically acclaimed political scientist Sam Huntington points out:

“In its origins America was not a nation of immigrants, it was a society, or societies, of settlers who came to the New World…”

“Settlers and immigrants differ fundamentally. Settlers leave an existing society, usually in a group, in order to create a new community, a city on a hill, in a new and often distant territory.”

“Immigrants, in contrast, do not create a new society. They move from one society to a different society.”

I think Huntington does a great job of pointing this fact out. To many times in the battle over immigration politicians like to claim that people are being hypocrites since this country was “founded by immigrants”. As Huntington points out this is not correct as settlers founded America not imigrants. Our founding fathers came and created something out of nothing drafting our laws and constitution around their own beliefs and visions, something today’s immigrants cannot do.

This is not to say that immigration is bad, personally I think it’s a vital component to economic growth and the continued reason why we outshine all other developed economies. I just think it’s important for any leader to get it right and to not add more disinformation into a topic that is plagued by it.

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